India

The International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT), India chapter is one of the largest chapters of IAWRT with close to 70 members from radio and television, Homepage here.  It is also the first to have started a film festival - the Asian Film Festival in 2005.

The festival has grown bigger with every passing year. It has built many partnerships over the years and with support from IAWRT International, it is able to screen over 45-50 films in three days at multiple locations and host a couple of seminars on issues of feminism in films, gender, media and more.  The festival is a celebration of women reflected through creativity, linguistic and cultural diversity under a multiplicity of themes.  Focused on screening of films produced by women of Asian origin only, the festival invites filmmakers from all over Asia but always puts together a special package on one particular country each year.

Organised by its members, this festival is a true manifestation of the spirit of voluntarism, with members who travel from across the country to be a part of it: as moderators, panelists, technicians, facilitators, media managers and more.

Students from various colleges await the announcement of the festival and constitute a large part of the audience. The festival travels across India to colleges and special packages are screened at international festivals too.

IAWRT India has twice successfully hosted the IAWRT International Biennial conference, most recently in 2015 in New Delhi.

It has also established a scholarship from the interest on the money donated by its founding member, the late Jai Chandiram. A small amount of $1000 is given to members for research or travel for their projects.The chapter aims to launch a lecture series starting 2016, provided it is able to raise funds. It is also planning to train and mentor students from neighboring countries in animation, filmmaking and digital technology.

The current board which took over formally in April 2018, is, as in the past, an eminent group of women who are professors, teachers, mentors, independent filmmakers, radio producers and community radio practitioners. They bring with them years of experience and a strong vision for the India Chapter.

NUPUR BASU

Nupur Basu is an independent journalist, an award - winning documentary film maker and media educator from India . For the last three decades Nupur has worked in both print and television journalism and reported and filmed documentaries from different regions in the world like India, UK, Uganda, Switzerland, South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka ,Bangladesh ,Afghanistan .

Formerly a Senior Editor with India's leading news channel, New Delhi Television - (NDTV) Nupur has also made several documentaries which include the award winning Dry Days in Dobbagunta (about the rural women's struggle to ban liquor in southern Indian states) Lost Generations ( on the impact of globalisation on the poor in India) , No Country for Young Girls ? (on India's shameful sex-ratio distortion) and Michael Jackson Comes to Manikganj (about the impact of satellite television on south asia). Several of these were telecast on BBC World.

Nupur is the executive producer and project director of the award winning Velvet Revolution produced by IAWRT, a documentary in which women journalists speak truth to power.

She has taught a course on "Ïnternational Reporting- India" at the J- School in UC Berkeley for a spring semester in 2010 and she does an annual workshop on Television reporting at the Media department in the Pondicherry University.

DEEPIKA SHARMA

Deepika Sharma is a independent Documentary Filmmaker and Creative Producer who is interested in the themes of gender and belongingness.

She was one of the filmmaker on the collaborative documentary film, 'Velvet Revolution,' produced by IAWRT. The film chronicles journey of female journalists across the world who have paid large personal costs in their pursuit of making under-reported facts public. 

Her Independent documentary films include ‘Dream Girls,’ produced for Yahoo Originals on the one year anniversary of the Delhi Gang rape case and  ‘So Long Sam...’ produced for Little Red Car Films as a tribute to Samovar Cafe, housed in Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai.

She has worked as a producer on international non-fiction series for Channel 4, BBC and Netflix.  She has also worked as an Associate Director on cutting Indian television series, ‘Connected Hum-Tum’ and multimedia web project on love, sex and desire, ‘Agents of Ishq.’

She is currently working on a multimedia project on community libraries.

APARNA SANYAL

 

Aparna Sanyal, a producer and director based in Delhi, has produced/ directed more than 100 hours of business TV programming, 60 hours of television documentaries and at least 15 independent documentary/ short films for Indian and international channels. She was one of the international jurors for the UNICEF Asia Pacific Child Rights Films Award in 2009, 2010. She has been on juries and selection committees for the Directorate of Film Festival in India in 2012, 2015 and 2017. In 2010, she was recognised by the British Council as a Young Creative Entrepreneur. In 2011, she won multiple awards for her film, A Drop of Sunshine. In 2012, she was awarded the Rajat Kamal, by the President of India at the 59th National Film Awards. In 2015, she was awarded a prestigious Research Grant from the Charles Wallace India Trust for her film on Vajrayana Buddhism (under production). She is one of the founders of the creative collective;The Carbon Union, and the co-founder of The Red Door, an initiative to promote Mental Health. She is also one of the founder-members of FD Zone Delhi, a monthly documentary film screening and discussion club, in conjunction with the India Habitat Centre, Delhi and Films Division, India.

