New Delhi: “This is the time in History when advocacy of Human Rights is most needed as personal rights are in danger of erosion the world over with the rise in conservatism and fundamentalism,” Max CLAUDET, Counsellor for Culture and Cooperation, French Embassy of India, said in New Delhi while inaugurating Flashpoint – the 2nd Human Rights Film Festival on 3rd Feb.
He said showcasing human values and basic rights was an important initiative and the European Union Countries and particularly France fully supported Human rights.
Feroze Gujral – former super model and eminent media personality said being a conservative society which is fast liberalizing, people in India go through a myriad of emotions in their day to day life while negotiating these contradictions. “It is important to make everyone aware of their rights through displays like the Flashpoint Film Festival,” she said. Ms Gujral is also Director of Philanthropic Art Foundation and works for many social causes.
She also released DVDs of Project Bolo – a collection of stories of Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender persons of India. Project Bolo documents individual profiles and reconstructs the unique history and progress of the Indian LGBT community from the early 70s. It is produced by Humsafar Trust, Mumbai.
Poet Hoshang Merchant, who is featured in the video shared how in the 60s and the 70s there were no role models for the community and he had to ‘invent’ what a gay person looks like and feels and then present it to the world.
Writer Parmesh Shahani said Project Bolo will be an important archive and comes at a time when the LGBT rights have acquired a new space and language in society. “We need to continue to reflect for achieving our rights.”
Sridhar Rangayan, Festival Director said 16 films from seven nations will be shown at the festival in the next three days. “It is interesting to see how Human Rights are perceived in different parts of the world. What may be more acceptable as a basic human right in one country may be looked upon with anxiety in another. And an example of this is Surrogacy, which is finding acceptance in India but not so in many western countries,” he said.
The much acclaimed “Cotton for my Shroud” (Directed by Nandan Saxena and Kavita Bahl) and Miral, the celebrated film of Director Julian Schnabel were the major highlights of the screening yesterday. The film which is a French production about the Israel-Palestine conflict stars Freida Pinto in the main lead.
The Flashpoint festival on February 4th will screen 6 films including the much talked about ‘Pink Saris’, sensitive and uplifting film ‘Budrus’ and ‘Mee Sindutai Sapkal’ directed by Ananth Mahadevan about an illiterate abandoned woman who provided shelter to thousands of orphans. A song about Anna Hazare’s fight against corruption.performed by music group Seventh Heaven would also be featured.