FSA 2007

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Film Southasia ’07, the sixth holding of the FSA festival of Southasian documentaries, was held in Kathmandu, 11-15 October 2007. The festival was a success with an audience of over 9,000 people over four days in two consecutive screenings in a commercial duplex cinema. FSA ’07 fulfilled its objective of being the forum to showcase the best documentaries made on Southasian subjects over the two previous years. The festival also brought together in Kathmandu filmmakers from all over Southasia to watch and discuss Southasian non-fiction films, and to promote the culture of watching documentaries. Specifically, the Kathmandu audience which had been groomed into an ever-larger number of non-fiction connossieurs was once again lifted to great heights through the variety and concerns available on the two large screens of FSA ’07. It is worth recalling that while FSA has now been around for a decade, its parent organization, the Himal Association, has been organizing film festivals with particular focus on documentaries since 1994.

FSA ’07 saw a tremendous increase in the number of films submitted for screening compared to previous Film Southasia events. From an average of 140 films in the past festivals, this year we received a record number of 280 films – from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. In particular, FSA ’07 witnessed a significant rise in the number of films submitted from Sri Lanka and Nepal as compared to past editions.

Of the 48 films screened at the main festival, 45 films were in the competition, and three were in the non-competitive section as special invitees of the FSA selection panel. The directors of 25 films represented their work at the festival, significant in itself because the festival generally does not pay for travel of filmmakers to the venue. The filmmakers presented their works to the Kathmandu audience, and were also available for discussions and Q&As after the screenings. Members of the audience also got the opportunity to interact with them informally at the venue.

Jury Citation

Jury Members: Saeed Mirza (Chair), Farjad Nabi, Kedar Sharma

It has been said so many times that no one believes it now, but never has it been more true, that the jury of FSA 07 had a very difficult task in selecting the films for the final awards. Let it be said that it is the most unenviable task for any filmmaker to end up in for we saw something special in each film we had the pleasure of viewing and often found ourselves wishing for more categories in order to recognise the wonderful films we had shortlisted. Read more..

  • 6 Yards to Democracy
    Year 2006  
    Length 55'  
    Directed by
    Nishita Jain,Smriti Nevatia
    Language
    Hindi

    At a political event in Lucknow that was promising free saris, a gruesome stampede kills 22 women and injures many others. This seemingly stray incident hints at the sordid side of Indian democracy, but also goes deeper, to explore the daily humiliations forced upon these women and their families.

  • A Human Question
    Year 2006  
    Length 53'  
    Directed by
    T Jayashree
    Language
    English,German

    Against a backdrop of the global struggle to make HIV/AIDS drugs more affordable and available, A Human Question looks at how international patent law is interfering with India's attempts to market generic drugs.

  • Tareque Masud Award For Best Debut Film
    A Life with Slate
    Year 2006  
    Length 59'  
    Directed by
    Dipesh Kharel
    Language
    Thami

    In a mountain village east of Kathmandu, the harsh lives of Thami slate-miners take on almost poetic dimensions. We learn how to separate slate slabs from the precipitous rock faces.

  • A Very British Bollywood
    Year 2005  
    Length 59'  
    Directed by
    Anthony Wonke
    Language
    English

    Following the UK government's decision to begin offering tax incentives to foreign filmmakers, an Indian film crew arrives in Britain to work on a series of very un-Bollywood productions: erotic comedies.

  • Ayodhya Gatha
    Year 2007  
    Length 62'  
    Directed by
    Vani Subramanian
    Language
    English,Hindi

    For two decades now, the destruction of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya has influenced national events in India. But beyond the symbolism that the Uttar Pradesh town holds for the rest of the country, how has that event affected life in Ayodhya...

  • Bahurupia (Multiple Roles)
    Year 2007  
    Length 25'  
    Directed by
    Rappai Poothokaren
    Language
    Hindi,Gujurati

    Bahurupia pays tribute to India's versatile, itinerant actors who over the centuries provided entertainment to kings, courts and the masses. These people were not only gifted actors, script-writers, costume designers, make-up men and directors

  • Bare
    Year 2006  
    Length 12'  
    Directed by
    Santana Issar
    Language
    Eglish

    Piecing together nostalgic home videos shot by her family two decades ago, coupled with current telephone conversations with various family members, Bare follows the filmmaker's attempt to define her relationship...

  • Between the Lines
    Year 2005  
    Length 95'  
    Directed by
    Thomas Wartmann
    Language
    English,Hindi

    Following a photographer's attempt to capture the lives of a hijra community in Mumbai, Between the Lines offers viewers a dramatically intimate and rounded look into the complex existence of some individuals.

  • Bhangon (Erosion)
    Year 2006  
    Length 60'  
    Directed by
    Sourav Sarangi
    Language
    Bengali

    In West Bengal, the banks all along the Ganga/Padma are eroding at an unprecedented rate. More than 600 sq km of this densely populated region is on the brink of disappearing, threatening to render more than 600,000 people homeless.

