DocWok 1.2 Postscript

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The final evening of the 5 days workshop concluded with a public screening of Pankaj Butalia’s film Textures of Loss at the India Habitat Centre. Butalia’s film was one of the six projects mentored under DocWok 1.1 and 1.2 and although the screening was independently organised by him, the public screening worked to conclude the workshop. The international and national tutors as well as the observers attended the screening as did most of the participants.

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Butalia’s film is based in Kashmir and presents a series of portraits of people who have suffered loss of close and loved ones. The film explores the different ways that people are coping with their grief and seems to draw out the truth in of the epic quotation “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way” ― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina.

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The screening of the 72 minute film was followed by an intense discussion. Some members of the audience were affronted and felt that the film was one-sided and had mis-represented the Indian state as well as the role of the Army in Kashmir. The filmmaker responded to such criticism with his usual style of intelligent wit and wide knowledge. Many also applauded the filmmaker for such creating such an important documentary.

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The DocWok participants left the screening before the discussion concluded as the closing party was slated to begin at 9:30. The party was led by a woman DJ, Varnika, and finally the participants and the tutors got a moment to relax after the long and intense five days.

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The day after, on 6 April, all participants left but an encounter of a different kind took place. Directors and senior representatives from 6 international film festivals discussed how DocWok could be included in their festival. The short meeting concluded very quickly and DocWok will be at the Kerala International Film Festival, Sheffield Doc/ Fest in June 2013. Later it will make an appearance at Film South Asia, Nepal; Pusan International Film Festival, South Korea and this tour will conclude at Dok Leipzig where the last and final workshop dedicated to distribution and marketing would be held.

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