Screening India

Film Makers as Social Change Makers

Unlike many of their European colleagues who are hunting for good stories around the world, Indian directors are deeply concerned with their own society and want to help change reality at home. They consider their films a vehicle of investigation, in which they discover and expose their personal truth about reality. A documentary in India is not only meant to be seen but also to be debated, and taken as a serious signal that the country is heading into an undesired direction.

India is still a country where every free expression of opinion within the cinematic form has to undergo a complicated process of censorship. This seems to be an anachronism, especially considering the open and global character of the country today. Maybe the authorities find it difficult to let go of these regulations because of the strong impact of film on Indian society and its universal appeal to the masses among which so many different languages are spoken.. Consequently, sometimes it takes years for a film to receive approval and the topic may be outdated by the time the certificate arrives. Even films that are only screened once at an international festival require a censor’s certificate. Several films in our special program were first denied to be screened in public as they were perceived not to be appropriate due to political sensitivities or taboo. Yet their relevance and documentary strength, makes them appealing for all societies and cultures.

Rada Šešić
Program Curator, Program Committee member of IDFA, Program Advisor of IFF Rotterdam.

All films are screened in original language with English subtitles except Felvidék.

Nov 14, 13:30
Sonali Gulati | India | 2011 | 71min | Hindi & English
The journey of an Indian lesbian filmmaker who returns home to confront her past.
Nov 12, 15:00
Nov 14, 19:15
Nandan Saxena | India | 2011 | 75min | Marathi & Hindi & English
The film investigates the suicide epidemic among Indian farmers, the culpability of Monsanto, and the Indian government.
Silver Lotus Award for the Best Investigative Film at National Film Awards, 2011
Nov 14, 19:15
Nov 15, 13:15
Deepa Dhanraj | India | 2012 | 85min | English & Tamil
A group of women in Southern India fight violence and injustice. By organizing their own Jamaat, they refuse to remain silent and defend themselves against male oppression.
Nov 15, 11:15
Nov 16, 20:00
Nishtha Jain | India & Norway & Denmark | 2012 | 96min | Hindi
Sampat Pal and the fiery women of her Gulabi Gang empower themselves and take up the fight against gender violence in India.
Amnesty International Awards for Human Rights in South Africa and Poland, 2014.
Nov 12, 17:30
Sunanda Bhat | India | 2013 | 73min | Malayalam
A journey through a fragile ecosystem in south India witnessing rapid transformation in the name of "progress".
Nov 16, 12:00
Ashok Sukumaran | India & United Arab Emirates | 2013 | 83min | Kutchi & Hindi & Arabic & Urdu
A modern adventure to the high seas, from the sailors’ point of view, using cellphone cameras to tell their own stories, and placing the episodes in a compelling arrangement that keeps us engaged and in awe of these intrepid seafarers, and the world they inhabit.