Bangalore Film Society

JUNE 10, 2007 SESSION 1: 10.00am to 11.15am

Film: The Beginning Dir: Parvez Imam Dur: 3min30sec The concept of buying and selling is turning almost everything into a commodity. And a thrifty, businessman decides to invest his bit on an ocean. This short fiction brings to life a powerful screenplay with merely three characters and the ocean.

Film: Al Otro Lado Dir: Natalia Almada Dur: 70min When you’re an aspiring Mexican singer trying to move up in life, you have two choices: traffic drugs or make an illegal cross over the border to the US. Set to the pulse of Mexico’s corrido music, the movie takes to the streets of Sinaloa Mexico all the way to L.A. through a hard-boiled network of drug trafficing, illegal immigrants and a fishing industry in decline, tracing the plight of those who dream to crossover to the other side.

SESSION 2: 11.30am to 1.30pm

Film: Loktak- The Dying lake of Manipur Dir: Aribam Shyam Sharma Dur: 58 minutes Director and Iconoclast Aribam Shyam Sharma, who in his long and esteemed career has been compared to the likes of Akira Kurosawa and Satyajit Ray, documents with compassion and anger the death throes of Manipur’s Lake Loktak and its inhabitants (which include the endangered dancing deer) brought on by the Manipur government’s plan to set up a hydroelectric power station with dreams of ‘progress’. Auteur Ariban Shyam Sharma will be present at the screening for an interactive session with the audience.

Film: The Rainy Season Dir: Isaac Pinhanta, Valdete Pinhanta, Tsirotsi Ashaninka, Llullu Manchineri, Maru Kaxinawá, Nelson Kulina, Fernando Katuquina and André Kanamari Dur: 38 min From the Indigenous Video Makers series from the Video in the Villages project in Brazil. A daily chronicle of the Ashaninka community during the rainy season recorded during a workshop in a village on the Amônia River in Acre. The involvement among the filmmakers and the Ashaninka community makes the film go beyond a mere description of activities, reflecting the rhythm of the village and the humor of its inhabitants.

SESSION 3: 2.00pm to 4.00pm

Film: Devil’s water Dir: Amirul Arham Dur: 53.10 min Winner of Best Documentary at the Terra Festival, ‘The Devil’s Water’ is Director Arham’s vivid record of the humanitarian catastrophe involving 49 million people in Bangadesh afflicted by the arsenic contaminated water they are forced to consume daily. Through the personal accounts of Asma and Najma, two girls affected by the contamination and Jamal, a scientist fighting against the effects of contamination; this film hopes to contribute to a vision of hope for a better future.

Film: Dui Paatan ke Beech Mein (Between The Devil and The Deep River) Dir: Arvind Sinha Dur: 65mins Director Arvind Sinha’s Swarna Kamal (President’s Gold Medal) winning documentary is an incisive indictment of the hypocrisy of ‘development models’ chosen and implemented by the governments only to ravage the land with man-made floods and reduce its inhabitants to poverty and disorientation. He also studies the coping mechanisms developed by the people, which over the years have become integral to their culture. And all the while, the government shamelessly continues to declare that all has been done in the name of “protecting people from the floods”. Winner of multiple National Awards and internationally acclaimed, Arvind Sinha is one of the most prominent documentary film-makers of the country and he will be present for an interactive session at the screening.

WATER VOICES: 4.15pm to 4.45pm Eklavya Prasad is a young modern development professional. Leading the Maegh Pyne Abhiyaan he has chosen Bihar as his ‘karma bhoomi’. Working with partners in the flood affected districts, he seeks solutions for peoples drinking water and sanitation needs. He also searches for livelihood opportunities for people on embankments whose lives are impacted by the floods of the Kosi and its tributaries.

SESSION 4: 4.45pm to 6.45pm

Film: Old Sea and the Man Dir: R.R. Srinivas Dur: 70mins Director R.R. Srinivasan brings out the tragedy of the post-tsunami ‘relief and rehabilitation’ efforts when a shameful circus of greed and manipulation is played out in the name of development. The film exposes the design of the state to forcibly relocate the fishing community from their pre-tsunami settlements that amounts to completely uprooting them from their livelihood while also bearing testament to the brave resilience of the coastal communities to not only recover from the devastation of the tsunami but the larger forces bent on disrupting their very existence. Radical and controversial film-maker R.R. Srinivasan will be present at the screening for an interactive session with the audience.

Film: Gharat Dir: Pankaj Rishi Kumar Dur: 41mins ‘Gharat’ celebrates the indigenous, traditional watermills of Garwhal, which have been around since as early the 7th century A.D. as the spirit and path to decentralized sustainable development. Director Pankaj Kumar, acclaimed film-maker and editor of ‘Bandit Queen’ narrates the triumphant story of Tau’s attempts to bring electricity to his house with a ‘gharat’ while critiquing the government’s excesses in the name of ‘progress’ like the ‘Tehri Hydel Project’.

WATER VOICES: 7.00pm to 7.30pm Premji is with an organisation called SAMTA. Based in Khagaria he has seen the Kosi and sisters rise up and fill the town with water as much as he has seen people on embankments living with snakes and scorpions. His has been a constant voice to plead their case. In times of emergency, to row with food and medical supplies, in other times to drain the waters so that cultivation can happen.

SESSION 5: 7.30pm to 9.30pm

CLOSING FILM: Bara Dir: M.S. Sathyu Dur: 120mins M.S. Sathyu’s classic Bara follows his idealist protagonist as he becomes a mere pawn caught in the intense political rivalry between the chief minister and a political aspirant that is played out in the times of drought and poverty. Local political rowdies instigate chaos. Everything from hiding rice and wheat from the starving public to violating women and igniting a communal war takes place. All this is done just to keep their bellies full at the cost of the poor people. The famine is used as an excuse for all of them to pursue their own personal goals. Director, playwright, screenwriter, cinematographer M.S. Sathyu who has given us films like Bara and Garam Hawa will be present at the screening for an interactive session with the audience.