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City treated to a fiesta of short films, documentaries

December 24, 2013, DHNS: 21:12 IST

Reel life

Film buffs in the city were recently treated to yet another film fiesta. The Woodpecker Film Festival and Forum, an initiative of a not-for-profit organisation CMSR Foundation, showcased no less than 60 documentaries on subjects as varied as empowerment of women, protection of environment, education, health, religion, food, culture and more. These were screened over three days – December 19, 20 and 21 - at the India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road.

CMSR Foundation deals in communication and campaigning services and this was the first year of their brainchild Woodpecker Film Fest. Speaking to Metrolife, Director of the festival, Narender Yadav said, “There are many theme-based film fests taking place in the city these days but we had many requests for a fest that includes films on different topics. It’s a competitive event for which entries were invited in June. We got 104 films of which a competent jury nominated 45. These were screened, apart from 15 other popular documentaries.”

The festival celebrated ‘100 years of Indian cinema’ though it focused on documentaries dealing with ‘real issues’ more. It commenced with Celluloid Man which narrates the life story of PK Nair, founder, National Film Archive of India, and then moved on to acclaimed films such as Chilika – Jewel of Odisha (which traces the rejuvenation of Chilika lake), Breaking The Silence (on sexual harassment of women in the transport sector), Majuli (on the medieval manuscripts possessed by the Sattras in Assam), A Dance to Forget (on the Kalandar tribe), Praznath – The Identity (on a Kashmiri techie), Punjab: Let’s Make It Drug Free etc.

Then there were several eye-opening international films such as Saba and Moones from Iran. Saba deals with a young woman who starts taking care of her niece after her sister expires and Moones is about a couple which is having difficulty conceiving. Two Women and a Camera took the audience through Khyber Pakhtunistan where the Taliban virtually controls the lives of the people, and Les Brumes De Manengouba documents the endemic plants of tropical forests in Cameroon.

There were also several student entries from Delhi University, St Xavier’s College and TISS. These included Breakin’ Mumbai on the Break dance culture there, The Delhi Boy on a typical spoilt Delhi brat and his attitude towards women, Duhita - My Daughter on a rape victim, A Walk To Educate on the Teach for India campaign etc.
Film screenings were followed by open sessions, few of which included the filmmakers as well. The fest received a good response and plaudits, especially from the city’s student community.

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