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A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness

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Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, a famous Pakistani filmmaker, has won her second Academy Award, making her the first Pakistani to win two Oscars. During the 88th Academy Awards ceremony, she was awarded in the category of Documentary (short subject) for her film, A Girl in the River: The price of Forgiveness. The film presents the story of […]

Film Southasia’15

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Nitesh Pradhan  It was quite serendipitously that I came across a poster of Film South Asia 2015 (hereafter referred to as FSA15). But that is a story for another time. Right now we’re going to talk about the Festival. Firstly, I have to admit; FSA15 was my first exclusively Documentary screening film festival. Barring FSA09 I […]

A glimpse of hardship

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Taran Khan Three documentaries offer moving and intimate portraits of the rural poor.   In the documentary My Name is Salt (directed by Farida Pacha), set in the saline desert of Little Rann of Kutch in India, a sequence shows the middle-aged protagonist fretting over the quality of salt crystals forming in his fields. “Leave […]

A road well travelled

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Taran N Khan The road in Yirmiyan Arthur Yhome’s documentary, This Road I know, carries the weight of many metaphors. At the beginning of the film, it takes us into the memories of the director’s idyllic childhood. As the narrative unfolds, it turns into a device to explore ethnic divisions and the history of violence […]

FSA panel discussion challenges censorship

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Film Southasia 2013 delivered a swift rebuke to the Sri Lankan government’s attempted censorship by organizing a panel on how freedom of expression is restricted in Southasia. The discussion, which could be informally titled ‘Censorship without borders’, featured Kunda Dixit, editor of the Nepali Times; Shahidul Alam, eminent photographer, writer and activist from Bangladesh; Narayan […]

Hall 1, Day 3

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Day 3 of FSA ’13, on a rainy Kathmandu Saturday ideal for curling up with a movie, presented more superb documentary amid the buzz surrounding No Fire Zone, a powerful documentary on the atrocities committed against non-combatants in the final days of Sri Lanka’s war against the Tamil Tigers that has been banned along with […]

Invitation: Impromptu panel discussion on CENSORSHIP

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Film Southasia 2013 invites you to a panel discussion on CENSORSHIP with editor of Nepali Times Kunda Dixit, journalist Naryan Wagle, photographer and activist from Bangladesh Shahidul Alam and film maker from Burma Thet Oo Maung. Saturday, 5 October, 1PM at QFX Kumari, Hall 1. This panel discussion has been arranged impromptu, in response to […]

Friday Afternoon

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You can’t always be expected to know what you don’t know, and one of the most important things about documentary films is to let you into worlds that you didn’t know existed. “The Human Factor” tells the story of the father and two sons of the Lord family, behind-the-scenes Hindi film musicians who are estimated […]

Why Poverty?

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The final session of day one presented a series of short films curated as “Why Poverty”—some very short at under a minute, and others around five minutes long. All were produced with the assistance of South African based NGO Steps International, and looked at different manifestations of poverty. The session got off to a great […]

Challenging the sighted what it means to see

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Day two kicked off with “Algorithms”, a ninety-minute documentary on the world of blind chess. Chess is a game of the mind, one of the proponents of blind chess featured in the film comments. Therefore, it is the only game where, potentially, blind players are on an equal footing to sighted players. There is no […]

Afghan Eyes: Films from Afghanistan

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FSA has two special curated packages this year. The first, from Ahmedabad-based under-30 film festival Alpavirama was shown at a special preview session at Yala Maya Kendra at Patan Dhoka on Monday 1st October. Alpavirama has only held one festival, in 2011, but has another in the works for 2014, and the films shown in Kathmandu on […]

More than ‘earnest’ and ‘real’

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By Gargi Sen Documentary filmmaking is under-resourced, but film festivals in India and other parts of Southasia provide a boost for the genre. In a recently concluded documentary film screening in New Delhi, a section of the audience, mostly college students, wanted to know what the message of the film was. I have more than […]

“Let’s get together: it’s stupid to fight, and lovely to be friends”: Film Southasia 2013 launch

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The official Film Southasia 2013 opening had it all: intelligent speeches, beautiful music, and some serious political controversy. Three addresses started the proceedings, from Kanak Mani Dixit (FSA Chair and editor of Himal Southasian magazine), Sadanand Menon (the FSA Jury Chair) and Mani Shankar Aiyar (Indian Politician and Writer). One theme ran through all addresses, […]

Filming the ‘war without witness’

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As planned, Film Southasia organisers went ahead with screenings of three Sri Lankan films in spite of pressure from the Sri Lankan government. Hundreds of people packed the hall at Yala Mala Kendra near Patan Dhoka, a turnout that demonstrated how the censorship attempt completely backfired and actually drummed up audience interest. Simply watching the […]

Interfacing humans and ecology on screen

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Three began with short films on both screens, including two that focus on ecological issues and how humans relate to them. Gaur in My Garden provided a glimpse of increasing interactions between humans and animals, specifically bison, in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve in Kotagiri, Tamil Nadu. The opening scenes introduce the audience to one particular […]

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