Monday, December 8, 2008

Be Positive – HIV / AIDS Films Screening and Discussions

‘Be Positive’ - A festival of films exploring the issue of HIV/AIDS.

Quite different from the usual public service advertisements and preachy documentaries about HIV, this package of films is curated for a young, urban middle class audience. These films are not about the struggling sex worker or the helpless drug addict. They are addressed at a squarely middle class audience, and they are about how HIV can and does affect you and me.

The package includes short films by popular and accomplished filmmakers Mira Nair, Farhan Akhtar, Santosh Sivan and Vishal Bhardwaj (made with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation). Superstars Prabhudeva, Irrfan Khan, Shabana Azmi, Shiney Ahuja, Ayesha Takia, Boman Irani and others put their heavyweight audience draw behind the project, hoping to change minds and save lives.

Each film examines a different aspect of HIV and AIDS, the two strongest themes being unsafe sexual behavior, the feminization of HIV/AIDS and the hopelessness and fear that the social stigma associated with HIV breeds.

Fleshing out the short fiction films are three recent documentaries made in India which deal with transmission and prevention of HIV/AIDS and access to treatment.

List of Films

Starring: Sameera Reddy, Shiney Ahuja, Raima Sen, Irfan Khan

Using AIDS as the great class leveler, Mira Nair directs a powerful story linking urban and rural India.

Prarambha (The Beginning)

Starring: Prabhu Deva

Renowned director Santosh Sivan expertly deals with society's prejudices against people with AIDS through the journey of a young boy's search for his mother.

Blood Brothers

Starring: Siddharth Suryanarayan, Ayesha Takia, Pankaj Kapoor

Award-winning director Vishal Bhardwaj follows the journey of a young man from a positive HIV diagnosis to the eye-opening conclusion.

Starring: Shabana Azmi, Boman Irani

One of India's most prominent young directors Farhan Akhtar shows a family coping with AIDS and reveals the courage they bring to overcome the tragedy.

Some Burning Questions
30 min, DVD, 2006
Directed by: Abhijit Dasgupta
Through candid interviews with HIV+ patients in Kolkata, we get an insight into their lives and their struggle against social stigma and discrimination.
+Ve Living

30 mins, DVD, 2007

Director: C Vanaja

The story of HIV+ women who battle social ostracism and an uncertain future with dignity and hope.

Unheard Voices

27 mins, DVD, English, 2006

Directors: KP Jayasankar and Anjali Monteiro

Co-produced by Tata Institute of Social Sciences and Norwegian Church Aid, this film looks at multiple ways of transmission of the HIV virus, including unsafe medical and cosmetic practices.

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