The 4th Indian Documentary Film Festival concludes


Bhubaneswar: The 4th Indian Documentary Film Festival, organized by the Film Society of Bhubaneswar concluded Sunday.

The three day festival gained momentum with each passing day, offering audiences a compelling window into the diverse and thought-provoking world of contemporary Indian non-fiction cinema.

Held at the exquisite Odissi Research Centre, Xavier Square, Bhubaneswar, this year’s festival continues its tradition of presenting cutting-edge documentaries that explore the complexities of present-day India, while also delving into its historical conflicts and the intersection of issues related to inequality, caste, class, gender, and ecology.

With 25 remarkable films on display, Day 03 of the festival treated viewers to a captivating lineup that left a lasting impact. The day’s schedule began with the screening of Farha Khatun’s ‘Holy Rights,’ a poignant exploration of the inner courtyards of conservative Indian Muslim clerical ranks. The film sheds light on the courageous women who are challenging traditional norms as they strive to become religious teachers (Qazis), breaking new ground in their pursuit of equality.

Another standout feature of the day was Varun Shekhar’s ‘Too Much Democracy,’ a deep dive into the inner workings and resilience of the inspiring Farmer’s Protest against the now-repealed three farm bills. This powerful documentary offers a comprehensive look at the challenges faced by farmers and their unwavering determination to bring about change.

Himanshu Khatua’s ‘The Sea and Seven Villages’ was also showcased, documenting the plight of the residents of the Satabhaya villages in Kendrapara, who are grappling with coastal erosion, livelihood crises, and mass migration. The film sheds light on the harsh realities faced by these communities and their journey to becoming some of the subcontinent’s first climate refugees.

Closing the day’s screenings was Joshy Joseph’s striking portrait of a conservationist, Aribam Shyam Sharma, who is dedicated to preserving an ancient oral culture rooted in Manipur. This documentary pays homage to the efforts of individuals who work tirelessly to safeguard cultural heritage.

Throughout the three days of the festival, 13 accomplished filmmakers graced the event, sharing their insights and experiences with enthusiastic audiences. Varun Sukhraj and Miriam Chandi Menecherry were among those who participated in engaging conversations and workshops on the final day, providing invaluable insights into the world of documentary filmmaking.

The festival’s closing ceremony was graced by esteemed dignitaries, including Tathagata Satpathy, ex-MP of Dhenkanal and a veteran journalist, widely recognized for his contributions to Odisha’s media landscape.

Also in attendance was Ishwar Mohanty, vice-president of the Film Society and Additional Standing Counsel for the Government of Odisha in the Orissa High Court.

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