A bouquet of films from India and abroad, highlighting the trials and tribulations and triumphs of women against oppression, will be screened between January 4−6 as part of the One Billion Rising (OBR) campaign at the Rotary Sadan in Kolkata.
"One in three women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime, which totals to more than one billion women living on the planet today. We want women and those in support of ending violence against them to come and join us in the campaign," said Anuradha Kapoor of Swayam, a women's rights organisation committed to ending violence against women and children, based in Kolkata.
Titled Our Lives To Live, the festival will showcase films from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Iran, Africa, Australia and South America.
With a blend of classics like Smita Patil's "Bhumika" and new films and documentaries like "Saving Face", a 2012 Academy Award winning documentary on survivors of acid attacks, the festival, an initiative of the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT), India, will run in 10 cities across the country as part of the OBR movement.
Mobilising one billion women and those who love them, the global OBR campaign will motivate the participants to walk out, dance and rise up and demand an end to all forms of violence against women February 14th next year.
OBR, an initiative of Eve Ensler, the founder of V day - a global activist movement - will see one billion participants from all walks of life take to the streets across 161 countries and involve around 5,000 groups.
The revolution will be marked by the supporters dancing as a form of protest.
"All atrocities are performed on a woman's body and therefore to highlight its importance, we will use dance as a medium of expression," said Kapoor.
As a part of the OBR campaign, a 'Taking Back the Night' march will be organised to highlight women's right to stay out late at night and feel safe.
"We urge the people to come and join the march. It is a symbolic gesture and it's about taking control," said Kapoor.
Luminaries from all walks of life will lend support to the initiative across the country.
"We have roped in filmmakers Aparna Sen and Rituparno Ghosh, actor Soumitra Chatterjee, author Mahasweta Devi and artist Ganesh Pyne among others in the city's chapter of the walk-out," said Kapoor.
The list also includes Usha Uthup, Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi, Mita Vasisht, Mallika Sarabhai and a host of other cultural icons.
"The band Krosswindz has also pledged its support and has done a song for the movement. It is not just for a day. It is a continuous process and the walk-out will further boost our efforts and highlight our cause," said Kapoor.
The movement is being co−ordinated in South Asia by human rights group Sangat and its network partners.