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Documentary Bears Witness: Travelling Film South Asia 2018: A Festival of South Asian Documentaries

India International Centre and Film South Asia, Kathmandu in collaboration with New Imaginations: Jindal School of Journalism and Communications, O.P. Jindal Global University will be presenting the Documentary Bears Witness: Travelling Film South Asia 2018 – a festival of films from 1 to 4 August 2018. The festival presents 12 exceptional non-fiction productions made in South Asia in the last two years, selected from the prestigious bi-annual festival “Film South Asia” held in November 2017 in Kathmandu.

This year’s edition of Travelling Film South Asia 2018 (TFSA) reflects the historical legacy of documenting the current affairs that shape the life of people living in the region and the diverse stories of South Asians through films from Afghanistan, Burma, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The package includes award winners at Film South Asia 2017 as well as other international recognized films selected to showcase the variety, treatment and intensity that marks the world of Southasian documentary and non-fiction. Films from India include, Hardik Mehta’s Amdavad Ma Famous recipient of National Film Award for Best Non-Fiction Film 2015 and the Golden Conch at the 14th Mumbai International Film Festival 2016; Fireflies in the Abyss directed by Chandrasekhar Reddy, recipient of the Award for Best Long Documentary, International Documentary & Short Film Festival, Kerala 2016 which presents a hard hitting look at the ‘rat-hole’ mining in the Jaintia Hills of Northeast India; Rasan Piya by Niharika Popli which delineates the extraordinary story of musician, poet and teach Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan who until his death at the age of 107 years continued to compose, teach, travel and perform across India. Leena Manimekalai’s Is it too Much to Ask follows the journey of two transgender women looking for an apartment to rent in Chennai; while The Shepherdess of the Glacier – a stunningly lensed documentary focuses on a self – sufficient woman and her world of icy loneliness. The closing film of the festival Soz: A Ballad of Maladies directed by Tushar Madhav and Sarvnik Kaur unveils the transformed cultural fabric of the Kashmir valley in a journey through the metamorphoses of its traditional poetry and music into the contemporary art forms of resistance such as hip hop.

International films to be screened include from Sri Lanka, Jude Ratnam’s much acclaimed Demons in Paradise – a first – hand account by a Tamil filmmaker living in Sri Lanka about the 26-year-old civil war; 32 Souls by Burmese filmmaker Sai Naw Kham is a quietly poetic work on the rhythms of daily life, of mortality, and the persistence of memory in Myanmar; Among the Believersfrom Pakistan is about charismatic cleric Abdul Aziz Ghazi, an ISIS supporter and Taliban ally, on his quest to create an Islamic utopia in Pakistan; multiple award-winning director, Kesang Tseten’sTrembling Mountain records the dwindled Langtang community’s response to the April 2015 earthquake, even as it tackles other societal changes; while Overruled from Afghanistan weaves a poignant story of the lives and hopes of young Afghan refugees working in tennis clubs in Iran.

As part of the festival, there will be an interactive session on Documentary as Protest on 4 August 2018 at 5 pm. Some of the filmmakers will be present to personally introduce their films and lead discussions after.

Entry to the screenings is open to all and without passes or invitations.

Date: 1st-4th August, 2018

Time: 6.00pm

Venue: India International Centre