Dristhi
Dristhi

 

DRISHTI

Everyone has a story to share, we make sure they are heard! 
Drishti Programs are  building a media of the people,
for the people, by the people.

FILM FEATURES

Drishti films offer a unique glimpse into social issues in India as told by thoughtful, committed changemakers.  They are  done with the full participation of the people whose lives, stories and experiences make the subject of our films. Community members are often present as actors and writers, and always as equal partners.   

Our distribution strategy: Our films are being used by over 5000 organizations and have been seen by 100,000s of people in India and across the world.  Through video screenings organized by NGOs and women’s groups amongst small communities, our films create a lateral networking of knowledge and ideas at the grassroots level.  We have ensured the widest possible dissemination of our films by creating a large independent distribution network of universities, film clubs, NGOs and festivals.  To find out more, Contact Us today.

                                     

These films are as informative as they are entertaining and a must see for anyone interested in better understanding the diverse Indian perspectives on environment, gender, democracy, caste, and religion.

India Untouched - Stories of A People Apart
108 minutes. Hindi, Bhojpuri, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Punjabi and Gujarati with English Sub-titles. 2007 

A new documentary that will make it impossible for anyone in India to deny that untouchability is still practiced today. The film is perhaps the most comprehensive look at caste oppression ever undertaken on film.  Director Stalin K. spent four years traveling the length and breadth of the country to bear witness to the continued exclusion of Dalits, who bear the weight of a 4000 year-old religious system.   From the campus of JNU, to medieval villages just outside our metropolises, this film exposes Untouchability in eight states and across four religions. The film’s canvas is stretches from Manu to matrimonial columns.  In an age where the media projects only one image of a Rising India and urges the public to dismantle the reservation system, this film reminds us how far we are from being an equal society.  

  • Best Documentary, Mahindra IAAC Film Festival, New York, November 2007
  • Best Film, One Billion Eyes Film Festival, Chennai, India, August 2007
  • Best Film, 10th Mumbai International Film Festival, India, February 2008
  • Best Documentary & Short Film, Golden Conch Award, 10th Mumbai International Film Festival, India, February 2008

Directed by  Stalin K
Produced by  Navsarjan and Drishti Media, Arts & Human Rights
Presented by  Navsarjan Trust

DVD copies available from Drishti at a contribution of Rs.500 ($25) for an individual & Rs.1000 ($200) for an organisation. Contact us to order.

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Swarajyachya Vaatevar
28 minutes. Marathi. 2006 

The development of any country is dependent on the development of its villages. Development of a village is possible only when people have control over their local resources. The challenge is to create independent local structures where the ownership lies with people.

This film documents the processes to create local institutions when people take responsibility to address their basic needs through equal representation and participation. When these villagers resolve to take control over their lives they have truly taken their first step on the road to Swaraj (Self-Rule). Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR) has been a constant support and a fellow companion on this journey. 

Directed by Nimmi Chauhan
Produced by Drishti Media, Arts & Human Rights
Presented by  Watershed Organization Trust (WOTR)

VCD copies available from Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR), ‘Paryavaran’, Behind Market Yard, Ahmednagar 414001, Maharashtra 

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I Dalit
26 minutes. Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam with English sub-titles. 2006 

Dalit, in Sanskrit means the oppressed or downtrodden. This film is the voice of the oppressed, the voice reclaiming their dignity and reiterating their identity. They present their version of the struggle to eliminate caste based discrimination and the efforts to bring about social change and equality. It is a part of the efforts to bring together the existing Dalit movements and groups in various parts of India.

The groups featuring in the film are supported by Dalit Foundation. The foundation is committed to securing social and economic justice for Dalit communities and creating opportunities for Dalit leadership, particularly women. Dalit Foundation makes small grants to grassroots organizations and individuals working to secure the rights of Dalits. Since its inception in 2003, it has supported 87 groups and individuals across India. 

Directed by  Nirmala Nair
Produced by  Drishti Media, Arts & Human Rights
Supported by  Ford Foundation, New Delhi

DVD/VCD copies available from Drishti at a contribution of Rs.300. Contact us to order.

