On April 1, 2011, The 35th Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) announced this year’s winning films for the Asian Digital Competition, Humanitarian Awards for Documentaries, Short Film Competition, FIPRESCI Prize and SIGNIS Awards. The announcement took place at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre with jury members of the Asian Digital Competition – acclaimed directors, Ruby Yang (The Warriors of Qiugang) and Filipino filmmaker Raymond Red (Anino), winner of Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
The Humanitarian Award for Outstanding Documentary Award went to Pink Saris directed by Kim Longinotto. The jury commented that the power of the film lies not only in its championing of these women’s struggle for equality, but also in its refusal to shy away from exploring the complexity of the process of change and the flaws of its protagonist.
Barely a day earlier, on March 31, 2011, the 8th Docudays UA – International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival screened it’s award winning films at the Cinema House in Kyiv. Pink Saris received the Students’ Jury Award “for an example of how one person can struggle against the whole system.” The film also received a Special Mention “for colorful, artistic reflection of a charismatic woman’s struggle against any kind of discrimination.”
A few weeks prior to this, on 11 March, Pink Saris was awarded with an honorable mention from the Jury of the competitive section of the Sguardi Altrove Film Festival in Italy.
Pink Saris revolves around Sampat Pal of a village in Uttar Pradesh who set up the ‘Gulabi Gang’ to fight injustice and oppression of women. This film tells the story of Sampat and four young women who come to her for help, as well as the tribulations and conflicts in Sampat’s own life as a woman and her image as a savior of oppressed women.
Pink Saris was shown in Delhi at the Persistence Resistance 2011 and we were privileged to have Kim Longinotto among us in Delhi. The film is also being distributed in India by Under Construction. Visit www.ucfilms.in for copies of Pink Saris and more information on 7 of Kim Longinotto’s films that Under Construction is distributing in India.