  • Bostrobalikara: Garment Girls of Bangladesh
    Year 2007  
    Length 60'  
    Directed by
    Tanvir Mokammel
    Language
    Bengali

    The chances are high that the jeans and t-shirts in your closet were made in Bangladesh. Indeed, over three decades the country has emerged as a major player in the global apparel market, an industry that runs almost entirely on the shoulder of female labor - bastrobalikara.

  • Casting Shadows
    Year 2007  
    Length 25'  
    Directed by
    Nayantara Kotian
    Language
    Hindi

    Set in the heart of the B-grade movie industry in Mumbai, Casting Shadows follows the life, professional and otherwise, of an actor whose sole job is to imitate Amitabh Bachchan.

  • Chaama Deu! Tara Nabirsa! (Forgive! Forget Not!)
    Year 2007  
    Length 52'  
    Directed by
    Pranay Limbu
    Language
    Nepali

    This experimental documentary is the narrated story of a journalist who was detained inside Kathmandu's infamous Bhairabnath Barracks for 15 months. It provides a mirror to the terrible times just past in Nepal, during the 'people's war' and the state's reaction to the Maoist insurgency.

  • Chhoue Dance of Purulia
    Year 2006  
    Length 39'  
    Directed by
    Dhananjoy Mandal
    Language
    English,Bengali

    Chhou, the masked folk dance performed in Purulia District, is an art set within a powerful idiom of vigorous moves, pirouettes and summersaults.

  • Ram Bahadur Trophy For Best Film
    Eisenfresser (Ironeater)
    Year 2007  
    Length 85'  
    Directed by
    Shaheen Dill-Riaz
    Language
    English,Bangla

    The annual famine in northern Bangladesh forces two farmers, Kholil and Gadu, along with several of their relatives, to leave their homes and go to work as seasonal labourers in the ship-breaking yards far to the south.

  • Every Good Marriage Begins with Tears
    Year 2006  
    Length 62'  
    Directed by
    Simon Chambers
    Language
    English,Bengali

    A moving account of two rebellious Bangladeshi sisters, born and raised in London, who are forced to go back to their parents' motherland for arranged marriages.

  • Eviction
    Year 2006  
    Length 11'  
    Directed by
    Grady Walker
    Language
    English,Nepali

    More than a hundred thousand Bhutani refugees have now survived in limbo in the camps of southeastern Nepal for more than a decade and a half.

  • From Dust
    Year 2005  
    Length 60'  
    Directed by
    Dhruv Dhawan
    Language
    English,Sinhalese

    Filmed following the devastating 2004 Tsunami, this is a damning expose of the Colombo government's ulterior motives during the course of disaster relief. The local survivors have ultimately been prevented from rebuilding their homes along the coastline, while developers eye the lucrative beaches...

  • Gaubolomb (Our Island)
    Year 2007  
    Length 29'  
    Directed by
    Kaushik Gupta Ray
    Language
    English

    A uniquely detailed look at the hunter-gatherers of the Andaman and Nicobar islands, Gaubolomb also offers a wider rumination on the story of 'civilisation' and its sometimes disastrous march over the planet.

  • Hami Kunako Manche (We Corner People)
    Year 2006  
    Length 50'  
    Directed by
    Kesang Tsetan
    Language
    Nepali

    An at times haunting look at a village in Rasuwa District, north of Kathmandu - in ravines beyond which no settlement lies. The inhabitants call themselves people placed at the corner: their backs against the wall, without electricity, roads, health posts, and lacking even a single shop...

  • Hope Dies Last in War
    Year 2007  
    Length 80'  
    Directed by
    Supriyo Sen
    Language
    English,Hindi

    Almost is nothing is known of the 54 Indian soldiers taken prisoners of war by Pakistan during the war of 1971. Some parents have died waiting for them to return, some spouses have remarried, some children have lost hope.

  • In Search Of a Road
    Year 2006  
    Length 82'  
    Directed by
    Dharmsena Pathiraja
    Language
    English,Tamil,Sinhala

    This road-movie-turned-documentary looks at the conditions of two of Sri Lanka's main transportation arteries: the northern railway line and the A-9 highway. These two routes not only parallel one another from the island's south to north, but have also followed each other through a hundred years of social evolution.

  • Inside the Kalari
    Year 2007  
    Length 20'  
    Directed by
    Ian McDonald
    Language
    English

    In this lyrical, atmospheric and joyfully colourful film, we go into a traditional kalari, in Thiruvananthapuram. Inside, we get a close-up look at the highly disciplined adherents of Kalarippayattu, Kerala's fast-paced, rhythmic martial art, which focuses on the aestheticised movement of the body.