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Kutch Lokji Vaani – Voices of Kutch
30 minutes. Kutchi with English sub-titles. 2006 

An insightful film on the community radio movement in India using the context of an experiment in radio programming done with community participation by the Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan’s community radio project ‘Radio Ujjas’. Revolving around the story of a little girl and a radio she receives as a gift, the film’s argument is built through the radio programme she listens to and the shared experience of practitioners and audiences of community radio broadcasting. The film discusses the set of universals that come into play when you want to get communities into media. 

Directed by  Chaitanya Modak
Produced by  Drishti Media, Arts & Human Rights

DVD/VCD copies available from Drishti at a contribution of Rs.350. Contact us to order.

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Play Peace
20 minutes. Gujarati, Hindi with English sub-titles. 2005 

Young men and women in Halol, Gujarat, decide to field hate and intolerance and play for peace. Cricket becomes the medium to express the love and respect that was lost after the carnage in 2002.  

Play Peace was made as part of the Game4Change campaign. 

Directed by  Ajitpal Singh
Produced by  Drishti Media, Arts & Human Rights
Presented by  Janvikas and Swiss Agency for Development & Cooperation

DVD/VCD copies available from Drishti at a contribution of Rs.350. Contact us to order.

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Chaluya Swawlambanechya Vatevar
40 minutes. Marathi. 2004

Poverty…debt…drought…migration…in search for livelihood…the story is the same in any village across India. This film documents what is possible when women, who bear the major brunt of poverty, resolve to change their own lives. It begins when a few women in a village come together around a small decision to step out of their homes to form a Self-Help-Group. Through this Self-Help-Group, these rural poor women collectively embark on a journey towards empowerment. 

The first step in this journey is to get out of the vicious debt trap of exploitative moneylenders and create an alternative access to savings and credit facility for their consumptive needs within their Self-Help-Group. But in the process women gradually understand, analyze and resolve issues affecting their daily lives, which are also issues of village development. They realize the importance of collectivization to challenge the roles traditionally sanctioned by the society and the existing inequalities and power relations within the community/village. From savings and credit, women have come a long way but there is still a long way to go…on the road to empowerment.

Directed by Nimmi Chauhan
Produced by Drishti Media, Arts & Human Rights
Presented by  Watershed Organization Trust (WOTR)

VCD copies available from Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR), ‘Paryavaran’, Behind Market Yard, Ahmednagar 414001, Maharashtra. Contact us to order.

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Winds of Change
19 minutes. English. Gujarati. 2004 

The International Organization for Migration started their work in India as a response to the earthquake that hit Gujarat in 2001. The initial stages of the project focused on building temporary shelters for the migrant salt workers affected by the quake. This gave birth to the ‘Livelihood and Recovery Project’ where the primary focus was to built shelters for migrant workers in the saltpans. The three years long project went beyond building shelters to restoring livelihood. The film is an overview of IOM’s efforts to further the socio economic growth of the migrant workers in the region. 

Directed by Nirmala Nair
Produced by Drishti Media, Arts & Human Rights
Presented by IOM International Organization for Migration

VCD & DVD  copies available from IOM B/502, Premium House, Nr. Gandhigram Rly Station, Ahmedabad 380009. Contact us to order.

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Aa Varas Nahi Rahe Taras / This Year There Will Be No Thirst!
42 minutes. Gujarati. English. 2003 

A village in ‘Panchal’ region, district Surendranagar, Gujarat…a region plagued with recurring droughts, where ‘virdas’ (dugouts in the riverbed) are the only source of water, where women spend most of their time searching for water, where people are forced to migrate in search of livelihood. Based on the experiences of 7 villages, this film documents the story of what is possible when a few women resolve to find a solution to the drinking water crisis in their village. Their effort takes them on a journey to empowerment—from individual solutions for their homes to community solutions; from the private space of ‘home’ to the public spaces like the ‘ village panchayat’ and the ‘neighbouring village’—in the process, negotiating with men within home and village, breaking the traditional roles sanctioned by the society, forging new identities for themselves. 

