The pandemic and lockdown was lurking at the edges of our festival in March 2020 and though we were able to come together in this annual gathering, for many of us it was the last public event before the coronavirus unleashed its wrath. The months that followed have shown that in a globalised world, erecting walls and barbed wire fences cannot bring about protection. And so, the need to dismantle enforced segregation and instead build solidarities, is not just a moral imperative but a practical one.
As creative media practitioners, we turn to the arts to help us do that, and our festival this year draws attention to this, both in the form that it has taken as an online festival and in the films that are being screened. We continue to strive towards building networks through artistic practice and highlight common ground with women filmmakers from across Asia. For IAWRT India, the Asian Women’s Film Festival is not a festival of what are commonly termed “women’s issues” but one that focuses on women’s perspectives of the world, on questions that are of concern to everyone. Thus, the idea of uncertainty that this festival explores is through a plurality of visions seen in the work of women filmmakers from diverse countries – India, Armenia, Taiwan, USA, Afghanistan, Iran and Hong Kong.
We hope you will enjoy the films, participate in the conversations with the filmmakers, and listen to what accomplished women practitioners have to say in the Masterclasses. While the context of the pandemic has certainly brought constraints, it has also opened up new ways of connecting that we hope will support this non-competitive space that has been nurtured for 17 years.
Until next year, in person!