- 450 screenings at Festivals around the world
- 150 Awards in India and abroad
- 37 National Film Awards
» Aruna Vasudev
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» Kiran Karnik
» Mrinal Sen
» Rajiv Mehrotra
» Shyam Benegal
» Sharmila Tagore
» Sunita Narain
» Jawhar Sircar
India is undergoing rapid change at many levels with far reaching implications for both, those who are seen as beneficiaries of the unfolding processes and those who are excluded. Change impacts each of us at personal, individual levels that inevitably have far reaching social implications on issues ranging from interpersonal relationships to those of equity, environment, urban development and livelihood, the nature of our democracy and secular commitments. The canvas we offer is vast but the passions and the visions we seek need to be intensely personal, nuanced and practical. They must move beyond rhetoric and the unsubstantiated to the realities of the felt experience of large numbers. While we look for films that will offer new insights and perspectives into contemporary and emerging predicaments of a new India, we equally seek a vision of practical, achievable alternatives.
GENDER, SEXUALITY, SEXUAL-REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS AND HEALTH
Gender, sexuality, sexual-reproductive rights and health are pertinent issues that affect all people and are central to their lives and experiences. No matter who, where and when, they meet you in the face, sometimes comfortably and sometimes not.
They span a range of issues and are closely associated to gender, identity, sexuality, state, health, development and human rights, with which they are in constant interaction. Sexual-reproductive rights concern fundamental aspects of people’s lives and are beyond the comprehension of purely medical and scientific discourses. More than anything else, they are the lived experiences of people and by virtue of that, of prime significance to them.
Sexual-reproductive rights are about identities, about being citizens, about life styles, about relationships, about violence. They shape and are in turn shaped by the specificities of each individual in close interaction with the social, political, cultural and economic systems of the country. Sexual and reproductive roles are part of the larger social roles defined for people and determine to a large extent, what kind of lives individuals lead and what choices they make. They are intimate and personal as well as visible, public and very political.
Besides how the nation has viewed sexual-reproductive rights over all these years, we need to talk about how we perceive our sexualities, our rights, our identities, our lives and deal with their complexities–sexual, social, psychological, emotional, health. How is the exercise of these rights, or the lack of it, reflected and embodied in our everyday lives, practices and behaviour?
The battle for sexual-reproductive rights is particularly intense as voices are being raised across the world by different peoples. At the same time, there are struggles of people in different pockets of the country, which have become beacons of hope in themselves and continued efforts at redeeming and reclaiming lives. It is time for these stories to be heard and applauded.
Sexual-reproductive rights are about people’s struggles to be what they are the way they want to, about resisting pressure, about facing violence, about being satisfied with who they are, about articulating relationships with the self and others and the larger collective whole.
We are awaiting proposals for films that will sensitively engage with experiences that are intrinsic to people’s lives and delve deeper into what they mean to them, as individuals, as ‘women’/‘men’ and as part of larger social groups. Films that will encourage a discourse and understanding on issues focusing on increasing awareness of people's sexuality, sexual and reproductive rights, health and the associated issues.
The films could explore the multiple themes and their politics either in their macro complexities or document personal negotiations with sexuality, identity, gender and violence, among other processes.
We hope that the films made under this project will be able to provoke, encourage, stimulate and speak to people to debate, engage, explore, remake, rebuild, dialogue and converse with and amongst themselves in order to contribute to an expanding discourse and the building of a truly democratic, just and egalitarian public culture.
The time is right to know more and delve deeper into these aspects of our lives and create a system wherein it is not uncomfortable to ask questions, questions that seem stupid, but must still be asked.
Proposals and Themes
Based on the background given above, we await proposals covering various issues involved and their nuances, with references and contexts from across the country.
Some possible themes are given below. These are only indicative themes and the filmmakers may evolve their own themes in a freewheeling manner to give effect to their thoughts and imaginations.
- Anaemia and toxaemia–the scourge of Indian women.
- Abortion is legal in India–access, decision-making, law, adolescent pregnancies.
- Where have all the health services gone? The lack of basic, quality and speedy health care and access to it.
- Maternal Mortality in India: Problems and Perspectives (across India)
- The ‘Dai’ said so: A focus on traditional mid-wives across India.
- Child brides–rural-urban situation, causes, problems, case studies, psycho-social and sexual impact, etc.
