Satinder Mohan

Open Frame 2016, the film Festival organised by PSBT about short and documentary films, was about reflections and ruminations. It was about acknowledging diverse, complex and multiple histories and confronting critical questions about PSBT times. Memory, nostalgia, history, image making, storytelling and hope were recurrent themes which provided varied contexts for engaging with the idea of India in its many embodiments. The films and conversations highlighted the perils of single stories and narratives and the need to reclaim and embrace vibrant diversities. Located among the stories of conflict, were also stories of courage, passion, syncretism, human effort, change and transformation that point to directions for our collective and shared futures.

 There were a total of 35 films on a variety 0f subjects, which include human rights, discrimination, livelihood, pioneering feminist literature, resistance art and music from Kashmir, the rights of those living with disabilities, the story of tea production and consumption, narratives of migration, wild life conservation and earth stories, the scars of partition, lives of queer women, the relationship between Dalai Lama  and India and the philosophy of compassion, secular ethics and democracy, and people’s struggles, among others.

Through PSBT Refocus section – a retrospective of some older films –continued to discuss and had dialogues on themes that remain relevant across time.

 There were Documentary Film Appreciation and Making Workshops by eminent filmmakers and trainers like, Anupama Srinivasan, Samina Mishra and Ranjan Palit.

 A special lecture series organised this year was “The Stories we Tell” – in which celebrated and leading filmmakers shared their journeys and experiences in filmmaking, reflecting on their relationship with their craft and how filmmaking allows them to explore the world. Each of the five filmmakers who conducted these sessions had a unique style of filmmaking. Their films have had a tremendous impact not only on the documentary film movement and its evolution, but also on the discourse around the themes their films have explored and engaged with. Through these lectures, a rich space was provided for sharing of knowledge and ideas and catalyse conversations around cinema, its many manifestations and critical interventions. Speakers included Amar Kanwar, Avijit Mukul Kishore, Rita Banerji, Malati Rao and Aditi Chitre.

 The film screenings were followed by interactions with all the presenting filmmakers and punctuated by lectures and conversations: Urvashi Butalia and Maya Krishna Rao; Ravish Kumar; Sohail Hashmi; Amar Kanwar and Vani Subramanian; Shohini Ghosh and Avijit Mukul Kishore, among others.

Public Sector Broadcasting Trust has mentored and supported more than 630 films. More than 1450 Film Festival selections have been done by juries around the world, i.e more than 2 selections for every film produced. PSBT has won more than 255 Awards, out of which 45 Awards are National Awards. The Trust has supported more than 440 independent filmmakers with no production companies or middlepersons.

It is heartening to note that First timers and starting out filmmakers have made two thirds of the films and approximately 50% of the films have made by women filmmakers.

PSBT has won Global Award for Innovation and Advancement by AMIC, Singapore. It is widely Supported by Prasar Bharati (India’s National Public Broadcaster);Ministries of External Affairs, Information and Broadcasting, Culture, Environment and Forests and Personnel and Administrative Reforms; Ford Foundation; MacArthur Foundation; UNDP; UNESCO; and UNFPA, etc.

The Trust is managed by Distinguished Trustees. like  Internationally acclaimed filmmaker Adoor  Gopalakrishnan (Chairperson), Shyam Benegal,  Mrinal Sen, Fali Nariman, Sharmila Tagore, Kiran Karnik, Sunita Narain, CEO, Prasar Bharati, and Rajiv Mehrotra.

PSBT progammes are telecast every week on Doordarshan News and Lok Sabha Television. Regular telecasts on NDTV, DD National, DD Bharati and DD World. Programmes are also telecast on BBC World, Arte, Channel 4 and Discovery.

I have participated in couple of Open frame 2016 screenings. I liked “Empire of Threads’ produced my eminent National award winning   filmmaker Anwar Jamal . This film is an eye opener about the excellent skill of embroidery work available in a small place called Maler kotla in Punjab. I think a lot of research work had to be done before making this masterpiece. OPEN FRAME 2016 was a great successful film festival. I wish PSBT a greater success in future.

 

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