The documentary I Never Left, by Shazia Khan, looks at tales of loss in Kashmir, two decades after she left the state. Megha Ramaswamy’s The Newborns uses elements of documentary, performance and narrative cinema to chronicle the lives of women coping with acid attacks in India. Recently, the Indian Documentary Foundation (IDF) announced Khan and Ramaswamy as the joint recipients of a special grant to support women filmmakers and help them complete their work.
In July last year, the IDF had announced a fund to support Indian women directors in partnership with Chicken & Egg Pictures, an American not-for-profit that supports women non-fiction filmmakers. After going through 75 proposals, IDF announced that Khan and Ramaswamy will receive $10,000 each for their films.
“It was a tough choice to award only two. I Never Left is a poignant story of hope while The Newborns approaches the dignity of acid attack victims in a very appealing way. Both Shazia and Megha have shown real commitment to their films as agents of social change,” says Sophy Sivaraman, Director, IDF.
Khan and Ramaswamy will also receive in-kind services such as editing, post-production and sound mixing. They will get a chance to attend a major North American film market, where they will receive mentoring from the Chicken & Egg Pictures team.