India’s premier film festival on issue-based – Woodpecker International Film Festival (WIFF) is back with this year’s edition. The fourth competitive edition of the festival will be organised from September 15-18, 2016 at Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi. 94 films from 7 countries and 35 cities have been selected for this year’s festival including several National Award winning films.
Woodpecker International Films Festival (WIFF) is a globally acclaimed festival focusing on issue-based cinema. Launched in 2013, the festival is part of the ‘Cinema for Change’ initiative launched by CMSR foundation, a not-for-profit Trust, based in New Delhi. The festival is organized every year in New Delhi and showcases best of alternative cinema. The Festival Advisory Board is headed by veteran actor and theatre director Mr. Avijit Dutt.
According to the Founder-Director of the festival Narender Yadav, “The festival and forum accelerates debate and discussion on critical social, ecological and development issues like environment and wildlife, health and sanitation, livelihoods, gender, children etc. Our festival’s vision is to showcase films that promote discussions, expand expectations, challenge attitudes and change lives. We are constantly experimenting to promote issue-based cinema globally and explore the power of storytelling through films to create a better world.”
The 4th edition of the will screen as many as 12 films and documentaries on North East. These films focus on a variety of issue including environmental conservation, women empowerment, homosexuality, forest protection etc. Here’s the list:
Little Hearts: Set in the scenic backdrop of rural Assam, this is the story of two friends, Apu and Manglu and their various adventures in the wilderness of the village. In this 14 minutes film, we see the duo Apu and Manglu unknowingly indulge themselves in a terrible crime which, in the aftermath becomes a regular source of pain for Apu. How Apu overcomes the burden of guilt forms the crux of the story.
Director: Manas Sagra
Autodriver: Laibi is a lady auto driver based in conflict torn Imphal city. In order to support an ailing husband and education of her two sons, she took up this profession defying a traditional Society. Starting off as a daily wage labor in a brick farm where she earn only 60 rupees for loading 1000 bricks, she now has to face the discrimination of passengers who shun lady auto drivers.
Director: Meena Longjam
Hygiene – A Tradition: This film is on Mawlynnong Village in Meghalaya. Mawlynnong, also referred as ‘God’s own garden’ has won the acclaim of being the cleanest village in Asia.
Director: Kailash Bhutani
Pakke Paga – Protecting the Hornbills of Arunachal Pradesh: Pakke Tiger Reserve in western Arunachal Pradesh is a haven for four species of hornbills, in a region where hunting for various body parts, and habitat loss seriously threaten these birds. Since 2012, NCF(Nature Conservation Foundation), along with the help of Ghora-Aabhe Society (a local NGO formed by Nyishi village headmen for promoting conservation around Pakke) and the Arunachal Pradesh Forest Department , have been successfully running the Hornbill Nest Adoption Program.
Director: Adarsh Raju
Voices of Teesta: The film tries to understand the relationship between various groups and communities of Sikkim and West Bengal with River Teesta. This film tries to trace the faint and unheard voices of local people who are affected by various development projects.
Director: Minket Lepcha
Manas – Return of the Giants: Manas National Park was destroyed by a two-decade war, resulting in an almost complete loss of wildlife. With the help of scientists and armed rangers the animals are slowly returning, but Manas needs all of the giants back if it has any chance of recovering its former glory. But can the future of Manas be secured?
Director: Praveen Singh
Wildlife Week at Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary: The Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh is a landscape with stunning bio-diversity. It nurtures almost 454 species of birds, 165 species of butterflies and 15 species of mammals. To spread awareness about the rich natural heritage, the Shergoan forest division with the help of Bugun Welfare Society conductsvarious activities.
Director: Tallo Anthony
Tez: Tez is a short film based on a father who abandons his new born girl child in the want of a boy. The father associates the birth of a girl with unending responsibilities and liabilities. However, the world turns upside down for the father when he has his moment of realization.
Director: Bhaskar Upadhyaya, Prabhat Goswami
The Nest: The film is about Yeshi and Dema, who run TashiDelek – a small eatery – at the mouth of the Sela pass, at an altitude of 14000 feet, more often than not, being the only sign of human habitation.
Director: Sange Dorjee Thongdok
Oh My Soul: The film focuses on the life of a transgender and his struggle with livelihood, identity and relationships in Naga society.
Director: Kivini Shohe
Phum Shang: Loktak, the only floating lake in the world and the largest freshwater lake in North-East India, is characterized by its unique floating biomass ‘phumdi’. which is the primary source of livelihod Today, when Loktak is considered a dying lake, government agencies and local conservationists are struggling to save it from serious problems due to human induced developmental activities.
Director: Haobam Paban Kumar
Tashi and the Monk: Committed to raising children with love and compassion, former Buddhist monk Lobsong Phuntsok attempts to heal his own childhood abandonment by adopting 85 unwanted children and growing them as a family at Jhamtse Ghatsal, a remote children’s community in the foothills of the Himalayas. The film follows Jhamtse’s newest arrival, a wild and troubled 5-year-old girl named Tashi, as she learns what love is and how it can help her to heal.
Director: Andrew Hinton, Johnny Burke