SiGNS to showcase documentaries with activist flavour

Kochi, September 26:  Starting on September 28, the tenth edition of ‘SiGNS’ short film and documentary festival organized by the Federation of Film Societies of India and the Kochi Biennale Foundation, will showcase the timeless works of resistance by master filmmakers.

This year’s Retrospective section will feature film maker Rakesh Sharma’s acclaimed documentary ‘Final Solution’(2004) , a shocking reportage of the 2002 Gujarat Riots, with testimonies from victims and perpetrators.

The film was initially denied Censor Board certification, fearing repercussions for the view it conveyed that the right conservative state was responsible for the communal violence. But after the ban was lifted, the film went on to win President’s Indian National Film Award, before winning two awards at the Berlin International Film Festival 2004.

 Sharma’s ‘Aftershocks: A Rough guide to Democracy’ sheds light on the exploitative measures executed by corporate powers on two villages in Gujarat after the 2001 earthquake. The movie also discreetly explores how the Indian government allows corporate interests to thrive on our land irrespective of its aftereffects.

Sharma, who will deliver this year’s John Abraham Memorial speech, also heads the jury to select the best film and documentaries in the competition section.

Eight short fictions of Promod Pati (1932-1975), a mastermind who believed in cinematic experiments without inhibitions, will also be screened under the Retrospective section. Most of Pati’s works are reflections of a mind that travelled beyond time constrains, in an unconventional form.

Five short documentaries by Balakailasam (1930-2014), son of legendary director K Balachander is another attraction from the Retrospective section. A filmmaker with a journalistic quest and unique style of visualisation , Balakailasam’s documentaries always combined aesthetic values and reality. Veli, a poetic documentary on the River Cauvery with a philosophical angle, is among his most anticipated works at SiGNS.

Remembering legendary personalities whose recent demise has created a huge void in art and literature, the Homage section will feature documentary on the work and life of Bengali writer-activist Mahasweta Devi.

Joshi Joseph’s documentary ‘Mahasweta Devi’ showcases the struggles, activism and protests of the writer-activist, who died this July.





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