3rd i’s EYE ON DOCS
From traditional biopics to semi-fictional autobiographies, 3rd i’s lineup has an exciting array of documentaries (almost two-thirds of the lineup!) this year, covering a wide variety of issues – from the history of Indian cinema to contemporary stories of change-makers in South Asia. Many of the selections borrow from the visual language of narrative films, making it hard to say whether you’re watching documentary or fiction!
The Unknown Craftsman
Sunday, September 10, 5 PM
Amit Dutta, India, 2017 Sneak Preview!
Dutta’s magical new film follows an eighth-century architect across the lower Himalayas in search of a temple site, a voyage that becomes a spiritual quest. With short The Future of Cinema.
Director: Nyna Pais Caputi
Producers: Gino Caputi, Nyna Pais Caputi
Petals in the Dust: The Endangered Indian Girls is a filmmaker’s personal journey to understand and shed light on the origins and the enormity of the war against Indian women. The film examines the condition of an endangered class of people living in one of the most populous, culturally and economic vibrant countries: modern India. They come from all walks of life and share only one common trait: they are female. A patriarchal mindset, a preference for sons and a deep-seated intolerance has led to the murder of fifty million girls and women in India in the last century. They continue to lose their lives in this century to infanticide, sex-selective abortions, starvation and medical neglect, dowry deaths and brutal gang rapes. The declining female population is also leading to increased crimes against women including trafficking and bride buying. By 2020 there will be twenty percent more men than women in India. The film explores the cultural origins of this vast genocidal crime and includes the voices of activists and gender experts as well survivors of these gender crimes who have struggled to build meaningful lives. By bringing this issue out into the open, the filmmakers hope to light the spark of resistance to this culture of gender violence and extermination, mobilize the Indian and international communities into getting involved in ending this “gendercide” and to encourage a new generation of Indian citizens to value and respect their daughters, wives and the women in the community.
Nyna Pais Caputi has worked on several short award-winning films including DCBA-Desi Confused by America, Able and Gentle Lovers. She is a Bay Area Video Coalition 2013 media-maker fellow. She also founded the Global Walk for India’s Missing Girls in 2010, an international awareness campaign on the violence and genocide of Indian women that has taken place in over twenty-five cities and five countries.
Director: Muhammad Umar Saeed
Producers: Muhammad Farrukh Saeed, Muhammad Umar Saeed
Collecting garbage to pay their fees for school. Three brothers who are changing their future by studying and at the same time selling garbage in Lahore, Pakistan. The Learning Alliance is a portrait of children with dreams and their struggle towards achieving them.
Muhammad Umar Saeed’s documentaries and short films have been screened in film festivals around the globe. Umar was part of the Sesame Street production in Pakistan (a project by USAID). He is also curating and programming film festivals in Lahore. The Learning Alliance is his latest documentary.
When: Sunday, April 17, 3pm Where:ATA, 992 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
In a culture where beauty, delicacy, refinement and submission are the most prized traits for the ultimate feminine career fulfillment, marriage, young Muslim women in Kolkata challenge stereotypes, learning boxing with Razia Shabnam, one of the first Indian women to become a boxing coach and an international referee.
Burqa Boxers is the story of Ajmira Khatoon (16), who wants to make a name for herself to prove to her father and brothers that she amounts to something; Parveen Sajda (24) whodreams of becoming a police officer; and Taslima Khatoon (16) who must learn to negotiate her fear of sexual assault, as they take the first baby steps towards making their dreams true, dreams of creating a different future than the one handed to them. It is a portrait of their dreams and aspirations. The story covers four years in the lives of these boxers and documents the changing landscape of their lives and their transformation.
Petals in the Dust: The Endangered Indian Girls When: Wednesday, March 9, 5:00pm – 7:30pm Where:Fromm Hall – FR 115 – Berman Room, USF This event is free and open to the public.
Join us for a screening of Petals in the Dust: The Endangered Indian Girls, an examination of the condition of an endangered class of people living in one of the most populous, culturally and economic vibrant countries: modern India. They come from all walks of life and share only one common trait: they are female. By 2020 there will be 20 percent more men than women.
The film explores the cultural origins of this vast genocidal crime and includes the voices of activists and gender experts. By profiling the unimaginable stories of brave survivors, viewers enter the chilling realities girls and women are currently enduring, NOW, providing a sense of urgency in helping to change status quo.
The film screening will be followed by a Q&A with producer and director Nyna Pais Caputi.
About the Director
Nyna Pais Caputi was born in India and moved to the U.S. in 2002 where she did course work in filmmaking at New York Film Academy. She has worked on several short, award-winning films including DCBA-Desi Confused by America, shot in NYC, Able, shot in Pinole, CA and Gentle Lovers, shot in San Francisco.
She also founded the Global Walk for India’s Missing Girls in 2010 in San Francisco, an international awareness campaign on the violence and genocide of Indian women that has taken place in over 25 cities and five countries.
Nyna is also the founder of The Expat Woman, an organization for international women in the U.S. She is a recipient of Women of the Year 2015, California State Assembly, District 14; and Woman of Distinction 2015, Soroptimist International of Diablo Vista, as well as MediaMaker Fellow 2014, Bay Area Video Coalition.
When: Sunday, March 6, 1pm Where:ATA, 992 Valencia St, SF 94110
South Indian superstar Rajnikanth commands a fan base of dedicated supporters for whom fandom exists beyond just assiduously watching his films–it means frenzied celebrations at movie releases, and birthdays that have over time garnered legendary reputations. This talk explores the political and social history of fandom in South India, and specifically that of Rajinikanth himself, that has over time contributed to his larger than life on-screen and off-screen persona. We explore the lives of fans willing to dedicating their entire careers and fortunes to the star’s cause, with clips from an upcoming documentary on Rajinikanth’s fans, For the Love of a Man.
