We Care Film Fest
on Jane in India (India), 25/Oct/2011 04:46, 34 days ago
Please note this is a cached copy of the post and will not include pictures etc. Please click here to view in original context.

After Durga Puja week, it was all-go in the Aaina office with the final preparations for the 'We Care Film Fest' - a documentary film festival which we have been busy organising for the past couple of months. The‘We Care Film Fest’ is a travelling festival with the aim of raising awareness about disability issues through the medium of film and to spread the message of "ability" as opposed to "disability".students arriving at the festivalA Delhi-based NGO called Brotherhood has been organising film festivals since 2003 across India. In collaboration with Brotherhood, Aaina brought the‘We Care Film Fest’ to Bhubaneswar for the first time. The 2-day festival showcaseddocumentary films ranging from 1 minute documentaries to 60 minute films from India and abroad. Guests included the OrissaMinister for Culture& Tourism, cinematographer and director Govind Nihalani, Chairperson of the National trust Mrs Poonam Natrajan and many people from the Oriya film industry and disability field.There was a Short Film Competition open to local film makers. The 16 shortlisted entries were screened and the winners were awarded cash prizes and certificates by Govind Nihalani, and their films will be screened at at International level as part of the We Care Film Fest. The films dealt with an interesting range of issues, focusing on both mental and physical disabilities, sexual and giving us a glimpse into life through the eyes of people with disabilities. Some of the stars of the short films were present at the festival - including a young girl with visual impairment who was the star of the winning film "Black& White" by Maa Durga Creatives. The stars of "Dove's Tale" by Ambuja Satapthy, which won 2nd prize, were also there. Two women with cerebral palsy, in the short film they discuss love, marriage and sexuality. There was also a Script Writing Competition for school students. This event was not funded, so we had a lot of work to fundraise in the run up to the event - we partnered with local corporations and sold lots of raffle tickets to raise money.It was a pretty good success - we had a big turnout and got great coverage in the local media. As is my personal experience of Indian events, the formalities stole the show - too many hours of lighting lamps, thanking people, speeches and endless flower bouquets instead of actually watching films (the purpose of the event), but this seems hard to avoid and something to take into consideration for next time. Aaina and Brotherhood are planning to make the 'We Care Film Fest' an annual event in Bhubaneswar. The Minister for Culture& Tourism has promised to reserve Rabindra Mandap, a big theatre hall in Bhubaneswar for 2 days a year for disability awareness events, while the Women& Children wants us to take these films to local people and schools in all districts of Orissa.News:Film festival with a difference- Times of IndiaOrissa: We Care - Enabling the ability of Disabled- Orissa Diaryfeeling like a celebrity...the local media love us foreigners!winners of the Short Film CompetitionDirector of National Trust speaking (right); Alka the sign language interpreter (left)