Directed by  Nimmi Chauhan
Produced by  Drishti Media, Arts & Human Rights
Presented by  Aga Khan Rural Support Programme, India (AKRSP,India)

DVD/VCD [Rs.200] copies available from Drishti and AKRSP(I) Choice Premises, 2nd Floor, Swastik Char Rasta, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad 380009. Contact us to order.

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Gujarat-A Work In Progress
35 minutes. English. 2002 

Since the 5th day of the genocidal carnage in Gujarat we have extensively documented hundreds of witness account of the attack in Ahmedabad. This film is a work in progress and was put together to be presented to the National Human Rights Commission as a video report when it first visited the state to enquire into the carnage on 20th March 2002. The film exposes the modus operandi of the attack 

Directed by:  Stalin K.
Produced by:  Drishti Media, Arts & Human Rights

DVD/VCD copies available from Drishti at a contribution of Rs.350. Contact us to order.

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Bol / Speak
8 short television ads on domestic violence.1minute each. Hindi. English. 2001

There is a culture of acceptance, silence and denial on the existence and extent of domestic violence against women in Indian society. The “Bol” film series are made as part of a public service television campaign on this issue. They instigate a range of people to “speak out” – women survivors of violence, fathers and the general male public – in an effort to cut through the myths and the denials surrounding the problem of domestic violence, to bring the problem into full view and place it squarely in the public domain for discussion, reflection and action. 

Directed by Shabnam Virmani
Produced by Drishti Media, Arts & Human Rights
Presented by International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)

DVD/VCD copies available from Drishti at a contribution of Rs.350. Contact us to order.

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Kauni Urja, Kauna Maate? / Whose Energy, for Whom?
30 minutes. Gujarati. English. 2000 

Every technological intervention is made within a social context. No technology is gender neutral. It is inherently biased against women, be it Improved Cookstove or Biogas Plant. This film documents how technology innovators have failed in designing, developing or providing rural women with an alternative to their energy requirements for cooking purposes, and in instances where it has, men have subverted it to their benefit.  

Directed by  Nimmi Chauhan, Vinita Bhansali
Produced by  Drishti Media, Arts & Human Rights
Presented by  Centre for Environment Education (CEE)

VHS copies available from Centre for Environment Education, Thaltej Tekra, Ahmedabad-380054. Contact us to order.

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Aftermath of the cyclone in Kutch
15 minutes. English. 1999 

A cyclone hit Kutch district of Gujarat in May 1999, for the second time in 2 years. Contrary to popular perception, the overall loss is massive– 50,000 cattle and 9,000 houses. This film is a tool to draw attention and mobilize funds for rehabilitation, without which there are chances that some of the affected communities living on the margins would become destitute.  

Directed by:  Stalin K.
Produced by:  Drishti Media, Arts & Human Rights
Presented by:  Kutch Navnirman Abhiyan 

DVD/VCD copies available at a contribution of Rs.350 from Drishti. Contact us to order.

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Aapno Avsar!/ Abki Bari Hamari!/ It’s Our Turn Now!
58 minutes. Gujarati. Hindi. English. 1999 

In November 1997, over a thousand elected panchayat women got together for 3 days in Ahmedabad – to share their experiences of power. While documenting this event, this film simultaneously explores the strengths of women’s governance, as well as the problems they face in moving from the private to the public domain. This event was organized by Working Group for Women’s Issues-Gujarat (WGWI-G) — a network of over 60 NGOs, working on women’s issues at the grassroots.  

Directed by Shabnam Virmani
Produced by Drishti Media, Arts & Human Rights
Presented by Mahila Swaraj Abhiyan

VCD copies available at a contribution of Rs.350 from Mahila Swaraj Abhiyan, 40/B Jivraj Park Society, Nr. Shahjanand Tower, Jivraj Park, Ahmedabad - 380 051. Contact us to order.

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Patta Patta Akshar Hoga / Every Leaf A Letter
61 minutes. Hindi. English. 1999 

This film is about the literacy in Dumka [in Jharkhand] that snowballed into a movement – a movement that began to upset traditional power balances – both in private and public spheres.

