KSFDC’s First Film Under Women Directors’ Project to Compete in B’luru Fest

Nishiddho (Forbidden),the first film produced by Kerala State Film Development Corporation (KSFDC) as part of the state government’s ground-breaking initiative to support aspiring women directors, has been selected to the competition section of the 13th Bengaluru International Film Festival (BIFFes), scheduled from March 3 to 10.

Written and directed by Tara Ramanujan, Nishiddho is one of the two films produced by KSFDC under the government’s ‘Films Directed by Women’ project, an initiative for empowerment of women by giving wings to their creative talents. The movie will be screened in the Indian Cinema Competition category of BIFFes.

Nishiddho is a vivid portrayal of the lives of two migrant people from West Bengal and Tamil Nadu and their struggles in a Kerala city. Actors Kani Kusruti and Tanmay Dhanania play the lead in the film, which has cinematography by Manesh Madhavan, editing by Anzar Chennatt and music by Debojyoti Mishra.

The government has allocated budgetary funds to KSFDC for production of two movies under the project annually. The movies must be helmed by female directors only.

In another major project to support directors from less privileged sections, KSFDC has already launched a project to support film directors belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST) communities. Two films will soon go on the floor under this scheme, which is open to any filmmaker from the SC/ST category regardless of gender.

Congratulating the crew of Nishiddho, Minister for Culture Saji Cheriyan said that Kerala is probably the first state in the country to introduce such two distinct projects for encouraging creative endeavours by the underrepresented section in filmdom.

“The project for women filmmakers is part of the government’s commitment to the uplift and empowerment of women. It will provide ample creative space for them to fulfil their concepts and ideas through visual story-telling. It’s a seminal initiative to promote women-led creative projects in the state,” he noted.

The scheme for filmmakers from the SC/ST category will also ensure the participation of creative talents from marginalised sections in the mainstream cinema, the minister said.

“The films being made under these projects will be reflecting different perspectives and approaches of lived experiences. The KSFDC has been entrusted with the task of producing the films under these projects on behalf of the government,” he added.

Shaji N Karun, eminent director and KSFDC Chairman, said from this year onwards the corporation will be producing two films a year to support directors belonging to the SC/ST category and currently two films are under pre-production stage.

“Overall, KSFDC will be producing four films—two by female directors and another two by directors from the SC/ST category. The initiative will pave the way for inducing more confidence in aspiring women filmmakers and bringing out their enormous potential. KSFDC stands for supporting the filmmakers, who has a unique visual language and narration skill,” he added.

Nishiddho has been selected for the International Competition Section of the 26th International Film Festival of Kerala 2022 (IFFK) slated to be held from March 18 to 25. It was also selected to the 27th Kolkata International Film Festival.

Established in 1975, KSFDC is the first public sector corporation for film development in India.


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