Women Beyond Bollywood Rahila Bootwala Canada. 2022. 53 min
India’s cinema industry is the largest in the world, and Bollywood is its flagship: stars, music, drama, not to mention rampant sexism, are its defining features. Today, a new generation of filmmakers is finally showing women as more than eye candy or appendages to larger than life male heroes. Montreal filmmaker Rahila Bootwala left India as a young woman, wanting to work in film but feeling disconnected from an industry dominated by men and beholden to their fantasies. In this empowering documentary, she goes back to India to meet with the women who are reshaping the industry.
The Golden Wings of Watercocks Muhammad Quayum Bangladesh. 2022. 117 min
Bangladesh lies in a floodplain crisscrossed with numerous rivers and canals as well as hundreds of naturally occurring marshlands, known locally as haor and baor. Over 20 million people live in the haor region spreading across 7 districts of north-east Bangladesh. In monsoon, flash flood from upstream hills rushes on to overflow rivers and creeks to create a vast stretch of turbulent water. This extensive water body dries up slowly in 7 months after the monsoon and the land becomes cultivable when only a single crop of paddy can be harvested. There begins the race against time to bag this harvest before the monsoon submerges the land again.
The 90’s. Summer begins in a rural town. Marta, a happy and innocent 12-year-old girl, enjoys playing football with her friends, riding a bike and building the same hut every year. Everything in her world is perfect, but Marta is different from the other girls in the village: besides being the leader of her gang of friends, she is the only girl in the group. Although gender has never been an obstacle in their friendship, this is about to change: Loren, a 16-year-old boy, arrives in town and approaches Marta’s friends, changing their gaze towards her. Loren has come to stay, and with him puberty and gender roles. Will Marta lose her innocence and accept the rules of her new world?
Raquel Colera has a degree in Audiovisual Communication. She has worked in the film industry as a Producer and Production Manager for almost 20 years. Throughout her professional career, she has collaborated with directors such as Rodrigo Rodero (El idioma imposible), Ramón Salazar (10,000 Nights Nowhere) or Inés París (Manzanas, pollos y quimeras). She has recently redirected her career towards screenwriting and directing: during 2021 she co-directed the fiction short film “Medina Querida”, which was awarded Best Short Film at the 16th EIMA Marathon of the Medina del Campo Film Festival and selected at FICAB 2021 in Argentina. She has also written and directed this fiction short film “Boys’ things” (2022). At the same time, she is developing the feature film of the same name, her first fiction project as screenwriter and director.
I am not the river Jhelum Prabhash Chandra India. 2022. 95 min
The film shows glimpses of the life of its young protagonist Afeefa living in Kashmir. On the one hand, the film explores the suffocation and trauma experienced by Afeefa in her personal life and, on the other hand, the film evokes the atmosphere of perpetual uncertainty and violence in the milieu. In following the life of Afeefa, the film traces her growing understanding of the forces at play in Kashmir, India.
Shivamma (46), a mother of two and the wife of an ailing bedridden husband, works as a government school mid-day meal cook in a small village. She is the only active working member of her family. Her entire family is in the process of finding a suitable groom for her daughter, though she has her own affair running alongside. Shivamma is introduced to a nutritional product and, looking at it miraculously bettering her husband condition, she tries to explore it further and learns about its network marketing scheme and its financial benefits. Getting highly inspired at a motivational event, she decides to take the risk of setting up her own nutritional club, putting everything at stake. But one unfortunate event derails all her attempts and also threatens her daughter’s wedding. Despite all the opposition and the blame from her own family, Shivamma’s determination stays unaltered.
My Father,s Doctor Danish Renzu India. 2022. 17 min
My Father’s Doctor is a story of an unrequited love between an unlikely pair, the unexpected loss of it, and how one tries looking for hope while suffering. Every few days, Roohi hums Raj Begum’s songs outside of her houseboat, waiting for someone. Kabir arrives on a shikara and Roohi takes him in. Kabir has been Abbu’s (Roohi’s father) doctor for so long now that he’s treated like a son. One day, while preparing to leave, Kabir is stopped by Roohi, who hands him a flower – her expression of love. Kabir is taken aback a little.
OTHER RAY documents the amazing ability of Satyajit Ray to communicate through an array of artistic platforms like a polyglot. Beside his acclaimed stature as a Filmmaker, he had been an Illustrator, a Calligrapher, a Musician and an Author of extraordinary capacity rendering his films a feast of diverse art forms, seamlessly merging to embellish the stories that he narrated. Like every ace narrator, he spoke his own story through his variegated works spread over a bewildering variety of media. Yet the narrations were inevitably illuminated by his interpretation of colliding values without blurring his own sympathy and ethical coordinate. Much of his moral landscape had been inherited from his ancestors who had had seminal contributions in the reimagining of middle class Bengali identity through the lens of humanists. He had picked up the rest from a variety of cultural ambiance and people whom he met in his formative age. OTHER RAY deals with both the incubation as well as the splendid flowering of Satyajit Ray not merely as a Filmmaker ranking among the immortals of world cinema but all the other notes as well that had blended in him to create an aesthetic symphony, with few peers, if any.
