Indian documentary “SILENT SCREAMS – India’s fight Against Rape” bags 3 Awards at 2014 New York Festivals International Television & Film Awards


Silent Screams – India’s fight against Rape directed by Pria Somiah, written by Manira A Pinto and produced by Miditech for Channel NewsAsia, Singapore, won 3 Awards at the 2014 New York Festivals International Television & Film Awards.

Gold World Medal – Silent Screams (Best Investigative Report)

Bronze World Medal – Silent Screams (Current Affairs)

Bronze World Medal – Silent Screams (Human Concerns)

2014 New York Festival’s World’s Best Television & Films competition now in its 57th year, honors programming in all lengths and forms from over 50 countries. Dedicated to both the Television and Film industries, categories mirror today’s global trends and encourage the next generation of story-tellers and talent: Animation, Comedy, Corporate, Drama, Documentary, Feature Films, Music Videos, News, Promos, Reality Shows, Sports, Telenovelas, Webisodes, Best Performance by an Actor/Actress, Special Event, Innovation, Technical Production Team, CSR, Best Screenplay, and Best Host.

The NYF® Television & Film Competition is judged by award winning Directors, Producers, Writers, Actors and various other creative media professionals from across the globe. The Jury chose winners amidst competition from 700 entries.

About Silent Screams: The brutal gang rape of a 23-year old student in the heart of India’s capital city New Delhi shook the conscience of the country. The incident catalyzed a national movement against rape and the demand for stronger laws and speedier enforcement, starting with Police sensitization. The film follows journalist Namita Bhandare, as she meets rape survivors, law-makers & enforcers, activists & lawyers to understand the politics of rape and the plight of victims in their fight for justice. Incidentally Bhandare’s on-line petition against rape went viral getting over 650,000 endorsers within days of the Delhi December rape.

As a journalist, Bhandare had many questions…Is rape just a violation? A forced sexual act? Or is it layered with deeper meaning – a means of subjugation, to avenge her family or keep a group marginalized? What does rape mean in a patriarchal society, when you rape a woman, do you plan to shame her family and her community. Through this film, she hoped to find and share answers.

In exclusive interviews, Nirbhaya’s parents and brother describe her last few days, repeat achingly sad conversations and demand justice for her brutal and unnecessary death. The film also investigates the case of a 15-year old Dalit girl who was to be one of few to make it to senior school in Haryana and was one of 19 rape cases reported in less than 30 days in Haryana – all the victims belonged to the same lower social caste. It also looks at the role of the judiciary and the police in the case that came to be known as the `Kolkatta Park Street case’

Reliving the experience, Director, Pria Somiah, said, “The survivors we met in the making of the film were not weak or frightened women. They were brave, strong-willed and determined.. women and girls who wanted justice. They wanted their families & the community to shift the shame to the perpetrator. They wanted the conversation to change over who is to blame for rape. We wanted the film to document what has come to become an important milestone in the women’s movement not just in India but the world over.” 

Scriptwriter Manira A Pinto maintained that it was an honour to script Silent Screams. “Nirbhaya’s story is a universal story, just as rape is, which is why it sparked a nation’s conscience and made the world sit up and take note of it. I would only like to quote the last line of the film…Rest in Peace Nirbhaya. May your death not be in vain.”

The film has already won the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union – Perspective Award 2013, in Hanoi. Screened at the Mumbai Women’s International Film Festival 2013, Mountain Echo’s Festival in Bhutan and distributed across colleges, NGO’s and Legal Aid Organisations, both nationally and internationally.

Courtesy: Coffeeland News

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