The film documents the emergence of ‘Jago Behna’ – a rural women’s collective that was formed as result of the literacy campaign but went on to take up several other issues affecting their lives, like savings and credits, primary schooling, weeding out corruption, forming Mata Samitis [Mother’s Committees] to check absenteeism of teachers, fighting for joint-property rights for women, learning to ride a bicycle etc. The film is an example of how a campaign turns into a people movement for betterment of their own lives! 

Directed by Stalin K.
Produced by Drishti Media, Arts & Human Rights
Presented by National Literacy Resource Centre, Mussoorie

DVD/VCD copies available from Drishti at a contribution of Rs.350. Contact us to order.

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Ola Paryavaranwala / Those Environmentalists
50 minutes. Gujarati. English. 1998 

This film is a process documentation of the activities, experiences, and learning of Centre for Environment Education on their “Water, health and sanitation” project in 18 villages affected by fluorosis in Amreli district of Gujarat. 

Directed by  Nimmi Chauhan
Produced by  Drishti Media, Arts & Human Rights
Presented by  Centre for Environment Education (CEE)

VHS copies available from Centre for Environment Education, Thaltej Tekra, Ahmedabad-380054. Contact us to order.

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Gauri Gatha / The Story of Gauri!
45 minutes. Gujarati. English. 1998 

Through the eyes of a village women “Gauri”, this film dramatizes the story of a village in Gujarat as the villagers grapple with ‘fluorosis’, a disease caused by fluoride contamination in the drinking water source in the village. Inspired by the folklore of a brave woman, Gauri along with the villagers struggle to ensure safe drinking water in their village through structures for its maintenance like pani panchayat and ensure active participation of women. 

Directed by  Aditi Desai
Produced by  Drishti Media, Arts & Human Rights
Presented by  Centre for Environment Education

VHS copies available from Centre for Environment Education, Thaltej Tekra, Ahmedabad-380054.

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Jalakhyan / A Ballad of Water
40 minutes. Gujarati. English. 1998 

This film informs villagers of the Lathi-Liliya Regional Water Supply Scheme (RWSS) weaving ‘akhyan’(singing ballad), a folk form in Gujarat with interviews. In the context of fluoride contamination in the drinking water source of the region, this film explains the importance of safe-drinking water provided by the RWSS, the facilities, and the role of people in maintenance and operation.  

Directed by  Aditi Desai
Produced by  Drishti Media, Arts & Human Rights
Presented by  Centre for Environment Education

VHS copies available from Centre for Environment Education, Thaltej Tekra, Ahmedabad-380054.

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Lesser Humans / Venth Chetha
59 minutes. Gujarati. Telugu. Tamil. Kannada. English. 1998 

50 years of Independence have not changed the lives of the Bhangis in Gujarat, who even today continue the profession prescribed to them by the caste system -- manually disposing human excreta. This film investigates the factors responsible for the continuance of this often banned inhuman practice. 

  • Excellence Award, Earth Vision Film Festival, Tokyo, 1999
  • Best Film, New Delhi Video Festival, 1999
  • Silver Conch, 5th Mumbai International Film Festival, 1998
  • Special Mention, Amnesty International Film Festival, Amsterdam, 1998
  • San Francisco International Film Festival, 1998
  • Sakshi Film Festival, Bangalore, 1998
  • Prakriti Film Festival, Pune, 1999
  • Cinema du Reel, Paris, 1999
  • 14th Munich International Documentary Film Festival, April 1999
  • 1st International Human Rights Film Festival, Nurenberg, September 1999
  • Panchgani Human Rights Film Festival, India, 2000
  • Zanzibar International Film Festival, Tanzania, 2001
  • Another World Film Festival, Hyderabad, India, 2003

Directed by  Stalin K.
Produced by  Drishti Media, Arts & Human Rights
Presented by  Navsarjan Trust, Ahmedabad

DVD and VCD copies available at a contribution of Rs.450 from Drishti. Contact us to order.

