Asian Women's Film Festival in town

Asian Women's Film Festival in town

Reel world

The India chapter of IAWRT (International Association of Women in Radio & Television) is celebrating International Women’s Day with the 9th edition of Asian Women's Film Festival.

One of its kind in the world, the fest showcases works of Asian women directors in a range of genres — animation, documentary, experimental, short fiction and fiction feature. The festival has grown over the years with selections travelling to film fests worldwide like the Birds Eye View Film Fest, London, International Documentary and Short Film Fest, Kerala and Vasakh Festival Lahore.

Being partnered by a number of organisations like the Goethe Institut, Sangat South Asia, Action Aid, UNESCO and Public Service Broadcasting Trust, it is being held across three venues - India International Centre, Korean Cultural Centre and Sri
Aurobindo Centre for Arts till March 8.

Festival director Anupama Srinivasan says, “The Asian Women's Film Festival celebrates the creativity of Asian women by showcasing the depth and diversity of their work. The films could deal with any subject - gender, sexuality, parenthood, migration or urbanization. It basically seeks to create an open and dynamic space for sharing and discussing films from a gender perspective.”

“The 2013 edition especially focuses on new talent. This time we are celebrating films from Iran and South Korea. Films by women directors from China, Japan and Pakistan are also being screened. In addition, we have 16 outstanding films made by students from India.”

The festival opened on March 5 with the screening of Negar Azarbayjani’s debut feature Facing Mirrors - a film about being transgendered in Iran. Thn there was Mahvash Sheikholeslami’s Where do I belong? - a powerful documentary on Afghans living in Iran, exploring notions of love, acceptance and cultural identity; and Mania Akbari’s 20 Fingers revealing the divergent points of view of men and women.

In films from South Korea, Dong-ryung Kim portrays thousands of desperate Korean women who served US soldiers to survive the Korean war in her documentary American Alley. In My Sweet Baby, Mi-rye Ryu examins the balancing act she has to perform being a filmmaker and a mother to three little children. Lastly, Hye-jung Kim’s The Girl Princess tells the stories of women who chose to be princes themselves rather than wait for their princes in a pretty Korean musical.

The student film section of the festival has a sparkling array of short fiction and documentaries from institutions such as the Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute of India (Kolkata), National Institute of Design (Ahmedabad), Tata Instititute of Social Service (Mumbai), Srishti (Bengaluru).

As a part of the festival, there are also two entries from China by women who return to their villages and investigate the dark passages of history in their country - Back to Huamulin and Self Portrait with Three Women. Among the Indian films, there is the genre defying debut fiction feature Hoi Choi by Debarati Gupta and the national award winning documentary on the devastating effects of Bt Cotton, Cotton For my Shroud by Kavita Bahl and Nandan Saxena.

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