Bhopal: Short films make teen girls question lack of freedom in their life

Three-day ‘OBR Travelling Film Festival - Bhopal edition’ began at AICUF Ashram in Bhopal Friday

Staff ReporterUpdated: Friday, June 24, 2022, 11:05 PM IST
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Aanchal Kapur interacting with audience during 3-day OBR Film Fest at AICUF Ashram in Bhopal on Friday. | FP

Bhopal(Madhya Pradesh): Why can my brother be immersed in his mobile the whole night, but I cannot? Why can he roam around after dark but I am expected to reach home before nightfall? When my family members have no problems with my conduct, why do neighbours and relatives play the role of vigilante?

These were among the questions that were raised by teen girls on the first day of the three-day ‘OBR Travelling Film Festival - Bhopal edition’ at AICUF Ashram near Shahpura Lake in the city on Friday. Jagori Grameen, One Billion Rising (OBR) India, Kriti Film Club and ActionAid Association had jointly organised the event.

‘Whose Job Is It Anyway,’ ‘ Men sharing responsibilities,’ ‘Respect Women,’ ‘Limitless Boundaries,’ ‘Dreams on Wheels’  and  ‘Our Lanes...Our Lives ,’ were screened . The movies were based on the theme ‘Body of Woman – What Girls Want’.

Every screening was followed by a discussion session in which the audience - mostly teenage girls - talked about the theme of the film, its core message and the issues it raises. And they asked pointed and searching questions.

Aanchal Kapur, the curator of the film fest told Free Press that the objective of the event is to change the mindset of society towards women and send out a message that women have the right to freedom, right to rise against violence and the right to express their identity and choice.

Kapoor said that the festival has, so far, been organised at eight locations across the country over the past two months including Delhi, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Chandigarh and Guwahati.

Priyanka, 13, wanted to know why the socio-economic status of the boy’s family and not the choice of girl is the deciding factor in matrimonial alliances. Shivani, 18, opined that the girl should have freedom. Some of the parents said that they want their daughters to enjoy the freedom they couldn't enjoy as teens.

Kapoor said that she has been able to organise the fest due to the cooperation extended by the makers of short films and dramas. “They have made excellent films themed on gender issues and they are allowing us to screen them without expecting any money in return,” she said.

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