5th Woodpecker International Film Festival 2017

5th Woodpecker International Film Festival 2017

Social issues to take center stage at 5thWoodpecker International Film Festival2017

76short films, documentaries and docu-features on 15 powerful contemporary themes to be screened in the four day festival at Siri Fort Auditorium, New Delhi from Nov 09-12, 2017.

New Delhi, October 27, 2017: Delhi’s much awaited Woodpecker International Film Festival returns once more to enthrall discerning, film-loving audiences. To be held at Siri Fort Auditorium (9th – 12th November) the 5th edition of the festival includes hard-hitting films which question social inequalities and set norms challenging age old practices and traditions. According to the Founder-Director of the festival RaoNarenderYadav, “This year the theme of the festival is “YOUR Stories, OUR Stories” and the festival will be screening films on issues that touches everyone’s life. WIFF demonstrates the power of issue-based cinema to create change and influence public opinion. Our festival’s vision is to showcase films that promote discussions, expand expectations, challenge attitudes and help in changing lives. We are constantly experimenting to promote issue-based cinema globally and explore the power of storytelling through films to create a better world.”

A wide array of issues on the big screen

Globally acclaimed for its focus on promoting issue-based cinema, the four day festival will screen 76 films on 15 powerful thematic areas. From exploring the challenges faced by salt makers of Kutch, to highlighting the silent lives of widows of Vrindavan, and from issues related to persistent exploitation in the name of culture and caste to embracing stories of change and innovation, the festival will provide a unique opportunity to film lovers to understand and enjoy the “real” life cinema.

Prominent Films on social issues in the Festival:

Mrityubhoj – The Death Feast I Dir: AkankshaSood Singh I 00:51:59

The film will have its World Premiere at the festival. Directed by national award-winning filmmaker AkankshaSood, “Mrityubhoj – The Death Feast” is a documentary exploring the age-old Hindu tradition of Mrityubhoj – the feast traditionally organised on the last and 13th day of rituals for the dead. Today, Mrityubhoj has become a status symbol and a reflection of any family’s social standing. Set in Chambal, Madhya Pradesh, the film follows VirenderKushwa, who has lost his father and who alongwith his family is preparing for the ‘death feast’. The guest list for their father’s Mrityubhoj begins from a modest 100-150 persons on day one only to end up at 2000 plus (and counting) by the time the 13th day comes around. He is one among many who are compelled to sell/mortgage their lands, take loans and sell meager family jewellery to ensure that the meal is laid out for as many as possible. It is a heavy price to pay for the peace of a soul!

Film: Krishna’s Waiting Room I Dir: NandanSaxena and KavitaBahl I 00:52:00

The well-known filmmakers KavitaBehl and NandanSaxena’s latest 52 minute documentary on the widows, highlights their reality; limited existence and makes a silent plea for the dignity and the respect they ought to command from the very society that shuns them. The film questions societal norms and the politics of inheritance and economic entitlement where women always get short-changed. It talks to lawyers who have been involved in improving the lives of these women – 20,000 of them at last count. While about 6000 have found shelter in the ashrams there are countless others who are still on the streets and forced to beg.

Film: Feast of Varanasi I Dir: Rajan Patel I 01:33:00

The AdilHussain starrer will have its India premiere at WIFF 2017. A gripping film that addresses the taboo subject of Aghoris, while underlining the issue of casteism on the fringes, Feast of Varanasi is quiet, intense and edge-of-the-seat thriller. Based on novel of the same name, the film plot revolves around a young English teacher Helen (Holly Gilbert) who comes looking for her aunt Agatha (Judi Bowker) settled in Kashi. Meanwhile, Hussain playing CBI Officer Arjun Das from Delhi is sent to investigate deaths of five young girls in the city.

Film: Survey Number Zero I Dir: PriyaThuvassery I 00:32:00

Itis an ethnographic documentary on the making of salt in Gujarat, a state which produces 70% of the salt in India. Despite its tremendous everyday utility, “common salt” is usually taken for granted. And salt farmers are hardly the heroes of history or mythology, ballad or legend. This 32-minute film journeys through the lives of Hansaben, Bhawanaben and Pashiben, three women farmers of different ages as they gothrough three stages of salt farming in the Little Rann of Kutch in Gujarat.

Film: Snowflakes I Dir: ElifNurKayalar I Turkey I 00:36:26

A heart touching documentary about people with albinism. Albinism is a rare genetic condition but Albino people perceive albinism as a determinant for their lives rather than a genetic condition. With only one difference, their social roles, personal identities, and even their dreams are tied up with albinism.

In addition, other prominent films on social issues that will be screened during the festival include “Sent Away Boys”, “The Road Not Taken”, “Chamar Pop – Dalit Politics of Doab”, “Nazaria”, “I’m Jeeja” and “Mehram”.


About Woodpecker International FilmFestival

Woodpecker International Films Festival (WIFF) is a globally acclaimed festival focusing on issue-based cinema. Launched in 2013, the festival is part of the ‘Cinema for Change’ initiative launched by CMSR foundation, a not-for-profit Trust, based in New Delhi. The festival is organized every year in New Delhi and showcases best of alternative cinema.  The Festival Advisory Board is headed by veteran actor and theatre director Mr. AvijitDutt. During the last four years, the festival has screened more than 600 films and documentaries, taking critical contemporary issues directly to more than 65000 audience in the country.

For more information, please contact:

RaoNarenderYadav, Festival Director, Ph: 9810821868 / 011-41661868

E: woodpeckerfilmfestival@gmail.com / narender@woodpeckerfilmfestival.in


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