- The law is an ass: Ambivalent legislation on child marriage and other aspects of sexual-reproductive rights.
- Government Initiatives and Civic Society Initiatives–ideology, comparison, critique, case studies.
- A World without Women?! Female foeticide and its consequences.
- Women matter: Resisting sex testing.
- Contested motherhood: Unwed mothers–do they have rights? Are they even mothers?
- Commercial sex workers–sexual-reproductive rights? Health care? Children? Rights? Legalisation of sex work?
- Understanding the Family…The Weight of Tradition–respecting elders, ‘culture’, values, family, sexual role…daughter, wife, mother, woman?
- Marital Rape–duty or violence? Rights, abuse and the law?
- Domestic Violence
- Incest and Child sexual abuse.
- Myths and practices concerning pregnancy.
- Rape–ideology, politics, causes, victims, effect, pregnancy, mother?
- Don’t eat: food practices, culture and discrimination.
- Birth spacing: actuality and national goals across India.
- ‘Sita’s Rekha’: Restricting women’s freedom of movement.
- Mental scars: Psychological and emotional problems because of early marriage, early pregnancies, sexual and domestic abuse and violence.
- This does not happen in ‘our’ families?? Abuse, sexual violence, discrimination in urban and ‘middle’ class families.
- I am a girl/woman now–sexuality? Modesty? Decency? Harassment/‘eve teasing’?
- Menstruation–ritual or impurity?
- Sex education–Consciousness, behaviour, dealing with puberty.
- Men and sexual-reproductive rights? Family planning and role.
- Masculinity–violence, abuse and domination.
- Articulations of sexuality, rights and reproductive health by young women and men.
- What/Who am I? Am I homosexual/heterosexual, bad/good, immoral/moral? Identity issues.
- Sexual-reproductive rights and the women’s movement.
- Sexual rights and sexuality minorities.
- The politics and economics of large families
- Two child norm, women, decision-making and political participation.
- Maternity benefits…rights/burden…labour legislation, welfare, recruitment?
- Globalisation and reproductive health.
- Dump Yard for the West? Banned contraceptives in India.
- AIDS / HIV
Objective: To educate civil society for it to better understand the larger factors that enable or hamper the emergence of women’s agenda, and the means by which they inspire and influence larger processes of social change.
Background: It is widely recognized that a gender sensitive and rights based women’s movement as we see today, is an outcome of a long struggle by several women leaders during the pre and post independence era. However, women’s concerns and ideas were not explicitly incorporated under any form of struggle, neither under British regime nor during Independence. This was not because women were not part of the movement but because at the policy / decision level the ‘gender’ factor was not dominant. The women leaders who participated in social reforms and political movements during the early 1940s were satisfied with legal reforms and constitutional changes. Few of the eminent women were invited by the government to contribute to the planning process. A sub-committee on women called Women’s Role in Planned Economy (WPRE), was established in 1939 to examine and make recommendations on women’s role in the planned economy. A welfarist approach was adopted to address women’s concerns and it was felt that needs and voices of large sections of women were not addressed.
It is at this point women realized that neither they need the control of women’s organizations nor do they want to speak in a singular voice. They thought that the prevailing political system reduced the role of women. It was at this juncture that two different political ideologies came closer to one another to give rise to a more ‘feministic agenda’ that was earlier unheard of. Women leaders following Gandhian and the Leftist philosophy realized that however progressive their mutual ideologies were, it had not equipped them to fight ‘patriarchy’. The leftist women formed exclusive women’s organization that would fight for their rights while Gandhian women explored ways within the existing system to reach the masses. It is then that these women from different political back grounds started participating in major political issues with a pro - women perspective. In 1974, concerns pertaining to women’s status and rights came into forefront when the first ever State sponsored report ‘Towards Equality’ was published. The report became the foundation for women's movement, which today is vigorous and healthy.
In 1992, the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments, mandating one-third reservation of seats for women in local government, and the proposal to extend this provision to the Parliamentary level, became a turning point in the struggle for women’s empowerment. This is one of the most visible elements of a strategy that aims to promote gender equality. The experience of women’s global struggles shows that the presence of a ‘critical mass’ of women within mainstream structures and institutions can trigger the process of challenging and changing gender hierarchies within these structures and institutions, as well as energise and inspire larger processes of social change.
