India is home to hundreds of tribes, but their voice is seldom heard. The first edition of the Nomad Film Festival, on September 4 at the India Islamic Cultural Centre in New Delhi, will screen seven films and documentaries that focus on the Denotified and Nomadic tribes in India and the issues being faced by them.
Organised by the National Alliance Group for Denotified and Nomadic Tribe (NAG – DNT), the festival will also pay tribute to the late poet Mahasweta Devi, who co-founded the organisation.
Ahmedabad-based filmmaker Dakxin Bajrange, who belongs to the Chhara community, says the festival is important because earlier Bollywood filmmakers romanticised these tribes, overshadowing the actual concerns. “One does not realise that due to the various acts protecting the forests and borders in India, being a nomad has become very difficult,” says Bajrange, 42, whose films Fight for Survival and Bulldozer will be screened during the festival. The former is on the livelihood issues faced by the snake charmer community due to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and the latter is about families in Maninagar — the constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi — whose homes were repeatedly demolished by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation till 2008. National Award-winning film The Lost Behrupiya will also be screened. Screenings of Gangor and Birth 1871 will be held at the India Habitat Centre.
The schedule is on the Facebook page of the festival