UNAFF Festival

“Dutee,” a 24-minute film, which brings forward the story of Indian track and field star Dutee Chand (above) and her battle against gender testing policies, will be screened at the United Nations Association Film Festival, to be held in the San Francisco Bay Area Oct. 19-29. Also screening is “Holy (un)Holy River,” co-produced by Anand Kamalakar, a Brooklyn-based Indian American director-producer-editor. (UNAFF.org photo)

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. — A film on India’s fastest runner, Dutee Chand, who was once banned from competing in sports due to naturally high levels of testosterone in her body, is among 60 documentaries that will be screened at the 20th United Nations Association Film Festival, to be held at Stanford University and other venues in the San Francisco Bay Area Oct. 19-29.

The 24-minute documentary, titled, “Dutee,” which has been directed by Vanessa Hudson and produced by Hudson and Nina Horowitz, shows how, in 2014, the elite Indian track and field athlete was banned, her medical test results were released to the press, and her gender identity was questioned throughout the media. Chand was forced to fight for her dream to return to the track and compete in the Olympics.

In this historic case, the sprinter challenged policies that govern gender testing in female athletes, opening doors for not only herself, but for the future of all women in sport.

The other films that are on the festival’s lineup include “Holy (un)Holy River,” a 60-minute documentary, which examines the paradox of India’s sacred river, the Ganges, and the intricacies of a waterway that is divine and defiled, revered and reviled; and “Rupa’s Boutique,” a 53-minute film that highlights the horrible menace of acid attacks.

“Holy (un)Holy River” has been directed by Pete McBride, Jake Norton, and produced by McBride, Norton, and Anand Kamalakar, a Brooklyn-based Indian American director-producer- editor, known for films like “The Gowanus Canal,” which won the ‘Best Film’ award at the Brooklyn Film Festival.

“Rupa’s Boutique” tells the story of Rupa, a young girl from Agra, Uttar Pradesh, who aspired to be a fashion designer until an acid attack changed her life. The documentary, which is directed by Glória Halász and produced by Halász and Praaful Chaudhary, an Indian CG artist and 3D generalist, shows how Rupa would like to open her own boutique so that she could gain financial independence. And in the boutique, she hopes to employ her fellow victims of acid attack. As the film progresses, audiences get to know the life stories and dreams of Rupa and the other victims as they prepare for a monumental fashion show, where the clothes designed by them are showcased by the survivors.

For more information, visit www.unaff.org.

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