10 films win awards at We Care Film Festival on Disability Issues

Ten films, including two from Israel and one each from Belgium and the United States, have won awards in different categories in the 7th International We Care Film Festival on Disability Issues.

The awards, in different categories - upto one minute, upto five minuties, upto 30 minutes and upto 60 minutes - will be presented at a function here tomorrow by Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Mukul Wasnik.

The festival received as entries as many as 32 films which were screened at 18 venues across the country. Apart from professional film-makers, those who had sent in entries included students of mass communication institutes and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in the disability sector.

The festival is organised by Brotherhood in association with the National Trust, Asian Academy of Film and Television (AAFT), United Nations Information Centre for India and Bhutan (UNIC), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The awards were finalised by a jury headed by eminent filmmaker Mike Pandey and which included media consultant B B Nagpal, filmmaker Anwar Jamal, educationist Shambhu Nath Singh and Festival Director Satish Kapoor.

The festival started in 2003 as an effort to sensitize individuals on disability issues through the medium of films and has today grown into a platform where filmmakers and NGOs working in the disability sector and mass communication students make films that aim to share knowledge and enhance awareness, break attitudinal barriers or highlight policy issues having a bearing on laws and social security spaces for the disabled in the country, Mr Kapoor, said.

"It is encouraging to see that filmmakers are now not merely scratching the surface but going deeper into the issue,’’ Mr Nagpal said.

``When we started the festival in 2003, most films celebrated the achievement of disabled persons but hardly any film tackled a policy issue. It is encouraging to see that things are changing," he said.

Films submitted this year appear to be capturing the inaction of a society to create conditions that can remove the ``handicap’’ that the differently challenged face.

``Normal people taking the help of assistive devices is never questioned, but when a disabled requires an assistive device to complete his or her education or to move about freely in society, it is just brushed under the carpet,’’ Mr K Kannan, co –founder, Brotherhood, said.

Mr. Shankar Chowdhary said UNESCO was happy to join hands with the We Care Filmfest. He said UNESCO would promote the festival throughout the SAARC region and as well as through its partner organizations. UNESCO is planning to take this festival to the SAARC countries from next year, he said.

The following is a list of the winners of this year's awards:

Upto 1 minute

Inclusive Education, Feel the Music, Ruk Jana Nahin

Upto 5 minutes

Waiting for you, Saksham Log, Virtue

Upto 30 minutes

Where to? (Israel), Beyond Borders (Belgium), More than Walking (US)

Upto 60 minutes

White Balance (Israel).

The Special Jury Award goes to the film "Tees" for the manner in which it depicts how an attitude of perceived pity can lead to virtual mental disability.

The jury also made a special mention of the film "Delicate Patterns" for imparting crucial knowledge about cerebral palsy and related mental disorders.

The jury recommended that a special category known as "Information" should be created for films that impart knowledge on issues related to disability.


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