"What if one day another man, dressed like a joker, sits in the bus? You will probably confuse him as me".
We are happy to bring award-winning Indian director Megha Ramaswamy's powerful 7 minute documentary Newborns on acid attack survivors on Women's day.
The documentary apart from being extremely poetic, shows us the internal dialogue of these survivors interspersed with extremely mundane conversations. While on one hand we identify completely with them (worrying about dry cleaning a synthetic soft toy). On the other hand, we also get a peek into their mindspace that is still recovering from a trauma - a mindspace that the director creates in haunting whispers. In their small world we get a sense of other worldiness- of elephants, deers and even wolves.
Made in collaboration with Stop Acid Attacks, this film is extremely restrained and manages to escape all narrative cliches. The film negates any identification of Rashmi as a survivor or much less a victim. It tries to retain the sanctity of her identity, as something innate, and not a disguise altered by an incident or by the perspective of a viewer.
Newborns premiered at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). The film won :
- The German Star Award for Best Documentary at the Indisches Filmfestival Stuttgart,
-The Best Short Documentary Award at the Mumbai Women's International Film Festival & Delhi Shorts International Film Festival (Jury Prize).
- At the London Asian Film Festival, the film won both the Audience and the Jury Award for Best Short Film.
- The film was also given the CARTel Select Special Mention for Innovation Award in Los Angeles.