The India Habitat Centre (IHC) will be hosting Saluting Women Film Festival—a series of films focusing on women by director Lavlin Thadani, starting 5 March and ending on 8 March, which is International Women’s Day. Based on true life incidents, these films will be later screened on Doordarshan. “Most of these stories are real tales of grit and determination that women in our country have displayed in spite of enormous odds,” says Thadani. Not all are bleak accounts of dowry, immoral trafficking or sati. “Some are inspiring stories like the one in which a young girl fights with her family so that she is allowed pursue higher education. And the person who helps her in this fight is her grandmother,” says Thadani.
Though the series has 22 films (most of which are 27 minutes in length and four are an hour long), not all are edited yet and at the festival, only 16 will be showcased. Thadani, who is an alumni of the FTII, Pune, has produced and directed a number of films depicting the status of women in our society, quite a few of which were based on stories by late poet and author Amrita Pritam. Her works have been showcased at the Cannes Film Festival, the 5th Indo-American Arts Council Film Festival and the ReelheART International Film Festival in Toronto in June 2006.
For this series, Thadani and her team selected stories that were reported in the media. “We travelled extensively, conducted many interviews, some with the victims and some with people around them. Based on what we saw, we chose the stories that will have maximum impact on the rural audience, which is most likely to catch them on DD,” she says.
These are not documentaries or docu-dramas, but fictionalized accounts of real incidents. “We had to write the stories in such a way that they would appeal to our audience and yet put the point across.”
Passes available at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi