From Friday, Kochi-Muziris Biennale will host a segment on movies, which will be a salute to the women in cinema. Fourteen films of those who have excelled in various roles from direction to acting to script-writing to editing to cinematography will be screened. Noted film editor Bina Paul is curating the segment, Artists’ Cinema, which will conclude on February 19, at the contemporary art festival.
The 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 artists 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 the 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. On the opening day, two movies will be screened. The inaugural film, Counterfeit Kunkoo, is an independent short film written and directed by award-winning Reema Sengupta. It will be followed by Jubith Namradath’s Aabhasam. Later, there will be a discussion with film personalities such as Kani Kusurti, Rima Kallingal, Rehana, Divya, and other cast and crew.
Three movies will be screened the next evening (Feb 16): 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 be followed by 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. A discussion with Sajitha Madathil, Soumya Sadanandan, and Jeeva will follow.
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, Sreebala Menon’s 2009 short film Panthibhojanam will be screened , 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 since 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 recognised.
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 highlighting the role of women in cinema and arts....