Reel plunges into the real world

Reel plunges into the real world

Twenty-five years after making a film with five- to eight-year-old boys working full eight hour shifts in Firozabad’s glass factories, I returned with a camera to find out how they were doing as young adults.

They must have graduated to more complex production processes, on their way to becoming master craftspersons, with nearly three decades of experience in the trade,” says documentary filmmaker Meera Dewan, who once again filmed the two boys in Stained Glass, the sequel to her documentary Whose Children?

The documentary will be screened at the 14th edition of Open Frame Film Festival, organised by Public Service Bro­a­dcasting Trust (PSBT) at the India International Centre. Starting on August 29, the four-day festival will engage with a variety of themes, ranging from deep personal explora­tions to
social commentaries.

The festival will be dominated by a series of films on gender, sexuality and violence against women. It includes Bol Ke Lab Aazad Hain Tere, a film that attempts to bring into focus the sexual harassment that women in a city like Delhi face on a daily basis; Radhika Murthy’s Keep Talking that engages exclusively with males on issue of patriarchy, equality and violence and Mardistan: Reflection on Indian Manhood, documentary by Harjant Gill.

Mardistan explores the notion of contemporary manhood in a rapidly globalising India. A middle-aged writer attempting to make sense of the physical and sexual abuse he witnessed growing up in an elite military academy; a working class father of twin daughters resisting the pressure to have a son; a young college student searching for a girlfriend with whom he can lose his virginity; a middle-aged gay man deciding to come out to his wife after nearly 20 years of marriage – all these aspects together add to different dimensions of what it means to be a man in India today.

On the other hand, films like Through the Looking Glass by Sheetal Gokhale and B Prasad explores and questions the gender identities that society enforces upon people and the protagonist’s subsequent shame at his confusion.

Likewise, Sridhar Rangayan's Purple Skies features stories of LBT persons victimised and subjugated by law, family and society; and hopeful stories of younger LBT persons who have overcome barriers to live openly with dignity.

Documentaries on art, music, dance and culture like Sharada Ramanathan’s Natyanubhava, a film on the artistic Yoga or Natya Yoga; Laili Dutta’s Ocean of Melody that delves into the key aspects that construct the framework of Indian classical music; If You Pause - In a Museum of Craft, directed by Sameera Jain and Unfolding the Pata Story, by Supriyo Sen exploring the earliest form of audio-visual story telling –scroll painting practised by a small group of people in India will be part of the festival.

There will be Delhi Diary 2001, directed by Ranjani Mazumdar, a documentary that explores the impact of the imposition of Emergency (1975-77) and the anti-Sikh riots of 1984, on the lives of Delhiites; The Hunt by Biju Toppo, exploring the condition of human rights in the Naxal-affected areas of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Orissa and Chetan Shah’s Passive Euthanasia: Kahaani Karuna Ki, story of Aruna Shanbaug who has been in a persistent vegetative state for 40 years, following her rape.
There will be films related to environment as well as couple of retrospective films will also be screened.