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A film festival explores women's ties to nature and agriculture

Films with a focus on community and sustenance will be screened this weekend as part of the Rising Gardens Film Festival

A still from the documentary 'Shepherdess of the Glaciers' to be screened this weekend at Delhi's India Habitat Centre (Shepherdess of the Glaciers | facebook.com)

The Rising Gardens Film Festival has a unique concept. It goes on for four weekends, over four months and has four themes, all revolving around women's ties to nature and agriculture.

Filmmaker Reena Mohan has curated 53 films, from international favourites to community videos, from 14 countries. This weekend, the focus is on the theme of 'Community and Sustenance—Women, Food and Livelihood'.

"The ongoing pandemic has disrupted our lives, caused chaos and shown us that our existing structures are unjust and unsustainable," Mohan writes in her curator's note. "Has the isolation we experienced affected our thinking and practices? Did the pandemic compel us to slow down, and consider how to live with more empathy and compassion in relation to the environment?"

"One of the ideas behind Rising Gardens Film Festival was to encourage introspection and debate about these themes, and provide an opportunity to see the works of independent filmmakers in a climate of increasingly corporatised media. Holding an online festival has also simplified having conversations across geographical boundaries. Our goal is to share stories that resonate, have nuance and capture the essence of our multiple and shared realities."

While the film screenings are held online every month, India Habitat Centre in Delhi will be screening the documentaries between 19-21 March at Gulmohar auditorium in its premises.

Some of these films include:

'Glow Worm in a Jungle': A retired Botany professor who lives surrounded by nature in the heart of Pune’s concrete jungle without electricity.

Talking to the Wind: A deep dive into the lives of women farmers in the cotton belt of Maharashtra—daughters, wives and widows.


'Shepherdess of the Glaciers': An intimate portrait of a shepherdess from the Himalayas and how she protects her herd of cashmere goats from harsh winter and predators.


The films will be screened at 7pm on all three days. Those interested can register on the website www.habitatworld.com

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