Rising Gardens Film Festival 2021

One Billion Rising South Asia, Sangat and Kriti Film Club 
curated by Reena Mohan

The festival is now over. Please click on the theme boxes below to know about the films that played from Jan-April 2021

Join us for the closing event to mark Earth Day on 22nd April 2021

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The ongoing pandemic has disrupted our lives, caused chaos and shown us that our existing structures are unjust and unsustainable. Has the isolation we experienced affected our thinking and practices? Did the pandemic compel us to slow down, and consider how to live with more empathy and compassion in relation to the environment?

One of the ideas behind RISING GARDENS FILM FESTIVAL was to encourage introspection and debate about these themes, and provide an opportunity to see the works of independent filmmakers in a climate of increasingly corporatised media. Holding an online festival has also simplified having conversations across geographical boundaries. Our goal is to share stories that resonate, have nuance and capture the essence of our multiple and shared realities.

The festival showcases 53 films from 14 countries, running the gamut from international favourites to community videos, from classics to debut and student films. Films from Australia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Canada, France, India, Iran, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and USA will feature at the festival, including several which are India premieres. 

Taking off from the theme of the OBR campaign, these are stories of courage, compassion and hope, with women in the fore, engaged in either environmental or agricultural work or presenting a significant connection to nature. Works that challenge us, inspire us and expand our vision.

I hope you enjoy the curation.

Reena Mohan
New Delhi, January 2021

One Billion Rising (or OBR as it is popularly known) was launched in 2012 as a call for the world to rise against the widespread violence against women and girls. The staggering statistic released by WHO that one in three women suffer violence in their lifetime, added up to more than one billion women and girls. The campaign now finds its presence in more than 200 countries, snowballing into the world’s largest mass mobilization to end gender based violence.

In 2020, we saw the consequences of letting systemic oppression and exploitation go unchecked as the pandemic revealed the social and economic faultlines of our society. We believe that the exploitation of nature and the oppression of women are deeply linked. It is larger, unjust systems that make this violence acceptable and even necessary for its perpetuation. In response to this, the campaign is pushing us to work towards healing the environment and our communities by growing gardens, directly challenging capitalist patriarchy which has increasingly pushed us away from mother nature. We recognise this and call to build such gardens, such communities where everyone can flourish.

Year after year the OBR campaign has brought us together to create such spaces and bask in our collective joy and solidarity. This year we are trying to do the same online and on the ground, where it is safe to do so, and hope that you will join us.

In Solidarity
Kamla Bhasin
Coordinator, OBR South Asia
Advisor, Sangat