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Mein Adivasi / I am Tribal
56 minutes. Bhilali(Hindi). English. 1997 

This film is an attempt to explore tribal identity. In part one, Narsababa recollects his past in an attempt to reconstruct tribal history. In part two, a Mela attended by 15,000 tribals of Madhya Pradesh becomes a site for the collective re-surrection of their pride in being tribal. In part three, Narsababa explains a water-harvesting method developed by the tribals based not only on the principles of science but also their fundamental respect for the community, nature, and Life itself. 

Directed by  Nimmi Chauhan
Produced by  Drishti Media, Arts & Human Rights
Presented by  Ekta Parishad

VHS copies available at a contribution of Rs.450 from Drishti. Contact us to order.

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Virni (Brave women!)
17 minutes. English. 1997 

This film documents a unique project on reproductive health in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. This film was made in collaboration with a New York based agency called Media for International Development for policy makers of USA & UK. 

Directed by  Aditi Desai
Produced by  Drishti Media, Arts & Human Rights and Media for International Development, New York

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Aadavallu Ekamaite / Jab Behno Ne Ki Bagavat / Jyare Behno e Karyo Badvo / When Women Unite: The Story of an Uprising
80 minutes. Telugu. Hindi. Gujarati. English. 1996 

This film investigates one of the most extraordinary social uprisings of modern India -- a rural women’s uprising against state supply of liquor in Andhra Pradesh that sustained for three long years, eventually forcing the state government to declare Prohibition.  

  • Grand Prize, 6th Tokyo Global Environmental Film Festival, 1997
  • Chingari Video Festival, Conference on South Asian Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA, 1996
  • Margaret Mead International Film Festival, New York, USA, 1997
  • Margaret Mead Travelling Film and Video Festival, 1997-98
  • Film South Asia, Kathmandu, Nepal, 1997
  • 5th Mumbai International Film Festival, 1998
  • Sakshi Film Festival, Bangalore, 1998
  • Prakriti Film Festival, Pune, 1999
  • New Delhi Video Festival, 1999

Directed by  Shabnam Virmani
Produced by  Drishti Media, Arts & Human Rights & C-DIT

DVD and VCD copies available at a contribution of Rs.450 from Drishti. Contact us to order.

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Gam Nathi Koi Paanch Nu / Gaon Nahin Kinhi Paanch Ka / The Self in Self-Rule
58 minutes. Gujarati. English. Hindi. 1996

In the context of the 73rd Amendment, reserving 33% panchayat seats for women, this film explores through a dramatic narrative the moral and ethical dilemmas that face a conscientious woman sarpanch, as she begins to negotiate the male-dominated, corrupt and self-serving world of politics. This is a motivational film that seeks to build a mandate for gender sensitive governance and the ideal of self-governance or Swaraj.

Directed by  Stalin K.
Produced by  Drishti Media, Arts & Human Rights
Presented by  Drishti & Unnati

DVD/VCD copies available at a contribution of Rs.350 (English version Rs.550) from Drishti. Contact us to order.

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Tu Zinda Hai! / To Be Alive!
50 minutes. Hindi. English. 1995 

This film profiles the women activists of Ekta Parishad, a mass-based organization working in the villages of Madhya Pradesh. It explores their self-perception and changing identities as women in our society. It is a tribute to their spirit of struggle and their will to survive the backlash of the patriarchal structures whose authority they challenge – be they the abusive husband, the liquor don, the village landlord or the “sarkar” (government).  

  • Awarded Best Film in the Society & Development Category, International Video Festival (IVFEST), Thiruvananthapuram, 1995
  • Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, Japan, 1997
  • Chingari Video Festival, Conference of South Asian Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA, 1997
  • Film South Asia, Kathmandu, Nepal, 1997
  • Prakriti Film Festival, Hyderabad, 1997
  • Fribourg Film Festival, Switzerland, 1998

Directed by  Shabnam Virmani
Produced by  Drishti Media, Arts & Human Rights
Presented by  Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA)

DVD/VCD copies available at a contribution of Rs.350 from Drishti. Contact us to order.

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Kalavar Mat / Triumph Over Time
42 minutes. Marathi. English. 1995

This film is located in the aftermath of the massive earthquake that devastated many villages of Maharashtra in 1994. The film discusses the reconstruction choices available to the earthquake victims, through the plays and songs of a traveling folk theatre group. 

