Delhi, Celebrate Women's Day At The 19th Asian Women's Film Festival

Delhi, Celebrate Women's Day At The 19th Asian Women's Film Festival

Since its inception in 2005, the AWFF has established itself as a premier platform for showcasing the diverse narratives and talents of Asian women filmmakers. The festival welcomes submissions from women of Asian origin residing anywhere globally, fostering a space for cross-cultural exchange and recognition. Over the years, the festival has not only grown in its reach but also travelled to various Indian cities, extending its impact and influence.

For International Women’s day this year, The 19th edition of the IAWRT Asian Women's Film Festival (AWFF) is set to take place from March 7th to 9th, 2024, in New Delhi, India. Organized by the International Association of Women in Radio & Television (IAWRT) India Chapter, the festival is a longstanding tradition held annually around International Women's Day.

This year's edition, themed around "memory and solidarity" in the face of regional challenges, promises to be a vibrant program. Attendees can expect to experience a diverse selection of films, over 50 films from 20 countries will be screened, encompassing various genres such as short fiction, documentaries, animation, and experimental works. A special focus will be placed on showcasing a curated selection of short films from Iran. They can engage in insightful discussions beyond screenings, the festival offers a platform for intellectual discourse. A pre-festival discussion on "The Once & Future of Documentaries" and a panel discussion on "Consent & the Law" are planned to explore pressing issues and perspectives.

Aspiring filmmakers and enthusiasts can gain valuable knowledge and skills through workshops and masterclasses conducted by renowned international filmmakers and technicians. Workshops ‘The Once & The Future of The Documentary’ is a pre-festival workshop, co-hosted by the festival and the Sher-Gil Sundaram Arts Foundation, which takes place on March 6th and 7th. It tackles the complex landscape of documentary filmmaking in today's oversaturated media environment. Participants, including filmmakers, archivists, and independent media collectives, will engage in discussions and presentations exploring crucial questions: how images are produced and circulated, why and how they should be archived, and who constitutes the collective audience for personal and public images. This interactive space fosters critical thinking and collaboration around the evolving nature of documentary filmmaking and its impact.

Another workshop ‘Balancing Act’ is about Messaging and Storytelling. Designed for an inclusive group of young women, adolescent girls from diverse backgrounds, and film school students, this workshop focuses on striking a balance between impactful messaging and captivating storytelling in filmmaking. Held from March 7th to 9th, participants will work together in teams to create short-form videos, combining their voices and perspectives. Supported by the Breakthrough Foundation, the workshop will be facilitated by Nisha Kalra, a renowned screenwriter, actor, and co-founder of Almost Spiritual. By combining practical exercises with expert guidance, this workshop empowers participants to develop their storytelling skills while ensuring their films resonate deeply with their audience.

Beyond the captivating films and insightful discussions, the 19th IAWRT AWFF offers enriching exhibitions that delve deeper into the world of storytelling, social engagement, and creative expression.

Exhibition ‘Stories for Children by Children’ is curated by Alka Hingorani, showcases a collection of books created through the "Learn Through Stories" (LeTS) Foundation. Inaugurated on March 7th, the exhibition features stories written and illustrated by young students from across India. This initiative empowers young voices while celebrating the power of collaboration between students and design professionals. Witnessing the creative journey and the final products fosters an appreciation for the storytelling process and its ability to spark imagination and connect diverse audiences.

Another exciting exhibition is ‘Daastaan-e-rafoo – stories in stitches by the women of Rafooghar-the house that mends’, running from March 7th to 9th, showcases the stories of marginalised women from Rafooghar, a safe space for artistic expression and support. Through intricate embroidery and textile works, the women share their personal stories, highlighting their experiences, challenges, and dreams. The exhibition offers a powerful testament to the healing and empowering nature of creative expression while fostering understanding and acknowledging the strength and resilience residing within each individual.

These diverse workshops and exhibitions at the 19th IAWRT AWFF offer valuable opportunities for participants to delve deeper into the power of storytelling, engage in critical dialogues, and celebrate creative expression in all its forms. Whether exploring the complexities of documentary filmmaking, learning the art of balancing messaging and storytelling, or witnessing the narratives woven through embroidery, the festival provides a space for learning, connecting, and celebrating the power of women's voices.

This year's festival, held against the backdrop of regional complexities, aims to create a space for dialogue and shared understanding, highlighting the power of storytelling and art in bridging divides and fostering unity. Register here.

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