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Thought-provoking Indian shorts at IAWRT Asian Women's Film Festival

The festival, dedicated to showcasing films made by Asian women, has a special section on short films from India.

A still from Chashm, an animated short film by Kshipra Dhavle

Sukhpreet Kahlon

The 14th edition of IAWRT India's Asian Women's Film Festival is being held at the India International Centre, New Delhi, from 5-7 March 2018. Dedicated to showcasing films made by Asian women, the festival includes specially curated sections, including one on short films from India.

Ranging from animation to fiction, the films in the package deal with various issues and themes, succinctly portraying different experiences.

The first film to be screened in the package will be Sudha Padmaja Francis’s Eye Test, a short fiction film which poignantly captures the mother-daughter relationship in an unconventional manner. Visiting an eye clinic for a routine checkup, the protagonist reminisces about the moments spent with her mother as she revisits her mother’s struggles in bringing up the daughter.

Kshipra Dhavle’s animation film Chashm also evokes the idea of seeing as it conjures up the life of an old man selling cutlery and other odds and ends at his stall. He is missing one eye and the film transports us to the unfortunate incident that caused the accident and transformed his life. Despite this, he finds hope in an unexpected way.

The next film in the package, Keh Sakte Hain Hum, an animation short directed by Ragini Ranjana, is a degree project taken under IDC, IIT Bombay. Guided by Prof Shilpa Ranade, the film is a 2.5D animated film which looks at the need to talk about menstruation. Though it is a natural physiological process, there is tremendous stigma attached to speaking about menstruation. The film attempts to initiate the discussion and find ways of speaking about it.

The experimental Ammakayi by Ashitha Nair looks at a young girl's struggle with loneliness as she is taken away from her grandmother, who had been her primary nurturer. She finds ways to connect with her mother and in the process goes through her mother's medical book about childbirth, which changes her thoughts.

Looking Through The Fence by Akanksha Gupta and Vasuki Chandak centres on a common gate between two colonies. Through this gate, the film opens up questions of security, the idea of surveillance, and the extent to which an ordinary gate can occupy the imagination of a community.

The last film in the package, Paper, is an animation short that addresses environmental concerns. Produced by St Xavier’s College, Kolkata, the film captures how every moment of our lives involves paper in some way or the other.

The Indian Shorts package will be screened at IAWRT India's Asian Women's Film Festival at the India International Centre, New Delhi, on 7 March at 5:25 pm and will include a post-screening discussion with the filmmakers.

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IAWRT Asian Women's Film Festival