Aparna began her career in 1999, working on some of the pioneering programmes on leading TV channels on Economics and Business Affairs. She went on to work for news channels such as Headlines Today, CNN -International (South Asia Bureau) and Times Now, where she was head of Programming for the Delhi Bureau for one of India's leading English News Channels. She completed her graduation in Economics from Hindu College at the University of Delhi in 2000, and her masters in Mass Communication from MCRC at Jamia Millia Islamia in 2002.

PAROMITA VOHRA

A filmmaker and writer whose work focuses on gender, feminism, urban life, love, desire and popular culture and spans many forms including documentary, fiction, print, video and sound installation. Her films include the path-breaking Unlimited Girls and Q2P as well as Partners in Crime, Morality TV and the Loving Jehad, Where’ Sandra, Cosmopolis:Two Tales of A City and A Woman’s Place. She recently directed the cutting-edge prime time TV series Connected Hum Tum. 

She has written the internationally released Pakistani film Khamosh Pani (Silent Waters)and several documentaries.

Her writing has been published in various anthologies including Bombay Meri Jaan:Writings on Mumbai, The Tranquebar Book of Indian Erotica, The Penguin Book of Schooldays, Defending Our Dreams and First Proof and journals, including Signs, South Asian Journal of Popular Culture, Bioscope. Tehelka, Elle, Outlook, Vogue, India Today, The Ladies Finger, Paper Cuts and Yahoo Originals. 

She is the founder of the digital project Agents of Ishq, a mutli-media site about sex, love and desire for Indians. She writes weekly columns in Sunday Mid-day and Mumbai Mirror.

BINA PAUL

graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) with a specialisation in editing. She has edited over 40 feature films and has worked with illustrious directors like G Aravindan, John Abraham and P N Menon. She is a recipient of two National Awards and numerous State Awards for editing. She was the Artistic Director of the International Film Festival of Kerala for fourteen years and has been  instrumental in shaping it into an important international event.

Bina Paul has served on the juries of various international film festivals including those held in Locarno, Durban, Morocco, Toronto and Berlin. Bina is a regular faculty at the FTII and CDIT (Science & Development Documentary Course). As Artistic Director of the International Film Festival of Kerala she was incharge of all curating and programming for the festival. She has also curated film packages on Women Cinema at Udine , Italy in 2008. She is also currently the Vice Chairperson of the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy, Vice President of the Network for Promotion of Asian Cinema, and a Board Member of the International Association of Women in Radio & Television (India).

ANANYA CHAKRABORTI

An award winning documentary film maker, journalist and an activist. All of Ananya's work revolves around gender.

She has made several critically acclaimed documentaries and has won several national and international awards for her work. Ananya served on the International board for six years, first as Treasurer and then as the Vice President.

Currently she is the chairperson of the West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights where apart from her other functions she is also the editor of Hullor, the only magazine in India for the children of the shelter homes in Bengal. 

 

Dr. MAUSUMI BHATTACHARYYA

is an Associate Professor at the Centre for Journalism & Mass Communication (CJMC),Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan, India. She started her career as the ‘Kolkata Correspondent’ of Dainik Bhaskar, Indore Edition. She also worked as a faculty of Loreto College and St. Xavier's College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India. Dr. Bhattacharyya completed both her Master's and Doctoral degrees in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Department of Journalism & Mass Communication, University of Calcutta. She is presently doing her post-doctoral research on 'Mobile Telephony and Empowerment of Rural Women: A study in the Bolpur Sub-division of Birbhum District, West Bengal, India’ at the Centre for Culture, Governance and Media, Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi after being awarded a post doctoral full fellowship grant by the Indian Council of Social Science Research, Ministry of Human Resources and Development, Government of India.

Dr.Bhattacharyya has already done a post-doctoral research on mobile communication and empowerment of women with a scholarship jointly given by International Association of Women in Radio & Television (IAWRT) and FOKUS, Norway in 2016. She was selected from India by the US Government to be a part of the prestigious Study of the US Institute (SUSI) Scholars on Journalism and Media Programme, 2016. Her areas of specialization include:New Media, Science Communication, Audience Research, Gender Studies, Convergent Journalism and Mobile Communication - for which she was nominated from India in the Scientific Committee of the 'Symposium on ASIA- USA Partnership Opportunities' organized by the Kennesaw State University, USA, held in Atlanta, USA in April 2013.

