DELHI: A festival of 12 non-fiction films from South
Asia covering a wide range of subjects from piracy and
copyright issues to Indias agrarian crises, labour
migrants and natural disasters will be screened in a
four-day Travelling Films South Asia 2010
festival here this week.
The festival encapsulates a flavour of the subcontinent
with films from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, India,
Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Tibet Autonomous
Organised by India International Centre here in collaboration
with Himal Southasian (a magazine published from Nepal)
of Kathmandu, the Festival will be held from 29 August
to 1 September. All the films are subtitled in English.
The Festival will open with an introduction by FSA Director
NayanTara Gurung Kakshapati. The opening film is Kerosene
(Sri Lanka; 16 min; 2011; English & with subtitles)
by Kannan Arunasalam on how taxi drivers and newspapermen
had to deal with shortage of kerosene following embargoes
during the war with Tamil Tigers.
festival includes three award winners at Film South
Asia Festival 2011, Kathmandu, as well as other films
selected to showcase the variety, treatment and intensity
that marks the world of South Asian documentaries.
The winners of the Film South Asia Festival 2011 include
Nargis: When Time Stopped Breathing (Myanmar; 90 min;
2010; English subtitles) by Kyaw Kyaw Oo and Muang
Myint Aung is about Cyclone Nargis which raged for
hours in May 2008 in Myanmars Ayeyarwaddy Delta,
killing 140,000 people. The filmmakers recorded scenes
that touched them such as rain-drenched survivors
searching for wood and nails in the mud to build a
roof over their heads.
to the directors, Our images reflect our own
feelings as much as those of the people we met; we
have carefully woven these emotions into an intimate
and poetic film. The film won the Special Jury
The Truth That Wasnt There (Sri Lanka/UK; 84
min; 2011; English with subtitles) by Guy Gunaratne
won the Second Best Film Award. It is about three
student journalists who crossed the frontlines in
the wake of Sri Lankas civil war in 2009, becoming
the only independent journalists to have done so.
They witnessed the trail of destruction and documented
everything they saw on 30 hours of tape and over 4000
The Festival will also screen Journey to Yarsa (Nepal;
65 min; 2011; English subtitles) by Dipendra Bhandari
which is winner of the Tareque Masud Best Debut Film
Award. It is the story of a man in search of yarsagumba,
a fungus that grows out of caterpillars in the high
Himalaya, and is much prized for its medicinal properties
The Indian films include Neros Guests (56 min;
2009; English) by Deepa Bhatia which won the top award
of the Indian Documentary Producers Association. It
is a very dark picture of the governments failure
in the face suicides by nearly 200, 000 farmers over
the last 10 years and the daunting task undertaken
by one journalist, the rural-affairs editor of The
Hindu newspaper P Sainath, to awaken the government
Another Indian film is Dharavi, Slum for Sale (79
min; 2010; English) by Lutz Konermann about arguably
the worlds largest slum, Dharavi, in Mumbai,
where thousands are facing eviction.
Cowboys in India (India; 76 min; 2009; English) by
Simon Chambers is about the evils perpetrated by the
London-based mining company Vedanta Resources in rural
India through a story.
in Crime (India; 94 min; 2011; English) by Paromita
Vohra is about video and music piracy and violation
of copyright. When more than three fourths of those
with an Internet connection download all sorts of
material for free, are they living out a brand new
cultural freedom, but are they criminals?
Pakistani film is The Search for Justice (28 min;
2011) by Tehmina Ahmed and investigates the state
of labour laws and courts in Pakistan, exposing flaws
in the system and recommending possible solutions.
Tres Triste Tigres (Three Sad Tigers) from Bangladesh
(15 min; 2010) by David Munoz is the story of middlemen
exploiting those who seek to travel abroad to escape
The Afghan film I Was Worth 50 Sheep (72 min; 2010)
by Nima Sarvestani is the story of a girl who had
been sold to a man 40 years her senior but escaped.
The Nepalese film is Saving Dolma (62 min; 2010) by
Kesang Tseten which, through the story of a Nepali
maid Dolma convicted for murder, provides a rare glimpse
into the fractured lives of ill-prepared women migrant
workers in the Gulf States.