Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Query from London, Indian documentary online

Fathima Nizaruddin wrote
I am Fathima and currently I am doing a postgraduate course in Documentary in London. I was planning to work on Indian documentaries, but it is very difficult to get access to Indian documentaries here. While sifting through internet, I came across your blog which was very helpful. Could you please tell me if I can watch Indian documentaries online?I went to Vikalp but, there was some access problems. Unesco media platform also had some films. I am looking for films of Amar Kanwar and also for the documentary 'Eyes of Stone'
And here's what I commented:
Copying your mail to the Docuwallahs2 network, which I would invite you to join. It's at [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/docuwallahs2] I do not think most documentary films are shared online, mainly because either bandwidth is still costly to access here or because documentary film-makers are still grappling with questions of how they could build a revenue model for their work. My blog unfortunately hasn't been updated regularly, and I would have been happy if it could have been converted into a group-blog on documentary film. It is possible to get in touch with documentary film-makers and buy fairly-priced copies of their work. But you're right -- maybe there is the need for a centralised database, that tells us (i) who has created what film (ii) where it is available (iii) on what terms.
This is Stalin's reply:
Glad to know that you are researching Indian documentaries. I am sure a lot of filmmakers will write back on this list with details of the films they have made. This list carries announcements of film screenings, festivals etc and that will be a good way for you to know about new films and also to get in touch with them. I suggest you subscribe to this e-group. If you are looking for specific films or films by specific film makers, your search will be far easier. You may contact Amar Kanwar at amarkanwar@gmail.com. Some of the other groups and people you can contact for info on Indian docus: Delhi Film Archive [DFA] Magic Lantern Foundation, New Delhi Pedestrian Pictures, Bangalore Amudhan R.P., Madurai Third Eye, Thrissur, C Saratchandran: sarat.thirdeye@gmail.com I am pasting below brief synopsis of three of the 14 odd films I have made. Let me know if any of these interest you. All the best. In harmony, Stalin K. www.videovolunteers.org ----------- INDIA UNTOUCHED- Stories of a People Apart 108 minutes. 2007. Hindi, Bhojpuri, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalm with English sub-titles “India Untouched” will make it impossible for anyone in India to deny that Untouchability is still practiced today. The film is perhaps the most comprehensive look at caste oppression ever undertaken on film. Director Stalin K. spent four years traveling the length and breadth of the country to bear witness to the continued exclusion of Dalits, who bear the weight of a 4000 year-old religious system. From the campus of JNU, to medieval villages just outside our metropolises, this film exposes Untouchability in eight states and across four religions. The film’s canvas is stretches from Manu to matrimonial columns. In an age where the media projects only one image of a Rising India and urges the public to dismantle the reservation system, this film reminds us how far we are from being an equal society. Awards: Silver Dhow, Zanzibar International Film Festival, July 2008 Golden Conch, Best Documentary, Mumbai International Film Festival, February 2008 Best Film of the Festival, Mumbai International Film Festival, February 2008 Best Documentary, Mahindra IAAC Film Festival, New York, November 2007 Best Film, One Billion Eyes Film Festival, Chennai, India, August 2007 Gujarat-A Work In Progress 35 minutes. English. 2002 Since the 5th day of the genocidal carnage in Gujarat we have extensively documented hundreds of witness account of the attack in Ahmedabad. This film is a work in progress and was put together to be presented to the National Human Rights Commission as a video report when it first visited the state to enquire into the carnage on 20th March 2002. The film exposes the modus operandi of the attack Lesser Humans 59 minutes. Gujarati with English. 1998 50 years of Independence have not changed the lives of the Bhangis in Gujarat, who even today continue the profession prescribed to them by the caste system -- manually disposing human excreta. This film investigates the factors responsible for the continuance of this often banned inhuman practice. · Excellence Award, Earth Vision Film Festival, Tokyo, 1999 · Best Film, New Delhi Video Festival, 1999 · Silver Conch, 5th Mumbai International Film Festival, 1998 · Special Mention, Amnesty International Film Festival, Amsterdam, 1998

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