Some of the common observations across country studies noted that an interface among elected women officials, government officers and poor people is an effective means of improving the delivery of public sector resources to the poorest and most disadvantaged, particularly women. Further, when elected women representatives link the needs of their constituents with the resources of government and other public sector organizations, local government is more transparent & effective. Evidence also points that building the capacity of female elected officials enhances the effectiveness of local government and develops the social capital of the women themselves.
In India, while there are several studies in this field, particularly on women’s presence within panchayati raj institutions, these have tended to focus on the role of individual women leaders. Moreover, the focus is on the women leader in formal positions. However there are very few studies that have analyzed the dynamics of the emergence of women leaders in informal positions. Findings suggest that women associated with the informal structures are more capable in voicing women concerns than that of pradhans or ward members.
PSBT invites proposals from independent filmmakers that look at issues related to Conflict. We are interested in in-depth incisive films that explore the range of conflicts – from religious, ethnic, political, social, generational, gender, industrial et all to those that are more personal and individual. We seek sensitive films that will help us understand the roots & causes of conflict, their implications & consequence with approaches to resolving them. The films could explore and analyze a single conflict and a specific dimension or take a more broad based approach. In all case the films need to be analytical even as they are emotive going beyond clichés and predictable narratives
Conflict resolution is the processof resolving a dispute or a conflict, by providing each side's needs, and adequately addressing their interests so that they are satisfied with the outcome. Conflict resolution aims to end conflicts before they start or lead to physical fighting.
This usually involves two or more groups with opposing views regarding specific issues, and another group or individual who is considered to be neutral in their opinion on the subject. This last bit though is quite often not entirely demanded if the "outside" group is well respected by all opposing parties. Resolution methods can include conciliation, mediation , arbitration or litigation .
It may be possible to avoid conflict without actually resolving the underlying dispute, by getting the parties to recognize that they disagree but that no further action needs to be taken at that time. In a few cases, such as in a democracy, it may even be desirable that they disagree, thus exposing the issues to others who need to consider it for themselves: in this case the parties might agree to disagree.
CALL FOR PROPOSALS FOR DOCUMENTARIES
ON THE THEME OF HIV / AIDS
Public Service Broadcasting Trust
in partnership with
Internews Europe / formedia, India / Deutsche Welle Akademie, Germany
SCOPE OF THE DOCUMENTARIES:
We look forward to the series of three films as sensitive and enlightening films that can impact policy, planning and the lives of people affected by HIV / AIDS.
As India prepares to move into the third phase of its AIDS control programme,where does India stand in the HIV / AIDS scenario? What are the unsaid, salient issues / stories / aspects that the world should know about that have not been heard or documented?
Apart from a national telecast in India on the PSBT window, these documentaries are also targeted for international viewing, distribution and film festivals. The documentaries will be mentored by commissioning editors,senior documentary film-makers and HIV / AIDS experts. The aim is to incorporate an India perspective to HIV / AIDS in films that can compete for credibility, technique and story-telling at the international level.The three films should work as stand-alone documentaries as well a series. For this reason, the final choice of proposals will specifically be looking at non-repetitiveness in content.
APPROACH TO THE CONTENT
The issue can be complex, the theme can cover a wide range, yet the proposals should be a simple story with a human face. Each protagonist / group of protagonists / community / institution should offer the possibility of a variety of visual sequences and layers of perceptions / views.
The one thing we would like to avoid is an element of sensationalism. Apart from that, it is not so much whether it is a positive or negative story. It should be a story, which is faithful to the facts and context of any situation.
HELPFUL READING FOR IDEA DEVELOPMENT
Global Strategy Framework, 2003
Best Practice Collection: Research Studies from Uganda and India
Socio-economic Impact of HIV / AIDS on People Living with HIV / AIDS
PSBT invites proposals for films on issues related to the environment. These would include any aspect of the natural or man-made environment. The films might explore concerns that derive from changes or threats to these - ranging from matters of equity, livelihood, culture, religion, and bio diversity to health and social issues such as alienation. There could also be films that accentuate the positive - how some communities have developed innovative ways to prevent a threat from occurring in the first place. We are therefore interested in a range of incisive and in-depth films that explore the nature of the problems and predicaments, those that look at creative approaches and solutions, and success stories that empower individuals to act out of cultivating the conviction that individual, community and micro initiatives can make a difference.