SUBASRI KRISHNAN

is a filmmaker and also heads the Media Lab at the Indian Institute for Human Settlement (IIHS), an educational institution that works around the urban. Her films deal with contemporary politics. Her first film “Brave New Medium” on internet censorship in South-East Asia, has been screened at film festivals, both nationally and internationally.

The award-winning “This or That Particular Person” looks at the idea of official identity documents, and in that context, the Unique Identity number. The film was adjudged as the Best Short Documentary Film at the International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala (IDSFFK), 2013.

Her last film “What The Fields Remember” on the Nellie massacre that took place in Assam in 1983, explores ideas of memory, violence and justice through survivors’ narratives.

Her next documentary film explores questions of citizenship and nationhood in contemporary Assam. As part of the Media Lab at IIHS, she teaches and curates the Urban Lens film festival. She was also the Festival Director of the 2017 edition of the IAWRT film festival (International Association of Women in Radio and Television). Prior to going to film school, Subasri worked for the academic journal 'Seminar'. 

SAMINA MISHRA

A documentary filmmaker, writer and teacher based in New Delhi, with a special interest in media for and about children. Her films include The Teacher and The World(2016), Jagriti Yatra (2013), Two Lives (2007), The House on Gulmohar Avenue (2005) and Stories of Girlhood (2001). She has also created a multi-media exhibition, Home and Away (2004) and written children's books published by Scholastic, Tulika, Young Zubaan, The Wisdom Tree and Penguin. She worked on Nehru’s Children, an archival research project on the archive of the Children’s Film Society of India for the India Foundation for the Arts. Her interest in the ways that the arts can be included in education led her to head programming at the Nehru Learning Centre for Children and Youth for two years. Her recently-published book, My Sweet Home: Childhood Stories from a Corner of the City (Mapin 2017) comes out of a creative writing and art workshop designed to reflect the world through children’s self-expression and creative practice. She is a board member of IAWRT India and is the co-curator of Soundphiles, an experimental listening experience, at IAWRT India’s Asian Women’s Film Festival. She is currently teaching the International Baccalaureate Film programme at Pathways School Noida and collaborating on Torchlight, a web journal on libraries and bookish love. She is also the Curator of Half Ticket, the children’s section at the MAMI Mumbai Film Festival. Website: www.parodevipictures.com

IAWRT INDIA would like to:

  • Strengthen and enlarge liberal spaces for creative expression
  • See IAWRT emerge as the foremost organization of media professionals and practitioners that can influence policy on issues concerning women in media
  • Work towards creating alliances with like-minded women and institutions to join hands to protect freedom of expression, gender justice and human rights
  • Provide mentorship to young professionals by providing them opportunities of working with the best in the business of media and production and expand the membership
  • Encourage research and writing and explore the world of social media to make IAWRT more visible and encouraging comments on issues related to women in radio, print and television
  • To make the India Chapter more vibrant and active by increasing its activities, interact with universities and colleges, host seminars and hold screenings of films
  • To help build a strong South Asia network and raise funds to support planned programmes in the chapter as well as Asia

A few achievements of IAWRT members:

  • Blood Leaves its Trail documentary by Iffat Fatima, supported by FOKUS declared the runner up in the competition at Film South Asia, Kathmandu.
  • Feminist Media Histories - Shikha Jhingan contributed about a young Bombay female film music director,Sneha Khanwalkar, details here.
  • Beyond Music: Maestros in Conversation, book by Geeta Sahai and Shrinkhla Sahai more details here.
  • Bread Beauty Revolution edited by Iffat Fatima and Syeda Hameed more details here.
  • Understanding Trafficking and The Journey by Ananya C. Chakrabortipart of a FOKUs supported anti trafficking project which included showings and workshops in remote villages.
  • Changemakers — five minute documentaries about women who are taking a stand on important issues: by Geeta Sahai I Have A Dream about Kavita Kumar working to assist mentally challenged children live a life of dignity and by Leena Manimekalai, a film on Dayamani Barla, the first Adivasi journalist from Jharkhand who organises a mass movement against India’s largest steel plant.
  • Vani Subramanian made a 5 minute short ''Yeh Hai Dilli Mere Yaar" (This is Delhi, My Love) that explores the notion of safety among women in Delhi. 

 

 

 

 

Office Bearers: 

Chapter Head (Managing Trustee)

Nupur Basu

Secretary

Aparna Sanyal

Treasurer

Deepika Sharma

Board members 

Paromita Vohra

Bina Paul

Ananya Chakraborti

Mausumi Bhattacharya

Subasri Krishnan

Samina Mishra

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