Directed by  Stalin K.
Produced by  Drishti Media, Arts & Human Rights 
Presented by Society for Promotion of Area Resource Centre (SPARC)

VHS copies available from SPARC, PO Box 9389, Mumbai - 400 026 

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Ta Talati No Ta
30 minutes. Gujarati. 1994 

This film seeks to demystify for rural audiences the functions, powers and duties of a Talati-cum-mantri (Land Record Officer), who in many cases becomes a focal point of bureaucratic power and cause of distress to many. It highlights cases of individual and collective resistance to corrupt Talatis from different parts of Gujarat. 

Directed by  Stalin K.
Produced by  Drishti Media, Arts & Human Rights

DVD/VCD copies available from Drishti at a contribution of Rs.350. Contact us to order.

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Jungle Amaru Tantra Tamaru
42 minutes. Gujarati. 1994 

This film focuses on the violation of human rights of the tribals, their right over their forests and the importance of collectivization. Interweaving a street theatre format with documentary, it describes the functions, powers and duties of the Forest Department officials and also gives an understanding of the new Forest Bill.

Directed by  Stalin K.
Produced by  Drishti Media, Arts & Human Rights

DVD/VCD copies available from Drishti at a contribution of Rs.350. Contact us to order.

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Umati Umang ni Damri / Ubharti Umang / Hopes Soaring High
53 minutes. Gujarati. Hindi. Marathi. English. 1994

In an environment plagued by drought, debt, poverty and upper caste domination, this film chronicles the story of hope -- the story of the women of two villages in Gujarat who came together to form a savings group. These women themselves re-enact the story of their growth in this film, which is being used to inspire rural women around the concepts of savings, credit and collectivization. The women’s groups are supported from inception by Mahiti-Utthan.

  • Mumbai International Film Festival, Video Vista, 1996
  • Margaret Mead International Film Festival, New York, 1996
  • Margaret Mead Travelling Film Festival, USA, 1996-97

Directed by Shabnam Virmani
Produced by Drishti Media, Arts & Human Rights
Presented by Friends of Women World Banking  (India)

VHS copies available at a contribution of Rs.500 from FWWB, G-7, Sakar Bldg, Ashram Rd, Ahmedabad – 380014 

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Basti Se Basti Tak
45 minutes. Hindi. English. 1993 

This is a video film for community organizing made collectively with and based on the experiences of Shakti Mahila Sangathan, a women’s group working in an urban slum called Millatnagar in Ahmedabad. The women have used the film as a medium to portray their understanding on health, basic amenities, domestic violence and savings. 

Directed by  Shabnam Virmani and Stalin K.
Produced by  Drishti Media, Arts & Human Rights
Presented by  Sanchetana

VHS copies available from Sanchetana, New York Trade Center, Thaltej, Gandhinagar-Sarkhej Highway, Ahmedabad – 380054  

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Ek Potlun Beek Nu / A Bundleful of Fear
45 minutes. Gujarati. English. 1992

This is a dramatized narrative of 5 village women and their struggle for gender justice. It is about violence against women, the psychological effects of patriarchy and women‘s struggle to conquer Fear. It was conceptualized and scripted with women field workers of Mahila Samakhya, Baroda, who had all experienced violence in their own lives or were involved in collective attempts to resist it. These very women have also acted in this film. 

Directed by  Shabnam Virmani & Stalin K.
Produced by  Drishti Media, Arts & Human Rights 

DVD/VCD copies available from Drishti at a contribution of Rs.250. Contact us to order.

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Kali Kem Mari? / Why Did Kali Die?
37 minutes. Gujarati. English. 1992 

The death of a village woman, Kali, triggers off a reflection process in the mind of a women health worker. In the course of the film she slowly understands the complex socio-cultural, economic and gender factors that result in the high incidence of maternal mortality, and through it an understanding of her own role as a field health worker. 

Directed by  Shabnam Virmani & Stalin K. 
Produced by  Sewa-Rural, Jhagadia

VHS copies available from SEWA-Rural, Jhagadia, Bharuch, Gujarat – 393110

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