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HERSTORY: Women’s Empowerment Through Her Lens AUW Film Festival on November 27 – December 6

Posted on November 27, 2020

Written by AUW

Click HERE to Get Your Tickets Now!

Join us for a special virtual fundraising event celebrating women’s empowerment through groundbreaking films by South Asian women.

A Groundbreaking Film Lineup 

All films will be available on-demand through Eventive, a film streaming platform.

 A Suitable Girl directed by Smriti Mundhra 

Tribeca Film Festival New Documentary Director Award winner.  A Suitable Girl follows three young women in India as they struggle to follow their dreams amid familial and cultural pressures to get married.

Burqa Boxers directed by Alka Raghuram

In a culture where marriage is considered the ultimate feminine career fulfillment, and beauty, delicacy refinement and submission are prized traits, a group of young Muslim women in Kiddirpur, Kolkata challenge societal stereotypes by learning to box.

Gulabi Gang directed by Nishtha Jain

In Bundelkhand, India, a revolution is in the making among the poorest of the poor, as Sampat Pal Devi and the fiery women of her Gulabi Gang empower themselves and take up the fight against gender violence, caste oppression and widespread corruption.

Away, Together directed by Sana Malik

Born and raised in an Afghani refugee camp, 10-year old Ayah resettles in New Mexico.  After being forced to go on her first camping trip, she makes an unexpected discovery about her own life story.

Dho Dala: The Sin Washer  directed by Iram Parveen Bilal

In the backdrop of a world where assassins disappear into blackholes, Dhona and Pari are launderettes who wash people’s ‘sins’ away by washing away crime scenes and evidence. All is status quo until an unsuspected spy tries to wake them to justice.

Rohingya Refugees (PBS Newshour) directed/produced by  Tania Rashid and Elizabeth D. Costa

They escaped a campaign of murder, repression and rape by Myanmar’s military and militant Buddhist monks. Now hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims refugees in Bangladesh await the political deal that would allow a return to their homeland.

Plus, an Exclusive Director’s Panel

Meet the women who directed these powerful films in a pre-recorded panel discussion available on Eventive.

Iram Parveen Bilal

Raised in Nigeria and Pakistan, Iram Parveen Bilal is an award winning director who believes in raising while rising. She is the founder of Pakistan’s first professional screenwriting lab, QALAMBAAZ, and also initiated the formation of the Pakistani Oscar committee. Advocating tirelessly for gender parity for women in film and tech, she is an active member of the Film Fatales and the Alliance of Women directors. She is a Thomas J Watson, Women In Film, Film Independent and CAPE fellow and is excited to share her SXSW2020 competition feature I’LL MEET YOU THERE with audiences in 2021 .

Sana Malik

Malik is a filmmaker and multimedia journalist. She has produced work for Frontline PBS, the BBC, MTV, ITV and Axios on HBO and founded an award-winning media and production company called This is Worldtown focusing on Women of Color visual storytellers upending simplistic media narratives.

Smriti Mundhra

Mundhra is an Indian-American filmmaker, the creator of Indian Matchmaking, available on Netflix. She won the Albert Maysles New Documentary Director Award at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject in 2020.

Alka Raghuram

Raghuram is a filmmaker and a multidisciplinary artist. Her fiction project “The Conqueror” was invited to Berlin Talent Project Market and Tribeca All Access, where she was awarded the L’Oreal Woman of Worth Vision Filmmaker Award. 

Alankrita Shrivastava

Shrivastava is an Indian screenwriter and director. Shrivastava made her directorial debut with 2011 film Turning 30 and has since won such accolades as the Films de Femmes Grand Prix and a nomination for a Filmfare award. She later received widespread praise for the black comedy Lipstick Under My Burkha, which she directed and wrote. 

And an Interactive Live Panel Discussion, December 4th at 8pm PST

with film directors and members of the AUW community:

Nazifa Rafa, AUW Student

Nazifa Rafa is a final year undergraduate student at the Asian University for Women, majoring in Environmental Sciences. She has been extensively involved in research involving environmental health, particularly water security, sanitation, hygiene, and health. Her long-term ambitions include improving the water security of the poor and marginalized communities of Bangladesh.

Dr. Tiffany Cone, AUW Faculty 

Dr Tiffany Cone is an anthropologist and filmmaker. She has carried out ethnographic fieldwork and produced a number of documentaries in China, the Pacific and South Asia. In 2015, she was a Fellow with Filmmakers Without Borders. She is currently Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at the Asian University for Women.

Moderated by

Ritu Bhargava, Senior Vice President at Salesforce

The Chair of the Bay Area Advisory Board, Bhargava leads world-class organizations in the service of building and creating cutting-edge enterprise applications. She has adopted a life philosophy of responsible gratitude, inspired by her CEO Marc Benioff’s philosophy to “do well and do good.” She loves cricket and once played at the highest level on the Women’s USA Cricket team.