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VIBGYOR Film Festival To Kick Off On January 12

By Mustafa Desamangalam

09 January, 2011

The 6th edition of VIBGYOR International Documentary and Short Film Festival will kick off in Thrissur, Kerala state, India on 12th January. The festival which will conlude on 16th January is becoming a platform for the representatives for a large number of people’s movements like the Fisher People’s Movement, Chaliyar Sruggle, Kathikkudam Struggle, Adivasi Sruggle in Vyanad, Anti-Coca Cola Struggle in Plachimada, Anti-POSCO Movement in Orissa, Adivasi Struggle in Nagerhole, Movement Against FTAs, Movement Against Unsustainable Tourism, Peoples’ Movement for Forest Rights, Human Rights Movement in the North East, Movement Against Endosulphan, Struggle Against Athirappilly, Struggle Against Polution in Chakkankundam, Struggle Against Pollution in Latur, Subaltern Women’s Movements, Dalit Movement, National Alliance of People’s Movements, National Adivasi Alliance and many other struggles.

Mini conferences and meetings on `Forest Rights’, `Media Activism’, `Threats, Challenges and Possibilities for Indian Democracy’, `Self Determination, State and Human Rights’, `Impact of Free Trade Agreements on People’, `Impact of Unsustainable Tourism on People’, `Development Model in Kerala’, `Subaltern Women’s Movements’, `Media Activism’ will generate serious discussions and the main content of the discussion will be used as a campaign. Stalls and Exhibitions on different social issues and alternative experiments, Resistance Music Recitals with anti communal singers and other human rights singers, Meet the Director Programmes and workshops on models of media activism will highlight the spirit of VIBGYOR this year.

`The difference for this year’s VIBGYOR is the larger participation of representatives of people’s movements, more focused discussions on diverse social issues concerning the marginalized, resistance music and a larger number of documentaries and short films on social issues’, said the activists from VIBGYOR. Over 130 documentaries and short films will be screened this year.

VIBGYOR International Documentary and Short Film Festival this year is presented as a homage to well known film activist Saratchandran who was a founder member of VIBGYOR. For more information on VIBGYOR, please refer www.vibgyorfilm.org



Silvio Tendler, the acclaimed Brazilian filmmaker known as the `Filmmaker of interrupted voices’ has produced about 40 films, some of which have been showcased at Cannes and other film festivals. He founded the production Company ` Caliban Produções Cinematograficas’ in 1981
Castro Alves, Retrato Falado do Poeta/1998/74 min
Marighella, Retrato falado do Guerrilheiro/2002/ 50 min
Glauber o Filme Labrinto do Brasil/2003/94 min
Encontro Com Milton Santos ou O Mundo Global Visto do Lado de Cá/2007/90 min
Utopia e Barbárie/2009/120 min


Critic, filmmaker and journalist Norma Marcos was born in Palestine, currently lives in Paris, but frequently returns to work in Palestine. Though jailed by Israel during a film project, she never let a story telling opportunity on Palestine to escape her
The Veiled Hope: Women of Palestine/1994/55 min
Waiting for Ben Gurion /2006/30 min
Fragments of a Lost Palestine/2010/74 min

ViBGYOR Theme Package `Identities & Diversities’, `Rights, `Gender & Sexuality', `Developmentalism', `Culture & Media’ and Nation’

Focus of the Year 2011: Around 10 films connected to `Political Filmmaking & Media Activism in South Asia’ are screened

Festival Director’s Special Package: recommended by Anand Patwardhan, Festival Director

Divorce: Iranian Style (UK, Dir: Kim Longinotto/1998/80 min

Prison and Paradise (Indonesia, Dir: Daniel Rudi Haryanto/2010/93 min

Inshallah, Football (India, Dir: Aswin Kumar/2010/82 min

Qana (Iran, Produced by Mohammadreza Abbasian/2010/33 min

Kerala Spectrum Package: Films that focus on people, life and issues in the state and made by filmmakers residing in Kerala.

`Focus-Children’ showcases films made by and for children.

