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An engagement with contemporary political films

Ever since its inception in 2008, Persistence Resistance has been seen as a film festival that ignites the common man's mind through the diverse films and conversations that form part of it.

art and culture Updated: Feb 03, 2012 23:28 IST
Shreya Sethuraman

Ever since its inception in 2008, Persistence Resistance has been seen as a film festival that ignites the common man's mind through the diverse films and conversations that form part of it.

It was started by a group of film lovers, associated with the Magic Lantern Foundation (MLF), a non-profit group working with culture and human rights, as a film festival that would challenge and question the understanding of contemporary political films.

The festival in its previous years has focussed on South Asia, brought together films that lie on borderlines, and has been to London last year. This year, it will present a selection of rare films from the archive of the Deutsche Film-Aktiengesellschaft, Germany, and also pay a tribute to India's first press photographer, Homai Vyarawalla, by filmmaker Sabeena Gadihoke.

Mayank Mathur, project coordinator, MLF, says, "People have usually associated documentaries with boring things. We want to make people aware that the genre of independent documentaries actually exists."

Independent non-fiction filmmaker Amlan Dutta, whose film Bom - aka One Day Ahead Of Democracy (about an ancient civilisation being invaded by modern democracy) will be screened this year says, "There's hardly anyone in India for independent documentary filmmakers. We need festivals that provide a platform for them".

He adds says that there are few independent filmmakers in India, i.e., whose sustenance is making films. "For them, such festivals are a blessing in disguise."

Some of the themes that Persistence Resistance will focus on are debates on healthcare, information policy, freedom of speech and expression, democracy and governance. This year, the festival will be conducted at four different venues across Delhi, as opposed to a single venue until last year.

Watch out for Sameera Jain's My Own City, the experience of a gendered urban landscape of Delhi, Deepa Bhatia's Nero's Guests, a conversation with noted journalist P Sainath on the growing agrarian crisis in India, and a series of six animation films by graphic novelist Sarnath Banerjee.