FSA runs full house


Out of the 45 documentaries screened if 35 are outstanding it certainly is a great ratio,” said Saeed Mirza, Chairman of Jury before the winners of Film South Asia (FSA) 2007 were declared at Kumari Hall on October 14. Mirza felt that FSA showed there is a kind of hope for documentary film-makers and it brings young film-makers together. “The FSA has

regenerated and recreated faith in documentaries,” he added.

The jury consisted of Mumbai based filmmaker and journalist Saeed Mirza, Pakistani filmmaker and cultural activist Farjad Nabi and Nepali multimedia personality Kedar Sharma.

The Ram Bahadur Trophy for the best documentary was awarded to Eisenfresser (Iron Eaters) by Shaheen Dill Riaz from Bangladesh. The Second Best film went to Remembrance of Things Present by Chandra Siddan from India. The winners received US$ 2000 and US$1000 respectively.

The Special Jury Mention award was given to Seven Islands and a Metro by Madhushree Dutta from India and Ayodhya Gatha by Vani Subramanium from India. The Best Debut

winners were, A Life with Slate by Dipesh Kharel from Nepal and The Sky Below

by Sara Singh from Pakistan. Rs 1 lakh collected through this festival for the Ram Bahadur Trust fund will be provided to support a school.

Director of FSA Kanak Mani Dixit talked about this year’s festival, “The films were much stronger this year and it was surprising to see so many people come in, we had full houses from the first day itself.”

A variety of documentaries were screened at the festival. Mazhar Zaidi who made Nar Narman a documentary about Urdu’s first openly gay poet said, “It’s just that my subject was funny but in terms of content it dealt with an issue had an agenda of its own.”

For Vani Subramaniam who has been coming to FSA for the last three festivals it’s like coming back home. She said, “It’s the newness that a filmmaker brings to a topic that always surprises me,” she added. “It is an absolute honour,” said Sara Singh winner of the Best Debut film. “The way they have made it so accessible and made film-makers feel so welcome after all the struggle we’ve been through makes this festival special,” she added. Dipesh Kharel who also won Best Debut film award said, “Film making is research through camera and the audience should also gain new knowledge from it and it should also be able to help the subject or people it is based on.”