Film Festival in City gives a Wake up Call

December 3, 2010 Mumbai

Coinciding with the Human Rights Day, Mumbai city will play host to a hard hitting and thought provoking film festival on human rights issues. FLASHPOINT Human Rights Film Festival, that is being held from December 8th to 10th at the Alliance Francaise auditorium at Marine Lines brings together eight extraordinary films from around the world that deal with human rights issues Human Trafficking & Child prostitution; War Crimes; Religious Fundamentalism, Homophobia, Violence against Women, Death Penalty, Forced Disappearances, etc.

“These movies will shock you and wake you up to the new realities that we all must understand and counter. The Flashpoint Human Rights film festival will hurl you into the hearts and the lives of those brave people who had the audacity to stand up alone against the tyranny of the oppressor”, says Mahesh Bhatt, filmmaker and rights activist, who will Inaugurate the Flashpoint film festival on December 8th at 11am. Well known theater person Dolly Thakore will also be a Guest of Honour at the opening ceremony.

The eight films set in Algeria, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Iran, Italy, Nepal and the Gaza strip show how brave human rights defenders campaign for justice and human rights, often paying a very high price for their work. “These activists and/or their organizations play a crucial role in the worldwide protection and promotion of human rights”, says Taco Ruighaver, Director of Movies That Matter Film festival, Netherlands with whose support this festival has been organized.

Apart from screening of films, there will be panel discussions on urgent and important topics like ‘human trafficking and inadequacy of the law’, ‘violence against women’ and ‘religious intolerance’ with eminent filmmakers Kalpana Lajmi, Bishakha Datta & Vinta Nanda; rights activists Priti Patkar & Flavia Agnes and advocates Maharukh Adenwala, PA Sebastian & Colin Gonsalves.

“For me, it was a simple human response”, says Sridhar Rangayan, Festival Director, who also organized the hugely successful KASHISH Mumbai International Film Festival at PVR Juhu earlier this year, “I saw these films as a Jury member at the festival in Netherlands and I was so moved by the films, that I was determined to bring them to India to share with audiences here”. He hopes that the film festival and discussions will bring about a change in perceptions and mindsets and initiate action. “I want the festival to urge us to reflect, react, revolutionalize and act as a ‘flashpointers’ to usher in change.”

This three day film festival being organized by Solaris Pictures, Mumbai, Magic Lantern Foundation, New Delhi and Movies That Matter, Netherlands.

The festival will also screen in New Delhi from January 20-22nd , 2011. Gargi Sen, Festival Director, who will be organizing the Delhi screenings, says “The impulse to question, criticise and resist is varied but the films also fundamentally present the spirit of the change makers and their abilities to paint a future for mankind. I believe that engaging with these films will make us pause, think and take a re-look at our own lives and thereby create possibilities of change.”

The festival organizers are expecting a good participation by the younger population, like students and youth groups, who have shown an interest in attending the festival.

“If a change has to be made to end this human rights abuse, there has to be an outcry from the public, from every strata of society, from people of all walks of lives. The starting point of this could be very simple – just being informed and aware”, says Nandita Das, award winning actress, filmmaker and social activist in support of the festival, “A human rights film festival like FLASHPOINT makes us aware of the issues and if you are aware, you can possibly make a difference one day”.

Details about films and schedule can be found at www.flashpointfilmfestival.com

Phone: (022) 28618239 ; Email: flashpoint.hrff@gmail.com

Support Messages from FLASHPOINTERS: http://tiny.cc/0l8s5

Review of films in Time Out by Nandini Ramnath : http://tiny.cc/2rxlu

About Solaris Pictures:

Solaris Pictures was one of the organizers of the hugely successful KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival that created history by being the first ever gay & lesbian film festival in India to be held in a mainstream cinema multiplex. Solaris Pictures is also producer and distributor of award winning films on social issues like HIV/AIDS and gay rights.

email: solaris.pictures.india@gmail.com

About Magic Lantern Foundation:

Magic Lantern Foundation is involved with: Production of documentary films that explore aesthetics and politics, Campaigning with films on issues of social justice, culture and censorship, media education to critically assess the dominant media, training in the use of media and media education, intervening in the construction of media policy, dissemination of independent films, curation and organization of film festivals.

email: magiclantern.foundation@gmail.com

About Movies That Matter:

‘Movies That Matter’, an initiative of Amnesty International, in the Netherlands, promotes international human rights film screenings, offers advice and assistance, and stimulates the exchange of knowledge and experience. They offer a platform for feature films and documentaries made by filmmakers taking a stand for human rights and a sustainable world.

email: W.Brouwer@moviesthatmatter.nl

About Alliance Francaise:

Alliance Fran├žaise in Mumbai and New Delhi collaborate closely with the other prestigious cultural centers, promoting cultural exchanges between France and India and initiating a dialogue of ideas and debates through contemporary creation that is accessible to all. The centers are also a unique place for dialogue, learning and transmission of knowledge and culture.

http://bombay.afindia.org and http://delhi.afindia.org/