  • Jashn-E-Azaddi (How We Celebrate Freedom)
    Year
    Length 139'  
    Directed by
    Sanjay Kak
    Language
    English,Kashmiri,Urdu

    It's 15 August, the day India celebrates its Independence from the British, and the tricolour ritually goes up in the heart of Srinagar. But the empty streets and sullen silence on the streets introduce us to the decades-old questions about freedom and its denial.

  • Khayal Darpan (A Mirror of Imagination)
    Year 2006  
    Length 105'  
    Directed by
    Yousuf Saeed
    Language
    Urdu,Hindi

    A Delhi-based filmmaker spends half a year travelling across Pakistan, trying to understand how the state of Hindostani classical music has fared after 1947 and Partition.

  • Living Goddess
    Year 2007  
    Length 96'  
    Directed by
    Ishbel Whitaker
    Language
    Nepali,Newari

    Three kumaris, living goddesses, of Kathmandu Valley go about their ritualised lives against the backdrop of the agitations that marked the April 2006 People's Movement. Long sought for annual blessings by Nepal's monarchy, the Kumaris suddenly finds themselves caught amidst a fight to define the country's future.

  • Mast Qalandar
    Year 2005  
    Length 30'  
    Directed by
    Till Passow
    Language
    Urdu

    According to Sufi belief, a mast is someone in a state of ecstasy, absorbed in an inner rhythm of meditation and trance while involved a personal search for spiritual love.

  • Mayana Kurippugal (Notes from the Crematorium)
    Year 2005  
    Length 25'  
    Directed by
    Amudhan RP
    Language
    Tamil

    A surprisingly uplifting look at the Madurai Central Crematorium, Mayana Kurippugal follows Dalit workers tasked with performing the final rites for those who are unable to afford a funeral.

  • Motherland Afghanistan
    Year 2006  
    Length 74'  
    Directed by
    Sedika Mojadidi
    Language
    English

    The filmmaker follows her father, who specialises in women's medicine, back to Afghanistan, where one in seven women dies during childbirth. Motherland Afghanistan takes in two different trips, one to a maternity ward in Kabul, and the other to a rural hospital in Ghazni.

  • Moustaches Unlimited
    Year 2006  
    Length 27'  
    Directed by
    Vasudha Joshi
    Language
    English,Hindi,Bengali

    At once comical and informative, this exploration of the phenomenon of moustaches in India answers a host of questions that many viewers will have long wanted to ask, as well as several they may not have even considered.

  • Nar Narman
    Year 2007  
    Length 27'  
    Directed by
    Mazhar Zaidi
    Language
    English,Urdu

    Urdu's first openly gay poet of modern times, Chicago-based Iftikhar Naseem, talks about his life, his love for poetry and for Pakistan.

  • No More Tears Sister
    Year 2005  
    Length 78'  
    Directed by
    Helene Klodawksy
    Language
    English,Tamil

    A story of love, revolution and betrayal, No More Tears Sister explores the price of truth in times of war. Set in the midst of Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict, the film brings alive the courageous life of human-rights activist Rajani Thiranagama, assassinated at the age of 35 in Jaffna.

  • One Way
    Year 2007  
    Length 14'  
    Directed by
    Ayisha Abraham
    Language
    Hindi

    There is an unusual labour migration that happens from the western Nepal district of Bajhang to the city of Bangalore. Set in the underground parking lot of a Bangalore apartment building, One Way follows the livelihood of one such chowkidaar from Bajhang, Shyam Bahadur.

  • Ordinary Lives
    Year 2005  
    Length 38'  
    Directed by
    Sheetal S Agrawal
    Language
    English,Hindi

    Set in a Mumbai slum, Ordinary Lives follows the lives of a family of ten, living in a 180-square-foot shanty.

  • Outsourced!
    Year 2006  
    Length 49'  
    Directed by
    Anna Carter,Safina Uberoi
    Language
    English,Hindi

    While following the lives of four women working at a call centre in Gurgaon, Outsourced also tracks their ongoing battles with counterpart workers in the West, for jobs in globalisation's new frontier.

  • Prakash Traveling Cinema
    Year 2006  
    Length 14'  
    Directed by
    Megha Lakhani
    Language
    Hindi

    Capturing the long-ago days of Hindi cinema, the allegorical film follows two friends who own and operate a cart-mounted 'bioscope' film projector.

  • Rabba Hun Kee Kariye (Thus Departed Our Neighbors)
    Year 2007  
    Length 65'  
    Directed by
    Ajay Bhardwaj
    Language
    Punjabi

    Rabba Hun Kee Kariye (Thus Departed our Neighbours) trails a shared history of Punjab - a subcontinental culture, language and a way of life- that was torn asunder in the fateful year of 1947.