Short Fiction & Experimental Package: Around 20 short fiction/animation/music video/spots/micro films

Saratchandran Homage: Films made by late C.Saratchandran and a boquette of films by filmmaker friends of Saratchandran as Homage to him


January 10-January 15

Film Workshop for Young Filmmakers & Students

January 12, Wednesday

10am-1.00 noon: Sarat Memorial Lecture: Medha Patkar
2.00pm-5.00pm: South Asia Media Activists Get-Together:
Media, Movements and Freedom of Expression
5.00pm-5.30pm: Resistance Music Recital
5.30pm: Festival Opening Ceremony & Inaugural Films

January 13, Thursday

9am-1.00 noon: Film Screening
10am-1.00 noon: `Models of Media Activism’
2.00-5.00: Mini Conference: Forrest Rights
5.00-7.00: Meet the Director& Resistance Music Recital
7.00-10.00: Film Screening
Mini Conference: Subaltern Women’s Movements: double victimization

January 14, Friday

9am-1.00 noon: Film Screening
10am-1.00 noon: `Models of Media Activism’
2.00-5.00: Mini Conference: Self Determination, State & Human Rights
5.00-7.00: Meet the Director& Play on `Sharmila Irome’
7.00-10.00: Film Screening
Mini Conference: Indian Democracy: Threats, Challenges & Possibilities

January 15, Saturday

9am-1.00 noon: Film Screening
10am-1.00 noon: `Models of Media Activism’
2.00-5.00: Mini Conference: Free Trade Agreements and its impact on people
5.00-5.45: Meet the Director
6.00-8.00: Mini Conference: Tourism and its Impact on local communities
7.00-9.00: Screening
9.30-12.00: CULTURAL NIGHT

January 16, Sunday

9am-1.00 noon: Film Screening at Main Venue
2.00-5.00: Mini Conference: Critique of Kerala Model Development: People’s Movements’ perspective
5.00-5.30: Meet the Directors
5.30-7.00: Resistance Music & Closing Ceremony
7.00-10.00 Closing Films Screening

Important Films

1. Amanar Tamasheq
Luis Escartin
Spain/Mali, 15'

The extremes of observational cinema are explored in Amanar Tamasheq, a film that offers absolutely no distraction from the desert grounds where they were shot. The film focuses on the encounter between the filmmaker and the Tuareg rebels. He is asked to record their history, even if he does not understand what he is documenting. It is a strong statement for the concept of cinema as an art that has an expressive intelligence of its own.

2. Talking Heads (Muslim Women)
Fathima Nizaruddin
UK/ India, 27'

The film explores the lives of four Muslim women including the filmmaker. The form of the film perfectly matches as the filmmaker reconstructs the narrative to explain how the perceived homogenous identities of Muslim women are different from the real life characters who are as heterogeneous as one can imagine.

3. I Woke Up One Morning and Found Myself Famous
Sumit Purohit
India, 25'

On July 3, 2003, Deepanker Gohain, a junior of Sumit Purohit in college, committed suicide, which shocked the campus. Deepanker's batch-mate Amitabh Pandey witnessed the suicide, capturing all of it on his Handycam. Pandey came from a well-connected political family. When his college sided with him on this incident, the other half of the story got buried in police records. Four years later, Purohit decided to come out in the open with few others, sharing their experiences with the public.

4. Shape of the Shapeless
Jayan K Cheriyan
USA, 30'

The film explores the journey of Jon Cory, aka Premdas, aka Rose Wood, through various gender and social roles. By day, Jon Cory is a professional craftsperson, who runs a successful business in New York City. By night she is Premdas, a yogi and a prudent devotee of her Guru. In late nights she performs in various clubs around the city as a burlesque dancer under the name Rose wood. Rose considers herself neither male nor female, and her gender is something she could write and rewrite and believes the body is just a costume. The film explores the spiritual quest of a performer, a yogi, and an artisan who transgresses the boundaries of traditional notions of body, gender, creed, and sexuality.

