With International Women's Day around the corner, it's the perfect time for the 10th IAWRT Asian Women's Film Festival to find space on the cultural calendar of Delhi. When asked what, in her opinion, is the significance of this festival in the current socio-cultural milieu of Asian countries, especially India, where subjugation of women and inflicting violence upon them has become the norm.
Anupama Srinvasan, festival director, says, "We seek to showcase the creative expressions of women and celebrate the diversity in them. Not to see women as victims or the suppressed, but as intelligent, sensitive and imaginative artists who are exploring the world through the medium of cinema. There is a spirit of camaraderie at the festival, an effort to share one's work and interact with each other."
It is perhaps this strengthening of the bond among women, which will help serve as a uniting force and combat important social issues concerning women.
Over 60 films from 15 countries as varied as Iran, Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Israel, Lebanon, Myanmar, Russia, South Korea and the UK, will be screened. Some of the highlights are Sleepless Nights by Eliane Raheb - on the possibility of forgiveness after the civil war, My No-Mercy Home by South Korean filmmaker Aori - on a young woman's legal battle against her father in a case of child sexual abuse, and And the Unclaimed, by filmmaker Debalina - on the suicide of two lesbians. 26 filmmakers and sound artists will attend the festival to participate in post-screening discussions as well.
The festival concludes with a seminar titled, Hum Gunahgaar Auratein/We Sinful Women - which will probe into the lives of some artists and activists in South Asia, and how they survived in the repressive, violent settings of suicide bombing, drone attacks and ruthless militarism in different names and guises, and came up with the work they have done.
The festival will be held from March 5-7 at India International Centre, from 10.30 am onwards.