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Caste-themed film festival opens tomorrow in city

Staff Reporter

‘One Billion Eyes’ is organised by the Prakriti Foundation

CHENNAI: Prakriti Foundation will be organising a documentary film festival, the third in the series, here from Thursday. The theme of the festival is caste and over 20 films are to be screened during the four-day event at Alliance Francaise, Nungambakkam.

The films have been made by Indian film makers, and the festival, titled ‘One Billion Eyes,’ will include an exhibition of photographs and paintings, poetry reading sessions, theatre performances and panel discussions.

Experts engaged in critically studying the caste system in the country, including Ruth Manorama, Dilip Chitre, Kancha Ilaiah, Namdeo Dhasal, Bezwada Wilson, Gopal Guru and Bama, will present their views on the subject. “Each year the festival has a theme. The best film gets a prize of Rs. 25, 000,” Prakriti Foundation co-ordinator V.R. Devika said. Among the films to be featured is ‘They call me Chamar’ a Films Division production made by Loksen Lalwani in 1980. The film is to be screened in the non-competitive category.

“The films are of varying lengths. The story of a Punjabi man who lost his limbs after he fought against caste atrocities against his family is just seven minutes,” said S. Anand, a member of the Foundation.

On the first day, Ajay Kumar Singh from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, will present testimony on discrimination against Dalits at the Institute.

These films will be screened later in Delhi and Mumbai, the organisers said.

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