Monday, August 29, 2005

A film-makers network being planned in India

Pankaj Gupta of Delhi (his email address says "Lodhi Road") is forwarding a note announcing plans for an Indian grassroots film-makers broadcasters' network. Rahul Kumar of One World South Asia reports that Indian grassroots filmmakers and non governmental organisations (NGOs) plan
to form a grassroots broadcasters network "to spread awareness on developmental and social issues confronting rural India using videos and films. At a seminar -- using video for development -- organized on Wednesday ((August 24, 2005) by OneWorld South Asia (OWSA), Video SEWA (Self Employed Women's Association) and the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), NGOs decided to harness the power of films, shot by rural folk, women and people at the grassroots level, for creating awareness people's issues. The seminar celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Gujarat-based Video SEWA, an organisation that works for and mobilizes marginalised women, which has used films for advocating the rights of small shopkeepers, hawkers and vendors. Participants said since video is an audio-visual medium, it influences people strongly therefore it can be effectively used for awareness, sensitization and empowerment in rural communities.
This report also refers to the New Delhi-based The Centre for Civil Society. One page of its 2004 film festival is here
New Delhi-based CCS holds documentary film festivals and invites video/films on livelihoods, red tapism and governmental policies that exclude the urban poor. Its documentary film festival 'Jeevika' creates a platform for amateurs and grassroots film producers to showcase their creativity. Manali Shah from CCS said: "The protagonists in our films are rickshaw pullers, hawkers, street food-stall owners and similar other workers of the informal sector. We focus on how government policies and the licence raj exploits these workers and almost prevents them from earning a livelihood."

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