Joyojeet Pal is a professor at the School of Information at the University of Michigan, where his work focuses on technological accessibility for people with disabilities. He is also the producer and researcher of For the Love of a Man, shot over five years in Tamil Nadu, India.
Umesh Aggarwal’s Jai Ho is an unparalleled and exclusive look into one of the most iconic musicians of our time – A.R. Rahman. Most renowned in the West for his Oscar and Grammy Award-winning soundtrack to Slumdog Millionaire, the “Mozart of Madras” is a household name in India with over 120 film scores under his belt. His effortless blend of Eastern sensibility with Western technology has changed the face of film music in India. This doc charts his incredible rise to fame — from his humble beginnings in the Tamil film industry to working with Andrew Lloyd Webber in London — and beyond. Rahman talks about his work and life experiences in unprecedented personal terms, and provides a glimpse into the spirituality that drives his genius.
Palo Alto Premier Followed by panel discussion with filmmaker
Nyna Pais Caputi’s empowering doc examines the condition of an endangered class of people in modern India. They come from all walks of life and share only one common trait: they are female. Women from all economic backgrounds continue to lose their lives to infanticide, sex-selective abortions, starvation and medical neglect, dowry deaths, brutal gang rapes, and more. It is estimated that by 2020 there will be 20 percent more men than women in India! The film explores the cultural origins of this deeply embedded social violence, and profiles both the unimaginable stories of brave survivors, and the inspiring work of activists and gender experts who are helping to change the status quo.
Bay Area Premier Followed by Q&A with filmmaker, and panel discussion organized by 1947 Partition Archive featuring Partition witnesses Muzzafer Haider and Amarjit Sidhu, and Citizen Historian Prakhar Joshi.
The 1947 Partition stands as the largest human displacement in history: over 2 million people lost their lives, while 14 million were displaced. The 1947 Partition Archive preserves eyewitness accounts from all communities affected by Partition. To date, over 2000 unique life stories have been recorded in 10 countries. Presented in collaboration with The Archive, the Voices of Partition program features Mara Ahmed’s A Thin Wall(2015, Pakistan/India, 65 mins). Infused with music and poetry, the documentary examines memory, history and the possibility of reconciliation with lessons that remain urgently relevant even today. Shot on both sides of the border, in India and in Pakistan, the film offers an intimate perspective on Partition, rooted in stories passed down from one generation to another. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with the filmmaker, Partition witnesses from the community, and a Citizen Historian.
Bay Area Premiers Followed by Q&A with Bay Area filmmakers
From the streets of San Francisco to a Parsee home in Bombay, from gorgeously animated watercolors to hip-hop music video, from queer comedy to social documentary, this year’s outstanding set of shorts offer us profiles of culture, celebration, courage and change!
A Bay Area Ballerina Comes of Age (Abhi Singh, USA, 2015, 3 mins) An evocative portrait of ballet-dancer Miko Fogarty (of Orinda, CA) that captures the spirit of her art and the spirit of San Francisco, with grace.
Safar/Journey (Pratyusha Gupta, India, 2013, 26 mins) Gouri leaves a tainted past behind to start anew as a maid in a Parsee household, in this nuanced exploration of the challenges and triumphs of starting over.
Sugarless Tea (Sai Selvarajan, USA, 2015, 4.5 mins) A tale of separated brothers takes us on a journey from Queens, NY to India, in this gorgeously animated short with watercolors (by Amanda Selvarajan) that evokes travelogues and bedtime stories.
Reclaiming Pakistan (Lisa Donato, USA, 2015, 8 mins) Narrated by Fawzia Mirza, this documentary sheds light on the social revolution sparked in Pakistan by civil-rights activist Mohammad Jibran Nasir, and the organization Pakistan for All.
The First Session(Ryan Logan, USA, 2015, 6 mins) Two women attempt to repair their relationship with the help of an unconventional therapist and the healing power of the mango in this hilarious short featuring the dynamic Fawzia Mirza.
Mardistan/Macholand (Harjant Gill, India, 2014, 28 mins) An exploration of masculinity articulated through the voices of four men from different generations and backgrounds in Punjab, this eye-opening doc explores how both men and women are enmeshed in issues of gender violence.
IVIVI(Superwoman & Humble The Poet, Canada, 2015, 4.5 mins) These sensations from Canada have putdesi hip-hop into major Youtube circulation – watch them celebrate Toronto and it’s peeps in this hella cool music video!
Mission Critical: Keeping Carnaval a Neighborhood Thing (Abhi Singh, USA, 2015, 4 mins) This jubilant portrait of a Latino tradition in San Francisco’s Mission District captures the explosion of music and dance, as well as the undertow of worry as local residents negotiate gentrification.
Bay Area Premier Followed by Q&A with the filmmaker
Prasanna Vithanage’s (With You, Without You, SFISAFF 2013) thought-provoking film is a carefully crafted inditement of institutionalized forms of power, and documents how the elite can all too often put themselves above the law. Two women from rural Sri Lanka seek justice for being sexually abused by a judge while their husbands are in custody. Vithanage’s film chronicles journalist Victor Ivan’s efforts to leverage media support for these courageous women. While succinct in its form, the film cuts exceptionally deep in terms of its analysis of how patriarchy and power work together to infect the courts, the media and the lives of Sri Lanka’s most disenfranchised citizens.