Section: Retrospectives


Persistence Resistance 2008 also presents a series of retrospectives of some well-known documentary filmmakers, whose work finds a common resonance in their dealings with rhythms of art, land rights, gender politics and social injustices. But with each passing work, one finds a formal innovation has been carried out changing the very nature of the film. This section of retrospectives gives a unique opportunity to view the filmmakers not only as artists but also as reflecting the changing history of our times.

R. V. Ramani

Ramani2R. V. Ramani was born in 1957 and is based in Chennai. He graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, in 1985, specializing in motion picture photography. He started making independent documentaries and short films from 1990.

With more than fifteen independent films to his credit, Ramani has established a unique style acclaimed in India and abroad. He considers all his works to be explorations into various facets of expression.

Although Ramani strictly works on the plane of documentary, but his films offer an experience of fiction. Ramani’s works have been shown in numerous international film festivals. His Retrospectives were presented at the Mumbai International Film Festival 2002, the Third Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, and DokumentART.

Apart from making his own films, Ramani has worked on many films as a cinematographer. He also serves as faculty member with many institutions and regularly conducts documentary film workshops.

IIC Conference Room 1, Monday, 28 April 2008

9:00 – 11:05

SAA / 25 min / 1991 / India
An exploratory journey seeking one’s own rhythm, through the magnetic flux of rural and urban rhythms.

LAST FAMILY / 26 min / 1995 / India
Nine Experimental theatre groups from different parts of the country meet in Chennai. Egos clash, fuse and melt. A film as theatre.

FACE LIKE A MAN / 30 min / 1993 / India
Nine painters try and express their preoccupations, in their canvas. The filmmaker, with his own preoccupation, strikes a relation.

THROUGH THE WINDOW / 30 min / 1993 / India
A painter and a filmmaker. A dialogue of non-figuration and abstraction with the painter vis-à-vis filmmaking.

BLUE BLACK YELLOW / 6 min / 1995 / India
A quizzical journey, through colours, forms, space, movements and gestures.

16:37 – 17:30

THE VOYEUR / 29 min / 2000 / India
Preparing for the Act: The Other Festival, Chennai, 1999.

LINES OF MAHATMA / 20 min / 1999 / India
The spirit of Mahatma Gandhi through the drawings of Adimoolam, a Chennai-based artist.

17:50 – 20:20

WHERE ARE YOU? / 154 min / 2003 / India
An impressionistic ethnography, reflecting on shadow puppet theatre, history, mythology, cinema and our lives.

20:20 – 21:20

Conversation with filmmaker: R. V. Ramani

IIC Conference Room 1, Wednesday, 30 April 2008

11:45 – 13:30

BRAHMA VISHNU SHIVA / 20 min / 1999 / India
An exploration of the process of creation, sustenance and destruction.

ONE TWO THREE FOUR / 28 min / 1995 / India
An exploration into the world of children and their school life. Neela dreams, snake drank water, rabbit woke up, monkey jumped.

LANGUAGE OF WAR / 51 min / 1996 / India
A bilingual play based on the Mahabharata, on the dilemma of Arjuna – the rehearsals become performance.

Sehjo Singh

sehjo_1Born in 1963, Sehjo is an independent filmmaker working on issues of socio-political concern since 1987. She completed her Masters in Mass communications from the Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia, in 1987.

Her most important work has been on land rights, on which she produced and directed three well known documentaries. The first among these, also her first independent film, The Women Betrayed won the Special Jury Award in Tokyo, and the National Award for Best film on Social Issues. Sona Maati – A Very Ordinary Gold won the Special Jury Award at the National Awards, and the Golden Conch, for the Best Film at Bombay Documentary Festival. Kol Tales won the International Jury Award at the Bombay film festival, where it was premiered and then travelled to various International film festivals.

She has also worked in various capacities as director, script writer and producer in numerous other documentaries and feature films on a wide range of social themes. She also conducts workshops, teaches and writes on films.

IIC Conference Room 1, Monday, 28 April 2008

11:30 – 13:25

THE WOMEN BETRAYED / 40 min / 1993 / India
Why women in Jharkhand are branded and hunted as witches.

WHO IS AFRAID OF LITTLE GIRLS? / 32 min / 1993 / India
What forces the people of Rajasthan to push their little children into matrimony?

SONA MAATI – A VERY ORDINARY GOLD / 38 min / 1996 / India
One woman’s fight for land rights in Bikaner.

14:30 – 15:30

Conversation with filmmaker: Sehjo Singh

Paromita Vohra

paroParomita Vohra is a documentary filmmaker and screenwriter. Her films as director are Un-limited Girls, a personal take on engagements with feminism in urban India which mixes fiction and non-fiction, Annapurna (1995), about a women food worker’s cooperative in Bombay’s textile mill area, A Woman’s Place (1999), an hour-length documentary for PBS on how women negotiate the space between law and custom to change their lives and those of other women in South Africa, the USA and India and A Short Film About Time (2000) an independent short fiction film about the funny-sad relationship between a young Bombay woman with a broken heart, her psychotherapist and his watch.

