For over 60 weeks now, cinema collective Vikalp: Films for Freedom has been screening documentaries and short films by non-mainstream filmmakers in India, along with the occasional short film made abroad, in a collaboration with Mumbai's Prithvi Theatre. Before the pandemic, the collective, which started life in 2004 as a parallel film festival in reaction to censorship by the Mumbai International Film Festival, had been holding these screenings every month at Prithvi House in Juhu; the screenings, which are free, used to be held on the last Friday of every month and were usually followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker.
Since May 2020, the screenings have moved online. Last weekend, starting 25 June, Vikalp@Prithvi hosted film-maker Sohil Vaidya, screening three of his short films, Difficult People, The Timekeeper and Geeta, following this up with a discussion with Vaidya, winner of the prestigious Directors Guild of America(DGA) Student Award, 2018 for Difficult People.
This was the 60th online screening run by the Vikalp collective—previously, it has screened films such as Shabnam Virmani’s Had-Anhad, Anand Patwardhan’s A Time To Rise, Vandana Menon’s Rivers For Life, and Nakul Singh Sawhney’s Izzatnagari Ki Asabhya Betiyaan. The link to the films are uploaded on Vikalp’s Facebook page, and are available to watch for 48 hours.
Vikap@Prithvi's next screening, announced on Monday, is the documentary film Reason by Vikalp co-founder Anand Patwardhan, on July 10. Based on the life and death of rationalist Dr Narendra Dabholkar, Reason is split into eight chapters, and is a chilling account of how propaganda is being applied to systematically dismantle secular democracy in India. The screening link will go up at 10 am, and at 7 pm, Patwardhan will be in conversation with Dr. Dabholkar's son, Dr. Hamid Dabholkar. Mark your calenders.
Watch the English-subtitled, 218 minutes film on 10 July between 10 am and 7 pm. For more details and to view the screening, visit facebook.com/VikalpAtPrithvi