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Delhi slumdwellers’ story features in Paris

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Most common form of migration is moving to another country. Migration within a country is less talked about, but throws more questions. A documentary that looks at the issues of internal migration has been selected to feature in the the European Independent Film Festival that begins in Paris next week.

‘Dilli’ is one of the two Indian films to feature in the festival among a selection of 101 films from 33 countries on from 30 March to 1 April.

Produced by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh, Dilli attempts to reveal the issues of slum dwellers in India’s capital city. It is a moving collection of interviews with Delhi slum dwellers, says Sarah, a festival organiser.

“Its lens focuses on a group of dwellers, bringing to life the untold story of mass exodus of thousands who were bulldozed from their homes and transferred to a makeshift facade – Bawana without water, shelter or drainage, while the city was being beautified for Commonwealth Games 2010.”

New Delhi based Thomas and Ghosh have produced documentaries that have explored issues of gender and sexuality, HIV AIDS, human rights and climate change. These multiple award-winning films have been screened in film festivals across six continents and are also being used as advocacy and resource mobilization tools by governments, development sector organizations and educational institutions.

Recently, their film on climate change was selected from a global call of films to be screened sat the United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Cancún, Mexico.

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Another Indian short-film that has made to the careful selection of the festival is ‘Mon Armie Noire’, directed by Omar Iyer.
“The film traces the life of an unnamed female protagonist who is molested as teenager by a man she trusts and has known for a while,” says the festival organiser.

“The incident has a deep psychological effect on her behaviour and she cannot find a way to deal with what has happened to her. So she creates her own system of justice and punishes those hungry, deprived men that she thinks don’t deserve the precious gift of life.”

While Bollywood takes much of limelight in the movie-hungry India, it is these independent film-makers that are often seen attempting to trail down the dark path of some of India’s open secrets.

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