JAYDIP MUKKHERJEE is a renowned filmmaker, have been making documentaries and other genres of films for the last 35 years. His films have been selected thrice in the Indian Panorama in IFFIs, won UN-FAO Awards including his films’ participations in many important foreign film festivals over the years. His retrospective of films was organized at the White Chapel Art Gallery in London and by the Films Division, Ministry of I & B, Government of India at Nandan, Kolkata. His impotant documentaries include GAGANENDRANATH, STRINGS OF MELODIES : Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, PATHER PANCHALI: A LIVING RESONANCE, MILES TO GO (on marginalized child labourers) (for PSBT), BEGUMA PARVEEN SULTANA : The Queen of Melody (for Films Division), THOSE VILLAGES BREATHE HOCKEY (On Tribal hockey in India) (For Films Division), COLOURS OF DREAMS ( On Tagore’s Paintings), JAMINI RAY (For DDII, International Chanel), ART & ARTISTS OF SANTINIKETAN ( for DD BHARATI- 5 episodes), NABANEETA DEV SEN (For Sahitya Akademi), SHALOM : The Peace (On the Jewish Community of Kolkata) , OTHER RAY : Art of Satyajit Ray and so on. He has made films for Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of I & B, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of HRD, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Doordarshan National and DD Bharti, UGC-EMRC St. Xaviers’ College, Vidyasagar University etc. He is the media consultant to Uttar Banga Krishi Vishwavidyalaya (North Bengal Agricultural University) and a Guest Faculty in the Department of Journalism & Mass Communication, SRCMU, Jhargram. He is a regular article contributor on Cinema in leading Bengali dailies and periodicals. His publications include FILM-er PATHHSHALA : PRAK-CINEMAY SATYAJIT & CINEMANAMA (both in Bengali).
After the death of his father, Manish’s uncles start taking his life,s decisions. His journey leads him to a questionable point when he begins a secret love affair with a cousin and the family finds itself in the midst of another death.
Deepankar Prakash is an Indian film director and screenwriter. Deepankar made his directorial debut with the critically acclaimed film Mooso – The Mouse. He has also made a Hotstar Quix Original web-series called Crime Next Door. As a filmmaker, he is known for his award winning short films such as Masakkali, Kaagpanth, Podarok and Naked Voice.
Belonging to an isolated fishing community of the Loktak lake, Chaoren makes the best use of his exclusive existence by excelling in school. When the canoe he uses every day to attend school has to be sold off because of his father’s illness, his spirit is not dampened. He beats the long distance from his shanty floating hut to his school by swimming his way through. But when the Government issues an eviction notice demanding Chaoren’s family to leave their home, his dreams are left with an angst of a displaced person.
Romi Meitei is prolific filmmaker who has given several box-office hits. Besides notching up commercial successes, his films have been screened in prestigious film festival including IFFI, MIFF,IFFK and others. He is recipent of prestigeous FIPRESCI and NETPAC award. He has also received several Manipur State Film Awards. He is the Chairman of Mami Thawan Foundation which aims to render services for the welfare of Manipur.
Globalisation cannot be interrupted by anyone and is renewing itself everyday. For a developing nation like ours, this is necessary. But advancement and growth in the name of globalisation does rise a concern in our minds if this is harming mother nature and affecting our habitats ? Development induced displacement has impacted many levels of community based society like ours. The kitle and kin of displaced communities that once co-existed with nature for their livelihood are now faced with a big dilema and left wandering like flocks of birds migrating for their survival and identities. The sight of this unstable livelihood is overwhemling and I, as a human, would wish that development of any kind would have the sensibility to protect the essence of communities like ours and coexist sustainably with natural habitats.
Best Feature Film at MSFA 22, Manipur/India
Best Art Director at MSFA 22 Manipur/India
Best Child Artiste at MSFA 22 Manipur/India
Best Editor at MSFA 22 Manipur/India
Best Sound Design at MSFA 22 Manipur/India
FIPRESCI Award for the Best International Film at 27IFFK, Kerala/India
NETPAC Jury Special Mention at 27IFFK, Kerala/India
Best Director Award at Sailadhar Film Awards, Assam/India
Best Cinematography Award at Sailadhar Awards, Assam/India
Best Child Artiste Award at Sailadhar Awards, Assam/India