The first Chennai Women’s International Film Festival sees 177 films from 26 countries
After a short film festival and several international film festivals, we now have the Chennai Women’s International Film Festival (CWIFF) making its debut here. With over 177 films in Hindi, English and Tamil, it will see directors from cities like Mumbai, Chennai and Madurai, and countries like Egypt, Spain, Mexico and Germany. According to Uday Kumar, the festival director, CWIFF is an initiative to promote films made by or about women. “Eighty per cent of the films will focus on topics related to women. The other 20 per cent will be the general category,” he says.
Filmmaker Lakshmy Ramakris-hnan observes that there are very few women filmmakers in the city. “We are conditioned to be a certain way, and to break that and come out is a challenge,” she says, adding that CWIFF will be a platform for them to translate their passion into reality. But this doesn’t mean the men will be left out. “The film festival will bring together cinema enthusiasts, filmmakers and artists,” she adds.
The films—divided into four categories: short films, ad films, documentary and feature films—will be judged by a panel that includes cartoonist-film critic Madhan, directors V Priya and Nandhini, and film critic Sathish Kumar. And offering a breather from movies will be a concert by Andrea Jeremiah.
We got talking to three directors about their films. Mumbai-based Nabh Kumar is presenting Nabe, a thriller. “It’s about the Mumbai police who has 90 minutes to catch two terrorists,” he says. In the ad category, city-based director Nattu Dev is showing Think and Ink, about an old lady struggling to make a living. “ I am also working on Ameba, a short film that deals with the changing human conscious.” And then there’s Aarthi J M, who’s presenting two of her short films, Pinky and Inivendam.com, but is looking forward to meeting “other women who make movies.”
Registration at Rs. 5,000 for women and Rs. 7,500 for men. Free entry. Details: cwiff.com
— Mrinalini Sundar