“Petals in the Dust: The Endangered Indian Girls,” a film reflecting the patriarchal mindset and shedding light on the enormity of the war against Indian women, and “Women are the Answer,” a film exploring the consequences of the burgeoning Indian population, are among 60 documentaries selected to be screened at the 19th Annual United Nations Association Film Festival to be held Oct. 20 to 30 at Stanford University, in Palo Alto, Calif., as well as in San Francisco.
These documentaries, which will present stories from the streets of Afghanistan, Argentina, Cuba, Ethiopia, France, Germany, India, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Syria, South Africa, the U.S. and other countries, have been selected owing to their powerful subjects, which fall in line with this year’s theme, “Compass for a Better World.”
“Petals in the Dust: The Endangered Indian Girls,” which will screen Oct. 22, has been directed by Nyna Pais Caputi, a San Francisco Bay Area-based Indian American filmmaker, who has worked on several short, award-winning films, including “DCBA-Desi Confused by America.” Caputi also founded the ‘Global Walk for India’s Missing Girls’ in 2010 in San Francisco, an international awareness campaign on the violence and genocide of Indian women across 25 cities and five countries.
‘Women are the Answer” has been helmed by Australian director/producer Fiona Cochrane. In the film, Cochrane outlines the unique history of Kerala and the ‘Kerala Model,’ using it as an example of achieving population control in developing countries without coercion.
Among other films aspiring to bring about a change in the world, and which will be screened at the fest, include: “Among the Believers,” which gives an insight into the ideological battles shaping Pakistan and the Muslim world, co-directed by Hemal Trivedi from India and Mohammed Naqvi from Pakistan, and will screen Oct. 29; Pakistani filmmaker Muhammad Umar Saeed’s “The Learning Alliance,” a portrait of children with dreams and their struggle towards achieving it, which will screen Oct. 22; and “Threads” by Canadian filmmaker Cathy Stevulak, which tells the story of Surayia Rahman, of Bangladesh, a pioneering wife and mother, who transforms a centuries-old Bengali quilting tradition into a timeless art form. “Threads” will screen Oct. 27.