Consul General Edgard Kagan opened the festival with remarks about the Consulate's role as a supporting partner in the campaign for #ActionAgainstGBV.
Mumbai: At a star-studded, poolside reception in Juhu this evening, the U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai and the Women in Film and Television (WIFT) recognized the winners of their fourth annual crowd-sourced short film festival on Women’s Safety and Empowerment. The contest and award ceremony are part of U.S. Consulate’s efforts to mark the UN16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, a global campaign that takes place from November 25 to December 10.
Gaana Rewrite by Achowe from the Akshara Centre won the first prize in the 2017 festival. The second place award went to Breaking a 400-Year-Old Custom that Denied Women Temple Entry by Alankrita Anand from Video Volunteers and the third place prize to Red Mark Is for Danger: How Maps Make Children Safe by Suravi Pradhan from The Aangan Trust. The film It Should Start Within the Family by Mohammad Zahairoddin Shaikh received the People’s Choice Award, and Jarna Harish Devnani received a special award as the Best Female Director in recognition for her short film Herstory.
Speaking on the occasion, U.S. Consul General Edgard Kagan said, “The U.S. Consulate, and the U.S. government as a whole, puts gender equality and safety at the forefront of our efforts because discrimination and violence against women are absolutely unacceptable. I am delighted that we have been able to offer this platform to so many talented and capable young Indians to share stories and raise public awareness of these important issues through the medium of films.”
The gala film screening event was held at the Novotel Hotel in Juhu. A panel of judges including noted Bollywood personalities Sonakshi Sinha, Seema Biswas, Sarah-Jane Dias, and Alankrita Srivastava judged the films and awarded prizes for first, second, and third place films, as well as a People’s Choice Award and a Best Female Director prize. The screening and awards event was the finale of the contest, which allowed filmmakers from across western India to submit short-films that promote and raise awareness about safety and empowerment of women. The Consulate earlier conducted filmmaking workshops for young people to encourage broad participation in the contest.
Eight short films were screened at the event, which were shortlisted from pool of over 60 entries submitted by contestants from western Indian states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Goa. All the winning entries can be viewed and shared from the Consulate YouTube site at http://www.youtube.com/usconsulatemumbai.
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