Attend A Festival Of Films On Boundary-Breaking Women

Nishtha Jain's 2012 documentary 'Gulabi Gang'.

Nishtha Jain’s 2012 documentary ‘Gulabi Gang’.

The Godrej India Culture Lab is marking Independence Day with Wandering Women: The Feminist Docu Film Festival of India, a two-day event starting Saturday, August 15. The festival, a collaboration with The Ladies Finger, the feminist culture and opinion website, will feature documentaries, feminist YouTube videos (including this cheeky video by Zui Kumar-Reddy, a young musician from Bangalore) and discussions with some of the directors. In March the site had posted a list of 34 films, a ‘starter kit’ for Indian feminist documentaries. “A lot of people were interested in gender issues post 2012 (the year of the December 16 Delhi gang-rape),” said journalist Nisha Susan, who co-founded the site in 2013. “They were interested in the area without a comprehensive idea. So (the post) was an unexpected hit.”

The list has been whittled down to ten films for the festival. The idea of the showcase is to look at women “literally or metaphorically wandering away from whatever neat place they were put into,” Susan said. Among the films to watch out for is Nishtha Jain’s 2012 documentary Gulabi Gang, which profiles Sampat Pal, the feisty leader of the squad of pink sari clad vigilante women, who beat up abusive husbands and protest against corrupt politicians. Sherna Dastur’s Manjuben Truck Driver (2002) follows Manjuben, a butch truck driver from Gujarat who negotiates highways and her entirely male-dominated profession with incredible confidence. And Nidhi Tuli’s Ladies Special (2003) is a glimpse of the sorority-like culture of the ladies special local trains from Virar to Churchgate and back in Mumbai. For a complete schedule, see here.

The festival will take place on Saturday, August 15 and Sunday, August 16 from 10am at Auditorium (First floor), Godrej One, Vikhroli (East). To RSVP, email indiaculturelab@godrejinds.com. Get directions here.

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