The documentaries being commissioned in this series will not just be aired on Doordarshan but later used to promote further discussion and debate on some of the key issues ailing the `largest democracy in the world'. While many of us may not doubt the relevance of democracy to India's burgeoning economy and dynamic labour force, there is no question in the minds of most that Indian democracy is far from completely healthy. In fact many have gone, as far as to say it is democracy that is the root cause of our `developing country' status.
The title of the series `Democracy on the Ground' is intentionally very general so as to give the filmmaker as wide a canvas as s/he may need to make the most creative film. It does however presuppose certain givens such as, that of all the various forms of governance available to us today democracy is the most popular and relevant to the times. It attempts more or less to include the largest number in the decision-making process and similarly works by a mandate of the people. Rule of law, transparency and accountability as well as human rights for all and equality of minorities and gender are all preconditions for a truly effective and vibrant democracy.
We are looking for films which while discussing the general focus on the particular, take specific examples to show how systems work or indeed do not work. For example what is the rite of passage for a Bill to be passed through parliament? The film maker may choose to focus on the present `free education' bill, looking at the arguments being put for and against, by many including various pressure groups, the process it must necessarily follow in the corridors of bureaucracy as well as in parliament. Other possible subjects could be public campaigns - how NGO's put together a public campaign, what and how a PIL works, looking at the importance and relevance of panchayats for civil society engagement at village level. On a broader scale and yet looking at the particular: violence/corruption in elections – e. g. what is the secret of why Bihar, in the 50's hailed as one of the most dynamic States of the country is so unanimously today considered a failed State. Why does UP look to be following close behind? What is the role and usefulness of the Election Commission? Do the multiple layers of identity help or hinder the process of democracy?
These are just a few suggestions for what we hope will be powerful, thought-provoking films pushing ordinary citizens to realize that the political system needs civil society interest and engagement.
Under the umbrella theme of diversity, we would like to see an exploration of the many facets of diversity - the values, challenges, and opportunities from successfully cultivating it and the consequences when it is threatened.
We look at diversity in its varied manifestations - social, cultural, religious, bio-diversity in the environment etc. Inevitably given the events of the past year there is a renewed urgency for us to support enduring work that is empowering of the value of pluralism.
We are looking at novel ways of exploring seemingly old issues, of moving away from the platitudes of `unity in diversity'. At the same time, these ideas are more urgent than ever, and need a fresh articulation.
We are interested in issues and events that are of concern to persons living in rural areas, of women and the youth.
Freedom is a fundamental human aspiration. PSBT invites proposals for films on issues and concerns related to freedom and its many dimensions. These could include aspects related to its pursuit, denial or celebration. They could relate to issues of personal, political, social, economic, religious freedoms et all.
PSBT is looking for in-depth, incisive films of intellectual vigor and personal passion that explore innovative story telling techniques rising above the dull and pedantic narrative styles. We are looking to support filmmakers who will use the elements of the documentary film genre to create visually exciting and emotionally catalyzing work that is engaging and exciting.
In selecting proposals we are sensitive to regional and gender representation. We expect to complete this cycle of evaluating proposals and commissioning approx. 20-25 films on the above theme by February/March 2005. Please see a more detailed note below on the brief. Our request for proposals is not limited to ideas or concepts below but merely intended as pointers to the nuances and range of possible dimensions to the issues of freedom that film maker might explore.
This is NOT intended as a specific brief on the kind of issues we ask of filmmakers to explore but only to sensitize them to the possible range and diversity of issues and opinions related to freedom that they might consider.
The concept of what constitutes true "freedom" is often disputed by different groups on the political spectrum. For example, in right-wing libertarianism freedom is defined in terms of lack of government interference; in particular, capitalists place a high value on freedom from government interference in the economy. This kind of freedom may be referred to as a kind of negative liberty.
Those on the political left, such as Marxists, may criticize negative liberty as placing too much emphasis on the needs of the individual, while ignoring the goal of social equality. They may be more likely to see freedom in terms of positive liberty, which can be described as the freedom to act to realize one's own potential. Freedom in this sense may include freedom from want, poverty, deprivation, or oppression. Many anarchists see negative and positive liberty as complementary concepts of freedom.
