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Woman's eye

VIDYA SHIVRAM

Made by Women 2 fulfilled its promise of highlighting excellence in cinema.

When a festival of films made by women promises to showcase excellence in cinema and not women's issues alone, it's intriguing, for that's not what you expect. The recent festival, Made by Women 2, which featured films made by women filmmakers from different countries, did what it promised. And while doing so, it also managed to highlight some universal concerns as well as certain issues important to women across the globe.

Organised by the Mumbai-based Point of View and Delhi-based CREA (Creating Resources for Empowerment in Action), both non-profit organisations, the three-day fest was held at the India Habitat Centre last week.

Award-winning works

Unlike last year where it had only feature films, the festival in its second edition included features, documentaries, animation and short films. All of them were award-winning works, coming from experienced filmmakers, artists using innovative formats and fresh talents in filmmaking. While Norwegian filmmaker Margareth Olin's documentary "My Body" sensitively explores the issue of identity in relation to one's physical appearance, Iranian filmmaker Marziyeh Meshkini's three-part feature "The Day I Became A Woman" presents interesting vignettes from the lives of three women at different stages of life - childhood, adulthood and old age.

Ligy Pullappally's `Sancharram', probes the intense relationship between two young girls in the backdrop of rural Kerala.

Among the documentaries, one that stood out was "Underground Orchestra" (Heddy Honigman, Peru) - an excellent account of the musicians who play on the streets and subways of Paris. Artistes from different parts of the world, they are united in their passion for their music and by the situation they face in a new country. Young Australian filmmaker Melissa Kyu-Jung Lee's documentary "A True Story About Love" is at once a personal account of her relationship with two Asian-American men and also an honest, at times humorous, examination of identity in the context of relationships, and also the question of truth in filmmaking.

In the festival showcase was "Harlequin", made in 1931 by one of the pioneers of animation films, Lotte Reiniger of Germany. An expert in silhouette animation, she is best remembered for the world's first feature-length animation film, "The Adventures of Prince Achmed. Harlequin" gives us a taste of how this art, so far removed from today's technical wizardry, can charm and tell a story too.

Two films by Joan Gratz, an American filmmaker known best for the technique of clay painting or claymation, were included - "Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase" and "The Dowager's Feast". A feature to watch out for is French actress-director Anne Fontaine's "How I Killed My Father". This one's a riveting portrayal of the tensions in a father-son relationship.

After Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai, Bangalore and Pune, Made by Women 2 now moves to Kolkata (May 16-18), Hyderabad (May 20-22) and finally Mumbai (May 25-27).

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