She is scriptwriter of Khamosh Pani (Golden Leopard, Locarno Film Festival, 2003), a Pakistani feature film about a woman abducted during Partition, whose past unravels as her son gets involved in the fundamentalist politics of Zia-ul-Haq’s regime (dir: Sabiha Sumar), A Few Things I Know About Her (Silver Conch, Mumbai International Film Festival 2002), a documentary that explores the many traditions that have sprung up around the life of Mirabai, a princess and mystic poet from 16th century North India (dir: Anjali Panjabi), and Skin Deep (dir: Reena Mohan), a faux documentary about women, body image and self identity. Paromita is also an author and teaches filmmaking.

IIC Conference Room 1, Monday, 28 April 2008

15:30 – 16:36

ANNAPURNA / 27 min / India
A portrait of a women’s group named Annapurna. Started in 1975 by 14 khanawalwalis – women who prepared meals for migrant workers, thus earning the name food-lady.

Two short tales wonder about the idea of Bombay as a great cosmopolis while examining its divisions of class, language and food.

WHERE’S SANDRA? / 19 min / India
Who is Sandra? And if she’s from Bandra, where is she? If you saw her would you know her? The film wanders around Bandra wondering about Sandra – stereotype or fantasy? Affectionate parody or vicious mockery? Still here or just a figment from the past?

IIC Conference Room 1, Tuesday, 29 April 2008

16:40 – 17:35

Q2P / 55 min / India
A film about toilets and the city. It peers through the dream of Mumbai as a future Shanghai and searches for public toilets in Bombay with a small detour in Delhi, watching who has to queue to pee.

IIC Conference Room 1, Wednesday, 30 April 2008

18:30 – 20:00

An exploration of engagements with feminism in contemporary urban India. It is told through the conversations of a narrator called Fearless who starts accidentally in a chatroom and embarks on a journey where she encounters diverse characters, all talking of their engagements with feminism and its place in their lives today.

20:05 – 21:05

Conversation with filmmaker: Paromita Vohra

Madhusree Dutta

madhusree-duttaMadhusree Dutta is a filmmaker; also a curator, pedagogue, researcher, producer and activist. Though visual culture is the key to her works, multi-disciplinary initiatives and multi-layered representations frame her myriad engagements. An alumni of Jadavpur University, Kolkata and National School of Drama, New Delhi, she currently lives in Mumbai.

Madhusree is the founder and Executive Director of Majlis, a centre for rights discourse and multicultural art initiatives in Mumbai, India. A winner of several national and international awards for her films, she has also received citizens’ honours, such as the Salaam Mumbai award, Bharat Nirman award and Stree Shakti Sanman.

IIC Conference Room 1, Tuesday, 29 April 2008

18:00 – 20:00

I LIVE IN BEHRAMPADA / 49 min / 1993 / India
On a Muslim ghetto during the Bombay riots in 1992-93.

AILO BAILO SAILO / 13 min / 1999 / India
A musical on the fear of young girls’ sexuality and trafficking.

SCRIBBLES ON AKKA / 57 min / 2000 / India
A musical documentary on the 12th century saint-poet Mahadevi Akka.

20:05 – 21:05

Conversation with filmmaker: Madhusree Dutta

IIC Conference Room 1, Wednesday, 30 April 2008

16:04 – 18:15

SUNDARI: AN ACTOR PREPARES / 30 min / 1999 / India
An exploration of feminity and performence, through the tale of a popular female impersonator of early 20th century.

7 ISLANDS AND A METRO / 100 min / 2006 / India
A tale of Mumbai through a tapestry of fiction. Or On the bodies and cities that make Bombay/Mumbai.

Rehad Desai

RehadRehad Desai is based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He studied history in Zimbabwe, where he lived for three years. On his return to South Africa, Rehad became a media and training officer for the South African trade union movement. He then worked in HIV prevention, before entering the world of film and television as a producer/director in 1997 after completing a Masters Degree in Social History. Starting his career as TV journalist he moved on to both direct and produce numerous award winning documentary films through Uhuru Productions in Johannesburg, his own company.

He is an Executive Director of the 3 Continents Film Festival and Chairperson of the newly formed South African Screen Federation.

IIC Conference Room 1, Wednesday, 30 April 2008

9:00 – 11:20

BORN INTO STRUGGLE / 75 min / 2004 / South Africa
A personal journey mirroring a nation’s fight for freedom.

BUSHMAN’S SECRET / 65 min / 2006 / South Africa
One cactus stands between hope and hunger – Hoodia, a cactus used by Bushmen for centuries, has caught the attention of a giant pharmaceutical company.

* Another film by Rehad Desai, MY LAND MY LIFE is showing under Refractions on 29 April.

*Programme subject to last minute changes

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