Environmentalists such as the Greens often argue that political freedoms should include some social constraint on use of ecosystems. They maintain there is no such thing, for instance, as "freedom to pollute" or "freedom to deforest" given the downstream consequences. The popularity of SUVs, golf, and urban sprawl has been used as evidence that some ideas of freedom and ecological conservation can clash. This leads at times to serious confrontations, e.g. the Earth Liberation Front's arson of homes encroaching on the desert, and clashes of values reflected in advertising campaigns, e.g. that of PETA regarding fur.
In jurisprudence, freedom is the right of autonomously determining one's own actions; generally it is granted in those fields in which the subject has no obligations to fulfill or laws to obey, according to the interpretation that the hypothetical natural unlimited freedom is limited by the law for some matters.
PSBT is looking for in-depth, incisive films of intellectual vigor that will explore the work of individuals and/or the unfolding of projects,initiatives and process that will inspire and help guide audiences to realize their individual and collective potential to make a real difference. We intend for the films to be both inspirational and implicitly educational, each looking at the work of a single individual and/or set of ideas. They will need to be structured and focused to explore the problems and predicaments that were sought to be addressed -the qualities of leadership and the techniques, processes and structures that were used to triumph over them. They will need to consider the aspects that have ensured their sustainability even as they continue to evolve. We hope the films will empower audiences to embrace the possibilities and rewards from passions that reach beyond the self to make an enduring, significant and positive impact on others.
We are looking for approaches to the films that will rise above dull,pedantic narratives and mere documentation. Film Makers will need to use the elements of the documentary film genre to create visually exciting and emotionally catalyzing work.
The films are being produced by PSBT out of our partnership with the Dept.of Personnel & Administrative Reforms of the Govt. of India. The films will be independently commissioned and designed to stand-alone for screening on our slot on Doordarshan. We will separately, at our own initiative, completely apart from the film maker and his film,subsequently commission and publish a book of essays on the themes/projects /individuals of the films and video-tape half hour interviews with the principle protagonists. These will then form a package of educational and motivational materials to promote and inspire innovation,imagination and commitment in the process and practice of good management.
We will, in addition consider any exceptional ideas and proposals, and invite suggestions for future cycles of films.
PSBT will support only single half-hour documentary films. In evaluating proposals we are sensitive to regional and gender representation.
We are seeking films on issues that our audiences will respond to as of intimate and direct concern to them. We hope that filmmakers will drawn upon their own lived and felt experiences and those of their 'circle' to creatively interpret and respond to the issues of their own - building bridges of insight and understanding between the 'local' and the larger 'global' issues of change. We will be interested in seeing filmmakers explore and push the thresholds of the familiar with the passion of their personal convictions.
We hope the series of films as a body of work will document and interpret the processes and impact of change, they will embrace some elements and reject others, they will explore what must endure and celebrate the inherent potential of change, they will ultimately empower audiences with a vitality that gives hope, and where appropriate a sense of pride in India's heritage, not as an archive but as a living tradition.
We will in addition consider any exceptional ideas and proposals, and continue to invite suggestions for future cycles of films.
PSBT will support individual half-hour documentary films but may, in principle, in very exceptional cases, consider an hour-long film or a short series. This has not yet been possible.
PUBLIC CULTURES, HIDDEN KNOWLEDGE, TRANSFORMING EVENTS
We suggest three thematic domains for the first cycles of films. Working with these will enable PSBT to give our window on Prasar Bharati an identity and to more easily promote it.
I. Public Cultures - Cultures that constitute the substance of public life, ways of expressing, performing, sharing which gather people together and bring them into relationships with each other.
II. Hidden Knowledge - Ways of knowing that are themselves unknown. Practices, forms of knowledge, ways of looking at the world that may be now hidden or forgotten or misunderstood.
III. Transforming Events - Events that transform spaces, our lives and our ways of seeing. These may be a part of the everyday or moments in a calendar, whether political, ritual, cultural, etc., or events that completely transform our experience of the contemporary. These are events, which have many players and can be looked at from many vantage points.
PSBI will support individual half-hour documentary films but may, in very exceptional cases, consider an hour-long film or a short series.
We will receive proposals from August 1st and expect to start evaluating and commissioning programmes from mid September. We are due to go on air from January 2001 and expect the first cycle to extend over approximately six months.