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A film fest celebrating diversities of life

Organised by the National Trust, Brotherhood and United Nations Information Centre at Siri Fort, the movie festival is dedicated to documentary films on disability. Rashmi Aich tells us more...

entertainment Updated: Feb 06, 2009 13:38 IST
Rashmi Aich
Rashmi Aich
Hindustan Times

"If you go and see the highest of the mountains, bluest of the oceans or greenest of the meadows, nothing is more beautiful than what you have within you - your mind and thinking."

These golden words by Mr Sandeep Marwah, Director, Asian Academy for Film and Television, set the tone of the inauguration ceremony of the fifth We Care Film Fest commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights. Organised by the National Trust, Brotherhood and United Nations Information Centre at Siri Fort, the fest is dedicated to documentary films on disability.

The four day fest starting on Feb 4 till Feb 7 with the mission to celebrate diversities of the people with physical or mental impairments, has 29 entries from all around the world including countries like Israel, Philippines, Spain, United Kingdom and India.

The fest started with lamp enlightenment by the chief guest Nafisa Ali, Chairperson, Children's Film Society of India amidst the presence of other dignitaries including Shalini Diwan, Director, UN Information Centre, Kunal Verma, Director, Oxfam India and Sharad Dutt, Former Director General, Doordarshan to name a few. The ceremony featured two movies-a one minute documentary in tribute to the martyrs of 26/11. The other documentary from Manipur that lasted for half an hour was called Eigee Wari-The story of my life, titled on the name of the film's protagonist.

A truly inspirational real life story about the gymnast from a small village near Imphal, who became 80-90% disabled after breaking his spinal cord in an accident, defines the real meaning of courage. This man after being completely dependent on his family started writing poetry and stories holding the pen in his mouth. Although he won a lot of accolades and felicitation on the national level but never received any financial aid for his publications. So now Wari runs a boxing academy for the youth of Imphal which have won a lot of medals on the state level.

The surprise package of the inauguration ceremony was arrival of Gulzar Saifi whose documentary The Final Inch has been nominated for the Oscars this year. Saifi, who lost his lower limbs to polio at the age of six months, spoke at length with the audience and thanked his family for the support and love they have given him all his life to give him the confidence to move ahead in life inspite of his physical disabilities.

The fest is going to be taken to other cities in the country like Goa, Manipal University Karnataka and Chandigarh to spread the awareness about differently-abled people. The fest is aimed at diluting the demarcation of Us versus Them and changing society's mindset, thus it's a must watch for one and all.

First Published: Feb 05, 2009 21:44 IST