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Doosra Chashma: A travelling film festival to sensitise on gender parity


Mumbaikars, keep your dates free this 9th and 10th because a visual treat is on its way! A one-of-a-kind travelling campus film festival ‘Doosra Chashma’ is surely going to spice up your weekend. Organised by NGO Population First in collaboration with Whistling Woods Film Institute, the film festival to be conducted at the latter’s auditorium, is more than a mere film showcase. Mainly catering to the media and journalism students, the film festival is a collaborated effort to sensitise on the issue of gender disparity and highlight the pre-existing movie stereotypes. 

The organisation mainly works towards the cause of ending gender discrimination and a balanced and stable population, and acknowledges the power of the moving aid in bringing about a positive change. Since the NGO’s inception in 2003, it has been working with students to raise awareness on the concerning issues. The imagery and dialogue in the films get entrenched in minds easily and this has been used as an effective medium of interaction with students. The campus festival would showcase films with a gender perspective, drawn from around the world. The non-preachy yet thought provoking awareness to be brought about by this films would further bring a fresh air of consciousness to the so-called ‘boring’ movies.

Noted film festival curator Smriti Nevatia, has spoken on this regard. She believes that this festival can impact the present generation of media students; a curious bunch of individuals who have still not become inclined towards a particular movie-making attitude. As majority of the audience would comprise of youngsters, the approach has been made extremely simple. The efforts in this regard are not to disparage the impact of world cinema, the professionals are exposed to rather counter the effect of mainstream cinema which tend to reinforce gender stereotypes.

Though the outlined approach seems simple, the agenda has been finely chiselled out to make sure that the stimulating experience is supplemented with interactive discussions. The learning which would be gained, would make them more gender sensitive which would eventually reflect in their work. This stance is based on the joint efforts of Meghna Ghai Puri, Director of Whistling Woods International and Population First. Cinema is one of the biggest influencers of society. The youngsters today get their cultural and educational inputs from films. Therefore such institutes train their students to become socially responsible film makers. A good turnover from the students is expected for this event.

With an assortment of movies ranging from fiction to animation from 11 countries including Pakistan, Egypt, Iran and United Kingdom, the festival is going to be every movie lover’s haven. Indian movies like Nirnay– a non-fiction film tracing a young woman’s efforts to make sense of her own life and that of her friends in Ghaziabad and True love story, an Indian animation film that sings the glory of romance have also made to the list.

The director of People First, Dr. A L Sharda has already chalked out plans to take this festival across the country, to institutes in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kashmir to name a few. She affirms the need of gender sensitivity across the world and that the celluloid is the easiest mode of absorption of values and knowledge. We hope the event is a massive success and expect that the information dissipation triggers a big time