Glimpses from 9th “Jeevika” Livelihood Documentary Festival (Part 1)


“Jeevika Asia Livelihood festival” is a unique documentary festival that focuses on issues related to employability and problems faced therewith by the weakest sections of population. “Jeevika” is an initiative of CCS that is an independent not-for-profit society engaged in the assessment of policy issues related to livelihood generation by a great many people belonging to the disadvantaged section.

It took place under the aegis of Centre for Civil Society from 31st August to 2nd September, 2012. The event was inaugurated by Raj Liberhan, Director, Indian Habitat Centre with a brief speech. Right after the event was inaugurated; noted documentary filmmakers Supriyo Sen and Amlan Dutta took over the centre stage and helped documentary lovers and students understand the nuances of the art of documentary filmmaking closely. Where Supriyo Sen shared his multi-award winning documentary “Wagah” with audience, Amlan Dutta showed some scenes from his yet to be released documentary “Boom”.

The Jeevika festival entered into its 9th year in 2012 and it has been playing a critical role in encouraging documentary filmmakers and holding serious debates on matters related to public policy that may help in improving conditions for the economically backward people. Issues ranging from socio-political, economy and environment have all been aptly highlighted by the filmmakers during the brief interaction that took place with the audience after screening of each film.

The panel discussion on the 2nd day was conducted by National Award Winning Documentary Filmmaker Nandan Saxena and Veteran theatre personality and activist Anasuya Vaidya. Where Anasuya Vaidya talked of archaic and antiquated laws for regulating theatre and public performances, the other issue of “Bamboo” not being accessible to farmers for it being defined as part of forests and consequently prohibited from cutting under the Indian Forest Act was raised by Nandan Saxena.

Anasuya Vaidya also talked of the way Indian Government has levied a heavy import duty of 25% on silk import driving costs up foe sericulture industry and turning them uncompetitive. On the other hand, Nandan Saxena also shared some of the frames from his documentary “Cotton for my Shroud” with the audience present at the gathering and expressed strong opinion on how the farmers across India are being exploited through the connivance between Indian government and U.S. based genetically modified seed manufacturer “Monsanto”.

He also showed the growing organic movement throughout the country and pointed out, how farmers are now willing to shift to organic cultivation in the wake of better remuneration for these crops resulting from high-demand for these crops from western countries including countries like Japan in Asia too.  The second day of the film festival ended after the screening of “Breaking the Silence” documentary of Ishani K. Dutta dealing with the sexual harassment faced by women at workplace.

Photo: The Hindu

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