he annual Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT) film festival is back again to present Delhi's 'bodyguarded janta' with a feast of documentaries covering a wide ambit of socio-political concerns. Open Frame, the 11th edition of the PSBT annual Film Festival& Forum of documentary films, workshops and discussions, began this Friday and will go on till 17 September. Held in collaboration with the India International Centre, Open Frame turns 10 this year. "We usually have international films but this year is an exception. Since we've completed a decade we decided to feature our films and a retrospective. This will comprise one film for every year," said the spokesperson for the festival.
A still from Tales from Napa by Lalit Vachani
Over the years, Open Frame has provided a much required platform for showcasing narratives from the periphery. The documentaries present ideas that have remained elusive to mainstream representation while also exploring different ways of articulating them. Some of the PSBT films will be screened for the first time at the festival, while a substantial number have already done the rounds of international film festivals. Filmmaker Iram Ghufran's There is Something in the Air, which won the best short documentary at the 4th International Documentary and Short Film Festival in Kerala this year, is one such work. Her film traces a series of 'dream narratives' and spiritual experiences of women petitioners at the shrine of a Sufi saint in north India. "It's looking at the space of a shrine and witnessing how insanity plays out. What is insanity allowing one to do? What are its narratives," says Ghufran, who also teaches photography to graduate students at the Convergent Journalism Programme, AJK MCRC, Jamia Millia Islamia. Other interesting works include Roots of Love by Harjant Gill, which talks about the changing significance of hair and the turban among Sikhs in India, Shriprakash's Err... Stories in Stone, which documents the unwritten histories of tribal people in India and Tales from Napa by Lalit Vachani, which is the inspiring story of a little village in Gujarat that resisted communal forces during the 2002 riots. Born out of Delhi's ethos we have Mera Apna Sheher by Sameera Jain, which talks about being a woman in Delhi and Dil ki Basti Mein by Anwar Jamal, which is the filmmaker's personal impression of Old Delhi.
Along with documentary and film appreciation workshops for registered participants, the festival will include discussions on issues like the politics and economics of development; women, madness and cinema and articulating subaltern narratives. More than 200 media students have registered for the event. The documentaries screened will be available at PSBT and can be bought from www.synclinefilmstore.com.