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Header image: Antanrangada Maatu (2019), Director: Aasita Bali.

Film Festival: Contemporary South Asian Films by Women

Mon 9 Dec / 18:00 - 21:30

Tue 10 Dec / 13:00 - 16:30


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Join us for a two day film festival and discover the stories of women living in South Asia.

This event brings together 13 short films that tell the stories of women from India, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Watch and listen to how gender, caste, religion, politics and economic circumstances impact their lives. From a single mother's struggles in rural Myanmar to a young Pakistani woman's survival of an attempted honour killing, these women tell their own stories and help us to move beyond stereotypes and simplistic generalisations.

Each day of the film festival will be introduced by the festival's curator Valentina Vitali, Professor of Film Studies at University of East London. Films will be shown back-to-back with a short intermission on each day. Both days will conclude with a discussion about the films.


Mon 9 Dec / 18:00 - 21:30

Hosa Belaku / New Dawn

Director: Nirmal Thomas (7 min, India, 2018)

The winner of Articulating Women’s 2018 Mini Documentary prize. Women in rural Indian are trained to earn a living for themselves and their family by manufacturing traditional artisanal handicraft.

A Million Threads

Director: Thu Thu Shein (16 min, Myanmar, 2006)

Every year on a full moon night in November, thirty women gather at Shwe Phone Pwint Pagoda in Myanmar’s former capital Yangon to take part in a competition known as ‘Matho Thingan’. Their task is to weave the finest robes for the temple’s Buddha images. All robes must be finished by dawn.

A Girl in the River: the Price of Forgiveness

Director: Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (40 min, Pakistan, 2015)

In Pakistan, more than 1000 women perceived to have compromised the ‘honour’ of their families are reportedly killed each year. A Girl in the River follows Saba, a young Pakistani woman who has survived an attempted honour killing by her own family.


Director: Laura Spark (4 min, UK, 2019)

Children in Bangalore who access programmes delivered by the Centre for Social Action at Christ University and children from Bluecoat’s Out of the Blue art programme celebrate their ‘sheroes’.


Director: Lanka Bandaranayake (11 min, Sri Lanka, 2016)

An old woman adorns a bride with traditional Sri Lankan jewellery. As she describes the symbolic significance of every piece, these meanings bring the young woman back to past relationships and the scars they left.

The Bus Conductor: a Female Bus Driver in Yangon

Director: Ngwe Ngwe Khine (18 min, Myanmar, 2015)

Myat Su Wai is one of Yangon’s first female bus conductors. Ngwe Ngwe Khine’s film follows her as she works, enjoying her job and struggling to combine her long day with bringing up her young daughter.

Lo Sum Choe Sum / 3 Year 3 Month Retreat

Director: Dechen Roder (20 min, Bhutan, 2015)

The traditional ‘3 Year, 3 Month Retreat’ is practiced by Buddhist monks, nuns and other devout practitioners to achieve a higher state of clarity and motivation. By cutting oneself off from the world and delving into the inner mind, the retreat is supposed to transform the practitioner. Can Lhamo, a young, wounded girl facing the harsh gaze of the world, find her own form of redemption?

Kobi Swamir Mrityur Por Amar Jobanbondi / Statement after My Poet Husband’s Death

Director: Tasmiah Afrin Mou (15 min, Bangladesh, 2016)

Rubi once loved her husband very much. Yet, sitting beside her husband’s body at his funeral, Rubi does not feel grief, only a great sense of deliverance. She remembers her life with him and discovers that her beloved husband died, for her, long before his actual demise.

Tue 10 Dec / 13:00 - 16:30

Now I am Thirteen

Director: Shin Daewe (10 min, Myanmar, 2013)

A conversation with Ma Aye Kaung, who was born during Myanmar’s military government. Ma Aye Kaung lives in Bagan, Myanmar’s best known tourist site, and earns a living for herself and her family herding goats. Although primary education in Myanmar is free, Ma Aye Kaung was never been given the opportunity to learn to read and write.

Mother's Burden

Director: Cherry Thein (17 min, Myanmar, 2017)

The story of an old single mother’s struggles in rural Bagan and her reflections on her misguided choices for her daughter.


Director: Kunjila Mascillamani (30 min, India, 2017)

Gi lives with Appachan, her grandfather, but they inhabit different realities. Appachan is losing his memory and delving into worlds Gi is unfamiliar with, while Gi tries to come to terms with her work, her lover and communal hostilities.


Director: Diana Saqeb and Malek Shafi’i (60 min, Afghanistan, 2012)

In 2009 the Afghan government adopted a family law that drastically restricts the rights of women. Among other things, it makes it illegal for women to leave their homes without their husband's consent or to resist their husband's sexual demands. Diana Saqeb and Malek Shafi’i follow a group of Afghani women as they decide to organise a demonstration in front of the country's largest religious school, where the Shia law came into being.

Antanrangada Maatu

Director: Aasita Bali (18 min, India, 2019)

The story of Savita, Aruna and Nandini, three women in rural Karnataka who have experienced the sharp end of their culture and decided to challenge its failings. Savita is the daughter of a devadasi, Aruna a social activist and Nandini a representative of women farmers.

This event is part of Articulating Women: Interrogating Intersectionality and Empowering Women Through Critical Engagements, an international networking project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The project is supported by four partner institutions: Liverpool Hope University; Christ University, Bengaluru; FACT, Liverpool, and Bluecoat Centre for Contemporary Arts, Liverpool.

Too often, women’s stories have been told by those with an agenda that does not recognise their achievements or acknowledge their viewpoint. In the past, women have been written out of history, science, and the arts, excluded and silenced through indifference, misrepresentation, and denial. Articulating Women works to understand and counter, within different cultural contexts, this silencing of women’s voices while working to ensure that women are heard. Articulating women recognises the importance of the ways in which women’s experience is articulated and the intersecting social and cultural constraints within which women live and against which they struggle for greater equality.

For more information, visit the website:

Header image: Antanrangada Maatu (2019), Director: Aasita Bali.

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