  • FSA Award for Second Best FIlm
    Remembrance of Things Present
    Year 2007  
    Length 81'  
    Directed by
    Chandra Siddan
    Language
    English,Kannada

    How is a teenager supposed to deal with an arranged marriage? How does one resolve the conflict of a displaced life after years of nomadic existence abroad? In Remembrance of Things Present, the filmmaker, now living in Canada, returns to Bangalore to confront her parents with the former question

  • Seven Islands and a Metro
    Year 2006  
    Length 100'  
    Directed by
    Madhusree Dutta
    Language
    English,Marathi,Urdu,Hindi,Bombayia

    This is a tale of three cities, Bom Bahia, Bombay and Mumbai. Through an exhilarating tapestry of fiction, cinema verite, art objects, found footage, sound installation and literary texts, Seven Islands and a Metro chronicles the journey of an insignificant settlement to the coveted stature of 'metropolis'.

  • Shame
    Year 2006  
    Length 95'  
    Directed by
    Mohammed Naqvi
    Language
    English,Urdu

    In 2002, in a remote village in Pakistan, 30-year-old Mukhtaran Mai's life changed forever, when the local tribal council imposed a punishment on her for a crime allegedly committed by her younger brother.

  • Sikhi (The Fire)
    Year 2006  
    Length 40'  
    Directed by
    Ramachandran K
    Language
    Malayalam

    An entrancing look at Koodiyattam, the world's oldest surviving form of theatre, which was created some 1800 years ago in Kerala. Sikhi pays particular attention to Nangiarkoothu, Koodiyattam's feminine counterpart, created around 1200 years ago

  • Tales from the Margins
    Year 2006  
    Length 23'  
    Directed by
    Kavita Joshi
    Language
    English,Manipuri

    Twelve women take off their clothes on the streets of Imphal, in protest. For six years, a young Manipuri woman has been on a protest fast, demanding justice, even while she remains under arrest and the authorities forcibly feed through a line.

  • The Last Dance
    Year 2006  
    Length 11'  
    Directed by
    Ashima Narain
    Language
    English

    Indian law is supposed to afford the Sloth Bear the highest possible protection, on par with the Royal Bengal Tiger. Yet a centuries-old form of entertainment 'bear dancing ' continues to create a market for the poaching and subsequent inhumane treatment of these majestic animals.

  • The Miseducation of Pakistan
    Year 2005  
    Length 30'  
    Directed by
    Syed Ali Nasir
    Language
    English

    Schools with no teachers, no buildings, no drinking water, no electricity, and overflowing with garbage - this is what so many students of public schools in Pakistan can look forward to.

  • Tareque Masud Award For Best Debut Film
    The Sky Below
    Year 2007  
    Length 75'  
    Directed by
    Sara Singh
    Language
    English

    The Sky Below paints a contemporary portrait of the India-Pakistan 'mind-frontier', six decades after the two were parted. Singh explores the lingering commonalities, as well as the remaining possibilities for reconciliation based on the countries' interwoven histories, cultures and faiths.

  • Village of Dust, City of Water
    Year 2006  
    Length 28'  
    Directed by
    Sanjay Barnela
    Language
    English,Hindi

    Hopes buried in the concrete of a failed canal; a parched well now used only for storing water; an entire generation displaced by a big dam; a village forced to eat grass after years of drought; a posh party that drenches affluent merrymakers with artificial rain.

  • Where's Sandra?
    Year 2005  
    Length 18'  
    Directed by
    Paromita Vohra
    Language
    English

    Everyone in Mumbai has grown up hearing about her, but where, and who, is 'Sandra', from Bandra? Taking off from these questions, the camera wanders through this suburb of Mumbai, with its Catholic population, looking for the namesake vixen...

  • Words in Stone
    Year 2005  
    Length 22'  
    Directed by
    Akhila Krishnan
    Language
    Hindi

    Despite the dramatic impact that Wali Gujarati had on the Urdu language, as the first poet to begin writing ghazals in the language, he had been almost forgotten - until his tomb was destroyed in the 2002 riots in Ahmedabad.

  • Writings on the Wall
    Year 2007  
    Length 24'  
    Directed by
    Angad Bhalla,Siddhartha Luther
    Language
    English,Hindi,Tamil

    A journey beneath the surface of India's vibrant film-poster art scene, Writings on the Wall follows three men who display their many hopes on their city's public walls and billboards, for all to see.

 

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  • Some photos from the #fsa2017 closing ceremony on Sunday. Photos by: Katha Haru

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  • Congratulations to all the winners from #fsa2017!

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  • We are grateful to ALL who made Film Southasia 2017 happen. It was a mighty, collaborative and transformative experience for all involved, staff, volunteers, partners, filmmakers and audience members. Thank you, thank you, thank you! #fsa2017

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  • Getting ready for the closing show and ceremony! Only one hour left...get your ticket before the run out. #fsa2017

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