ABOUT US

HISTORY
The India Chapter was started in 2005 by the late Jai Chandiram, one of the earliest women broadcasters in the country and the first Asian President of IAWRT International.
It is the largest country chapter with a total of 64 members comprising film makers, media academics, TV producers, researchers, journalists, radio practitioners and more.

In April 2012, the Chapter held its first election for a Board of Trustees.

Reena Mohan, Managing Trustee
Anupama Srinivasan, Secretary
Umadevi Tanuku, Treasurer

Executive board members (trustees) were:
Nupur Basu
Padmaja Shaw
Paromita Vohra
Ratnabali Mitra
Samina Mishra

ANNUAL ACTIVITY
The main activity of the Chapter is to organise the annual IAWRT Asian Women's Film Festival held every year around International Women's Day in New Delhi. It showcases works by women directors of Asian origin ranging from animation, documentary, experimental, short fiction to fiction feature.

The festival was launched in 2005 and has grown in strength and popularity with film makers coming from all over the world to participate. The festival has travelled to many Indian cities and selections have been screened at other festivals like Birds Eye View Film Festival 2011, London, International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala 2011 and Vasakh Festival Lahore 2012.

Umadevi N. Tanuku is the current Festival Director along with Aradhna Kapur Kohl as the Co-Director. 

LONG TERM PROJECTS FUNDED BY IAWRT-FOKUS
Two major projects funded by IAWRT-FOKUS since 2007 have been from India.
The first is a multi-track project by Iffat Fatima on Enforced Disappearances where the primary focus has been:
1) Advocacy work around issues related to enforced disappearances. These include:
·       exploring national and regional frameworks to secure justice on the issue of EID
·       ratification of the UN convention against disappearances

2) Production and distribution of media materials
·       Documentary Films
·       Audio Visual Manual 

The Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) has been built from scratch with support from the project and functions as an advocacy and documentation centre with more than 1000 members (largely women) from remote areas of Kashmir becoming advocates of their cause. They have extensively documented cases of enforced disappearances in accordance with the international regulations and standards set by the UN.

The other important component of the project has been in the area of documentation. APDP has over the years put together an archive of photos, videos and media products-including, posters, banners, films. These documents are mostly witness accounts which are an invaluable resource and testimonials for the future. A web site www.disappearancesinkashmir.org  is also a rich resource for EID. Several documentary films and short videos have been prepared in course of the project. It includes a half hour film “Where Have You Hidden My New Moon Crescent” which is being extensively screened in universities, colleges, seminars and meetings generating discussions on the issues of EID.

An 80-minute documentary “On A Trail Of Vanished Blood” was premiered at Films From the South, Oslo 2012, in their special programme section, The Critical Room.

The first draft of the audio visual manual on Enforced Disappearances “Legal, By All Means” was pretested at a workshop in Srinagar. Some new ideas to make the manual more effective are being incorporated.

The project is now in the final stage of implementation which will include the dissemination and distribution of the media products (videos, films, manual). As part of this process, several workshops were held in Srinagar in June 2013 with APDP and Vrinda Grover as the consulting legal expert.

The second project is by Ananya C. Chakraborti on Anti-Trafficking. The objective of the project was not just to make films but to also to use them for social change.

Started in 2008, the project worked in partnership with Worldview Nepal. A long documentary "Understanding Trafficking" and a short film "The Journey" were produced in that year. In the second year, Ananya partnered with local NGOs from Bengal namely Sanlaap, Sanved, Jabala and Hizliya Janakalyan Samity. Several workshops were held in the remote villages which have been documented.

In 2010, Ananya recived a three year grant from FOKUS under their 'Project to Programme'. This helped immensely in consolidating the work done with the stakeholders and in 2010 itself, Ananya made
·  a short film out of the video documentation done on the workshops
·  4 anti-trafficking spots
·  started pre-production work on a long documentary
·  continued her village workshops where she used the media material created from the project.

In 2011, Ananya
·  made 4 short films on innovative methods of rehabilitation for survivors of trafficking
·  travelled to Bangladesh to shoot for the long film
·  built up a network with all the stakeholders - BSF, Police, sex workers' union, NGOs etc. - who started using her work in their advocacy campaigns
·  continued with the workshops.

In 2012, Ananya worked on two long films while also conducting the workshops -  one on the process of trafficking, and the other on her assistant of many years on this project, a survivor of trafficking herself: Kajal. Both the films are in their final stage of post production.

IAWRT-FOKUS SCHOLARSHIPS
In 2012, two members of the India Chapter were awarded Production Grants for 5 minute films. The topic was CHANGEMAKERS—about women who are taking a stand on local, regional and international issues, asking difficult questions and finding new solutions to the problems of our times. The grantees were
• Geeta Sahai for a film titled ''I Have A Dream...'' about Kavita Kumar giving hope to mentally challenged children live a life of dignity in India.
• Leena Manimekalai for a film on Dayamani Barla, the first Adivasi journalist from  Jharkhand who fought India’s largest steel plant with a mass movement and a tireless stride.

In 2010, Vani Subramanian made a 5 minute short ''Yeh Hai DIlli Mere Yaar" (This is Delhi, My Friend) that explores the notion of safety among women in Delhi.

In 2009, Ananya C. Chakraborti made a five minute film on Mamata Banerjee as part of the  project of shorts on political empowerment of women.

In 2006, two scholarships were awarded to
·  Shikha Jhingan to work on the 'History of the Female Voice in Hindi Film Songs'.
·  Ratnabali Mitra to produce a manual on 'Science Reporting with a Gender Perspective'.


If you would like to become a member of the IAWRT India Chapter, please write to the Managing Trustee at archana.iawrt@gmail.com