Human Rights, Now!

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Eminent media and fashion personality Feroze Gujral to inaugurate human rights film fest in New Delhi that opens the door for a range of human rights issues from violence, fundamentalism and corruption to gender discrimination and homophobia

New Delhi: Following on the highly successful and impactful first edition, the 2nd edition of FLASHPOINT Human Rights Film Festival will be held from February 3rd – 5th, 2011 at Alliance Française de Delhi.

The festival will be inaugurated by Feroze Gujral, eminent media and fashion personality and the director of the philanthropic art foundation Outset India, and Mr. Max Claudet, Cooperation And Cultural Counsellor, French Embassy on February 3rd morning at 10am at Alliance Française de Delhi.

This year the festival will screen 16 films that take a critical and empathetic look at several human rights issues – from religious fundamentalism, communal violence, political authoritarianism, war crimes, homophobia, surrogacy, migrant rehabilitation, women empowerment, corruption and poverty.

The films shine a harsh beam on human rights violations in, as diverse countries as, Kenya, Senegal, Columbia, Israel, Iraq, Kurdistan, Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Cameroon, USA and India. This year, for the first time, the festival screens six films that are set in India focusing on human rights issues and human right defenders – Firaaq, Mee Sindutai Sakpal, Cotton For My Shroud, Made In India, In Search Of My Home and Pink Saris.

Rangayan says, “The festival is an attempt to highlight issues and initiate a dialogue. The first step towards fighting human rights violation is creating awareness. Only when someone knows there is a problem, can one raise a voice and ignite change. Entry to the festival is free and there is no need for pre-registration. We want everyone to be able to see the films and participate in the discussions.”

FLASHPOINT Human Rights Film Festival is organized by Solaris Pictures in collaboration with Alliance Française de Delhi, Movies That Matter and Ramon Productions.

The 2nd FLASHPOINT Human Rights Film Festival screened also in Mumbai between December 8-10, 2011 and was inaugurated by eminent director Mahesh Bhatt and actress Tisca Chopra alongwith Consul General of France in Mumbai. Other celebrities who attended and participated in discussions were Nandita Das, Onir, Alyque Padamsee, Dolly Thakore, Mona Ambegoankar and Ananth Mahadevan.

The inauguration of the film festival on February 3rd will also feature launch of PROJECT BOLO in New Delhi. Project Bolo is the first ever comprehensive LGBT oral history project that records 20 LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) persons in four cities who open up in a candid manner to offer an inside view into their lives, views and accomplishments. These in-depth video interviews walk us through their lives – their growing up years, sexual explorations, coming out to family/friends/media, their romances and relationships, their fearless career paths and their pioneering accomplishments.

Feroze Gujral who will launch the Project Bolo DVDs in New Delhi says, “”Project Bolo is an important step in the history of the LBGT movement in India and I am proud to support it and release it officially in Delhi. We need to create an inclusive India for all its citizens, and this includes its gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender minorities. I have so many friends from this community and I have always felt angry that their voices are not heard enough. Project Bolo finally amplifies some of these voices, and shows, how, in their own ways, members of this community are not so different from the rest of us, in their lives, hopes and dreams.”

Several Project Bolo interviewees like Saleem Kidwai, Sunil Gupta, Parmesh Shahani, Aditya Bandopadhyay and Hoshang Merchant will also be present during the event.

“We need these voices to ring, loud and clear, across every platform to reach out to the social mainstream – to say we exist and that we lead productive lives. There is a general notion that gay, lesbian and transgender persons are only interested in sex, fashion, partying and drugs. People can’t imagine that they can also be successful doctors, lawyers, writers, filmmakers, historians, professors, businesswomen and corporate executives! Project Bolo will change that person and underline the fact that LGBT persons too are ‘useful’ members of the society!”, says Sridhar Rangayan, who has conceived and directed the project. Project Bolo is produced by The Humsafar Trust in association with Solaris Pictures and supported by UNDP.

Entry to the film festival is free. The full schedule and synopses of films playing at 2nd FLASHPOINT Human Rights Film Festival, can be found at www.flashpointfilmfestival.com