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Biennale Artists’ Cinema: Bina Paul’s ‘Women Films’ Package to Screen 14 Films

In Entertainment, Kochi
February 16, 2019

Kochi-Muziris Biennale will reel out 14 movies over five evenings from Friday, saluting the way women have embellished the art in roles ranging from direction to acting to script-writing to editing to cinematography. Noted film editor Bina Paul is curating the upcoming segment of Artists’ Cinema at the contemporary art festival.

The February 15-19 series will be screened at the Pavilion in Fort Kochi’s Cabral Yard that is a key venue of the 108-day biennale. The package has its focus on the artistic contributions of artists who formed the ‘Women in Cinemas Collective’ (WCC) in November 2017 for the welfare of female artistes in the Malayalam industry.

“It is important and crucial to reassert the work that women have done in Malayalam cinema over the last few years. In a strongly male bastion, women have worked in many capacities, often unknown and unsung,” says Bina, an alumnus of Film and Television Institute, Pune.

Titled ‘Women in Cinema Collective Package’, the films seek to relook at the notion of the “women’s film”. All shows start from 6.30 pm.

The opening day will screen two movies. The inaugural ‘Counterfeit Kunkoo’ is an independent short film written and directed by award-winning Reema Sengupta. This will be followed by Jubith Namradath’s ‘Aabhasam’. These will be followed by a discussion with film personalities such as Kani Kusurti, Rima Kallingal, Rehana, Divya and other cast and crew.

The next evening (Feb 16) will show three movies: ‘Happy Journey’ by Anjali Menon, ‘Makal’ directed by Revathy and Vidhu Vincent’s ‘Manhole’ that depicts the life and struggles of a manual scavenger’s daughter. The film screening will follow a discussion with Deedi Damodaran and Vidhu.

The February 17 films are ‘Nilam’ directed by Vineeth Vasudevan, ‘Maya’ by Anirudha Roy Choudhary, ‘Chembai, My Discovery of a Legend’ by Soumya Sadanandan and ‘7.6 Ritcher’ by Jeeva. Followed by is a discussion with Sajitha Madathil, Soumya Sadanandan and Jeeva.

The next day’s movies are ‘Ore Udal’ by Asha Joseph and ‘Liar’s Dice’ by Geethu Mohandas. A discussion with Asha Joseph and Geethu Mohandas will follow.

On February 19 will be screened Sreebala Menon’s 2009 short film ‘Panthibhojanam’, followed by ‘Davidji Code’ by Fowzia Fathima and the national award-winning ‘Sword of Liberty’ by Shiny Benjamin.

Delhi-born and Thiruvananthapuram-based Bina has been curating films for the Biennale from its 2014 edition. As for Indian cinema, some women have managed to leave a mark earning accolades and awards, but this history has seldom been recorded or recognized, she noted. The films chosen in the package are by women who work as professionals, shoulder to shoulder, with male colleagues, the 58-year-old curator noted. “The female narrative emerges out of gender consciousness and sensitivity.”

There are many women who together form this collective. “The work chosen is merely representative,” Bina said. “Many more continue to create and contribute.”

The Kochi Biennale Foundation, which is organising the ‘Artists’ Cinema’, notes that women-oriented films are a strong means of expressing the contemporary issues in society and also the role of women in cinema and the arts.