2015 Winners

Travelling Talkies

Message from the Director
Indians love movies, but only city dwellers have theaters nearby. People in extreme interiors must wait for a visit from a traveling cinema. Trucks loaded with tents, projectors, and film reels crisscross the countryside, periodically giving villagers a chance to catch a show. Travelling cinemas were once a thriving industry. Now, online streaming services and pirated DVDs mean only a few operators survive. Among them is 32-year-old Anup Jagdale. Like his father before him, Anup hauls a projector (now 85 years old) on a truck (now 75 years old) from one isolated community to another. He could have chosen a different path as he barely makes a profit from it. But he continues running the family business because he loves movies and enjoys sharing them with appreciative rural audiences. Will Anup be able to keep the business going, or will his travelling cinema reach the end of the road? In "Travelling Talkies", we witness Anup's struggle to keep an age-old tradition of travelling cinema alive.
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  • Director
  • Sujit K. JhaIndia
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24th Street

Message from the Director
In the Chinese city of Hangzhou is a shantytown called 24th Street. Its residents are migrant laborers working on construction sites. Among them is a middle-aged man named Su. He was born into a distinguished rural family but ran away from his village in order to escape an arranged marriage. For more than 30 years, he leads the life of a drifter, moving from one temporary job to another. Su takes a unique approach to the peripatetic life: Wherever he goes, he moves a big bed (an heirloom) on a wagon then builds a shanty around it. He's mostly self-sufficient, planting vegetables on vacant land and tending them with his long-term and loyal girlfriend, a fellow traveler named Chin. Over the years, Su and Chin have passed through most of China's major cities. They're some of the best-known, most knowledgeable characters in the world of migrant workers. Now, though, Su is feeling his age and becoming homesick. And with his parents dead, he worries about the family plot they've left behind. But if he retires from migrant work, where will he live and how will he earn a living? And with Chin in tow, how will they face the arranged wife he left behind? In search of a final home, Su sets out on a final journey-to the village he left decades ago.
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  • Director
  • Pan Zhiqi
    China
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Death Meal

Message from the Director
Every death in certain villages of northern India is followed, 13 days later, by a feast for everyone in the area. The family of the deceased must, by tradition, feed not just the larger family members but people of the entire village and people from nearby villages. A series of deaths among relatives can drive a family into bankruptcy. Now, some people are trying to put an end to this cripplingly costly custom. One is 45-year-old Veereshraj Sharma, a police officer by career but a social activist by choice. Every time someone dies, he urges the family to hold a simpler funeral. He also joins the family's discussions. But even people who initially support Sharma's efforts revert to old ways when they have to deal with the reality of a death in the family; they fear they'll be ostracized in life and unrewarded after death unless they hold a feast. This documentary follows Sharma's efforts to achieve reform and delves into the mysterious origins of India's enormous funerals.
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  • Director
  • Umesh Kumar Vohra
    India
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Blue Helmet

Message from the Director
This is not only that SALMA (24) has boarded on a plane for the first time, but this is also the first time ever that she is going out of the country. As part of the All Female UN Formed Police Unit for United Nations Peace Keeping mission, a simple village woman SALMA is leaving for the troubled African country Congo. Bangladesh is the second largest contributors in UN peacekeeping mission worldwide. Of the three All-Female Formed Police Units (FFPU) of UN, Bangladesh women police constitutes two deployed in Liberia and DR Congo. Deep inside SALMA feels thrill and pain all together… leaving behind her 3 year old son was not easy. Her husband also just returned from the Middle-East after losing all of their savings. For SALMA this is not only an opportunity for her to break-free the economic despair with the well-paid UN job… born and brought up in a traditional village of Bangladesh, this might as well be her chance to break through to earn a certain kind of liberty! "Blue Helmet" takes a close-up of SALMA, from recruitment, training to deployment and her struggle in reaching her dream.
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  • Director
  • Kamar Ahmad Simon
    Bangladesh
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NHK

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