SPREAD over three days across several venues in the city, the FLO Film Festival, organised by FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO), will showcase 32 films which will explore the theme of ‘woman’. The festival that opens on February 18 has an an impressive mix of the most-talked-about feature films, documentaries and short films.
“The festival hopes to create an impact that will mobilise and inspire audiences to bring about a paradigm shift in their perception towards crucial woman-centric issues in India and across the globe,” says Falguni Padode, chairperson, FLO.
Some of the star attraction of the festival are the Oscar-nominated Turkish film Mustang, a story of five orphaned teenaged sisters who are forbidden by their family from stepping outside in a bid to keep them pure; Fatima, which has a Moroccan immigrant mother write her two daughters letters in Arabic to express her concerns better; Paulina, the story of a girl who returns to work after being brutally assaulted by a gang; and documentary film Driving with Selvi, which tracks the journey of a former child bride who escapes her abusive marriage and becomes south India’s first woman taxi driver.
Some of the other prominent films to be shown during the festival are Nisha Pahuja’s The World Before Her, Mahesh Bhatt’s Swayam, Ariel J Nasr’s The Boxing Girls of Kabul, Megha Ramaswamy’s Newborns: Saving Face, Shonali Bose’s Margarita, with a Straw and Kristy Guevara-Flanagen’s Wonder Women: The Untold Story of American Superheroines.
”The festival has been curated keeping in mind the theme to inspire women empowerment, self-esteem, skill development and social change,” said Padode.
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The festival will be held at Films Division’s RR Hall, JB Hall as well as Russian Centre. In the run-up to the festival, a one-day-long workshop on ‘gender sensitive reporting’ by Laadli and Population First and a symposium on ‘gender in media’ will be held at the Films Division. Entry to the festival will be via registration.
This will be followed by a workshop on critical media education by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) titled ‘Unpacking the media, unpacking our Identities’ on February 16 and a global symposium in collaboration with the Geena Davis Institute on ‘Gender in media’ on February 17.
The institute, a research-based organisation, was founded by Academy Award-winning actor Geena Davis, known for movies like Thelma and Louise, to work within the media and entertainment industry to engage, educate, and influence the need to improve, gender balance, reduce stereotyping and create diverse female characters in entertainment.
Davis in her statement said, “Media images have a huge impact on our perceptions, and on our social and cultural beliefs and behaviours. Our new global study, explores how global films may be reinforcing negative gender stereotypes with movie audiences of all ages.”
Padode added that this new study would be unveiled at the festival’s opening ceremony on February 17.