Mobius Hall, Screen II – Saturday, October 12th – 12:00 PM
Lake Manchar, Sharjil Baloch, 2013, Urdu, 6 min
The lake was created in the 1930s when the Sukkur Barrage was constructed on the river Indus. The lake is fed by two canals, the Aral and the Danister from the river Indus. Until recently the lake supported thousands of fisherfolk, near village Kot Lashari Bobak railway station,who depended on the freshwater fish they caught in the lake. However, the lake is now undergoing environmental degradation resulting in the water becoming saline and killing off the fish and forcing the fisherfolk to look elsewhere for employment.
Sharjil Baloch a medical graduate, working for BBC Urdu as a video producer. He has been working as freelance director, actor, writer, editor and camera man, for documentaries and fiction.
Story Teller: Wusat Ullah Khan
Have You Seen the Arana?, Sunanda Bhat, 2012, Malayalam, 73 min
“Have you seen the arana?” explores the effects of rapidly changing landscapes on lives and livelihoods. The film is set in Wayanad, part of the fragile ecosystem of the western Ghats in South India that is witnessing drastic transformation in the name of ‘development’.
A woman’s concern over the disappearance of medicinal plants from the forests, a farmer’s commitment to growing traditional varieties of rice organically and a cash crop cultivator’s struggle to survive amidst farmers’s suicides, offer fresh insight into shifting relations between people, knowledge systems and environment.
Interwoven into contemporary narratives is an ancient tribal creation myth that traces the passage of their ancestors across this land, recalling past ways of reading and mapping of the terrain.
As hills flatten, forests disappear and traditional knowledge systems are forgotten, the film reminds us that this diversity could disappear forever, to be replaced by monotonous and unsustainable alternatives.
Sunanda’s interest in documentaries is to represent people living on the margins of fascinatingly intricate and stratified Indian society, Unraveling these layers reveal glimpses of lives that are often far more interesting than fiction.
“Have you seen the arana?” is her first feature length documentary. She has spent 6 years in Wayanad, looking for ways to capture and represent the complexity of the people and place.
Some of her other work -”Ini oru Vidhi Syvoam” (Let’s make it right) on rural sanitation (winner of the ‘Gold Drop’ Award, ‘International water and Film Events 2012, Marseilles, France.
“Bol Ayesha Bol” (Speak Ayesha Speak) screened at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, 1998.
“Athani to Dusseldorf” on the transformation of leather craftspeople from artisans to entrepreneurs
“Nalai Mammadai” (Tomorrow is ours) on micro enterprise
“Yoga as therapy” is a series of 14 films on Yoga for stress related illnesses