5. Understanding Trafficking
Ananya Chakaraborti
India, 87'

Legend goes there is a magical line that Lakshman drew around Sita, which no woman is supposed to cross. If any woman dared to cross the magical line, she would risk being kidnapped by Ravan , the demon. Women have for centuries been discouraged to cross the line, to remain indoors and within limits. The lines and limits of their existence have always been defined by patriarchy.
So what happens if a woman does cross the line ? By circumstances , through need or just by a desire to cross the magical line ???.......

6. Harvest of Grief
Anwar Jamal
India, 67'

The north Indian state of Punjab was once a land of plenty, considered the breadbasket of the nation. Since the mid-1990s, however, unable to bear the burden of escalating agricultural costs, declining soil fertility, dwindling yields and mounting debt, small and marginal farmers are killing themselves. As a result of the farming community’s patriarchal structure, women are ill-equipped to cope with the abrupt and violent loss of the male breadwinners and the challenges and responsibilities that confront them. The film touches upon the human and social cost of 'solutions' to hunger such as the Green Revolution. It explores the severe agricultural crisis caused by economic liberalization, globalization and the myopic business strategies of profit-seeking multinational corporations.

7. 352 : Remembering Emergency
Sanjay Pratap, Nandita Thomas, Aswini Falnikar, Nikhil Titus
India, 17'

In India, the largest democracy, ironically a period of 19 months is missing from public memory. It was during this period that internal emergency was instituted in India. The film is a critical look at this period that suspended fundamental rights for the common man and imposed harsh laws upon the media. Today, many of those measures are still looked upon as important for the development of the nation. This film is a bundle of questions put across through cartoons, archival material and interviews. It attempts to provide a glimpse of the memories people hold of those events and their expressions in various art forms and media.

8. West Papua - A Journey to Freedom
Erin Morris
Australia/ Papua New Guinea, 30'

WEST PAPUA- A JOURNEY TO FREEDOM encapsulates the political activism of Herman Wainggai, a young West Papuan independence leader and mentor of the non-violent students movement in West Papua, as he journeys from Melbourne, Australia, to an isolated refugee camp on the north coast of Papua New Guinea. There, he deliberates with colleagues who have managed to escape from their occupied homeland for the week-long meeting. Herman’s journey to Australia, with forty-two other West Papuan asylum seekers, sparked global media attention in 2006. This is a documentary about non-violent resistance, courage in an undeclared war and loneliness in exile. It's about family, friendship, love, human rights, and great singing

9. When The Soul Of A Nation Dies
Parasher Baruah
India, 24'

The film is based on Easterine Iralu's epic poem about Nagaland. The political history of Nagaland in recent times began with British colonisation from the 1800s. Occupation by India in 1947 after the British left has resulted in an unresolved struggle for freedom by the people of Nagaland. The long struggle is being threatened from within by Chinese Marxism, which crept in in the 1980s. The film mirrors the tragedy of an occupied country fighting the twin wars of sovereignty and an internal factional war, while its people aspire for peace.

10. Problema - Who are We in the 21st Century? Ralf Schmerberg
Germany , 97'
A cinematic interpretation of the world's largest round table gathering, PROBLEMA is a visually imaginative, thought-provoking invitation to a world of global dilemmas. Spanning seventeen questions confronting who we are and where we're going, the film follows the insights, perceptions, reflections and views of over 100 people from more than 50 nations sat together in one circle.

11. Songs Of Mashangva
Oinam Doren
India, 72'

The Tangkhul Naga in northeast India didn’t fare any better than the tribes of South America in preserving their culture from the culture of the colonisers. That disastrous missionary fervour destroyed a rich cultural heritage which in the case of the Tangkhul Naga spanned more than thousand years and is now threatened with final extinction. Indian filmmaker Oinam Doren looks at the work of his charismatic protagonist Rewben Mashangva, who travels through the remote villages of the Tangkhul Naga to talk to the old people and collect songs and instruments. The rhythms, melodies and lyrics form links to his own music, which he describes as Naga Folk Blues and uses to spread the message that there is no reason to be ashamed of one’s own culture and regard Western culture as superior.

For more information contact mustafdesam@gmail.com


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