August 15 - 19, 2011
The seventh edition of One Billion Eye's Indian Documentary Film Festival
At: The Alliance Française
Theme: "Gandhi"

The seventh edition of One Billion Eye's Indian Documentary Film Festival is coming soon. Started in August 2005, each year the festival explores the billion different ways that India can be perceived and expressed.

Though the nature of the event is essentially competitive, the festival aims to provide an open space and promote documentary films and filmmakers who push intellectual, political and cultural boundaries to explore issues that are relevant to the Indian context today.

With the support and encouragement of young students, film aficionados and the film community, we have been motivated to conduct this festival, bringing to the screen and stage many perspectives based on various themes every year. Starting with 'Animals, Art and Activism' in 2005, this festival has brought together dialogues on urban life, cultural politics of a city, caste, Gods and Goddesses, occult religions, ecology and environment.

"Gandhi" is the theme of the seventh edition of the One Billion Eyes - Indian Documentary Film Festival to be held at the Alliance Française of Madras from 15th - 19th August, 2011.

Gandhi is for every Indian a symbol of what being Indian means. From childhood through school and through one's parents, the idea of Gandhi permeates into every Indian's life.

However, post-Independence India has negotiated its Gandhi legacy in many ways. Many committed activists have taken up his philosophy and worked their lives around that from Baba Amte to Anna Hazare to Medha Patkar. Less and less younger people, however, are subscribing to Gandhian philosophy in our current globalized time, where Nehruvian socialism seems to have catapulted to complete capitalism as the credo of the moment.

It is here that we feel re-looking at Gandhi, his life, philosophy, sacrifices, and the roles he played and continues to play in making India what she is today. It is exciting to bring together on the same platform many young filmmakers and well-known speakers to analyze and understand Gandhi through film, theatre, dialogue and music.

Said to be one of the greatest men on Earth in recent history, M K Gandhi has inspired many world leaders and while he transformed our nation and continues to do so in the subliminal subtexts of Gandhian tradition, it is time to ask how do we internalize 'Gandhi' - to move ahead in the new world order as individuals, a community and a country on the another cusp of history.

The festival will be opened on the 15th of August with the screening of "Gandhi: Twentieth Century Prophet" by Late Mr. A.K. Chettiar (1911-1983), a famous Tamil travelogue writer, journalist and documentary film maker. While on a ship from New York to Dublin, Chettiar recorded that the idea of making a film on Mahatma Gandhi occurred to him right on Gandhiji's birthday. Back in Chennai, Chettiar, originally a photographer jumped into an experiment on documentary filmmaking and began to salvage precious footage and material from archives, news agencies, studios and individuals, while he continued to study with his camera the contemporary view on Gandhiji.

The original 81-minute film, 'Mahatma Gandhi - Twentieth Century Prophet' with Tamil commentary is reportedly lost. But a valuable revived version of the film brings to life episodes showing Gandhiji's participation in the All India Congress Committee, the Round Table Conference in London, the Salt Satyagraha and the Quit India Movement, and much more.

As part of our outreach programme, Mr. Parnab Mukherjee, an acclaimed authority on Badal Sircar's theatre and Shakespeare-in-education, who specializes in theatre-for-conflict-resolution and theatre-of-the-campus, brings to Chennai’s schools and colleges - 'soaked-stretched-submerged: a cross media choreo-poem'. Performed by Surjit Nonmeikapam and Baishampayan Saha in collaboration with Rohit Bhoot, in note of commemorating the 75th year of the foundation of Sewagram at Wardha and the centenary of Gandhiji's Tolstoy Farm in South Africa, this poem tells the stories of a historic Sunday market in Ahmedabad, the Gujari bazaar.

‘Why is Gandhi COOL even today?’ is a panel discussion that will be held on 16th of August, with esteemed panelists consisting of Ms. V. R. Devika (Managing Trustee, Aseema Trust), Mr. Ram Subramaniam (Chief Samanvaya), C. Annamalai (Director, Gandhi Study Circle) and A. S. Panneerselvam. This session will moderated by Mr. Ranvir Shah.

On 18th of August, Gouranga Charan Dash from Odisha performs Bapu Katha, a shadow puppetry narration of Gandhiji’s life. Gouranga Dash is at present engaged in the study and research of the origin and growth of puppet theatre in Odisha.

The festival will conclude on the 19th of August with a concert of Mahatma's favourite bhajans by Bombay Jayashri¸ a renowned classical musician, and her students. Her repertoire of meditative music and rare poetry enables her to interpret, render and convey from years ago the favourite ragas and swaras of Gandhiji.

The festival jury consisting of Mr. K Hariharan (Director, L.V. Prasad Film & TV Academy), Ms. V.R. Devika (Managing Trustee Aseema Trust), and Mr. Paneer Selvam will watch the films screened on each day of the festival and award a prize of Rs. 25,000 for the best film.








6-6.40 PM

Gandhi: The 20th Century Prophet - Part I


40 mins

6.40-7.40 PM

‘soaked-stretched-submerged: a cross media choreo-poem’ directed by Parnab Mukherjee

8-8.40 PM

Gandhi: The 20th Century Prophet - Part II


40 mins


6 - 6.30PM


Pravin Mishra

32 Mins

6.30 - 7 PM

A season Outside

Amar Kanwar

30 mins

7 - 8 PM

‘Why is Gandhi COOL even today?’ panel discussion

8.15 -8.45 PM

I Found a Thread

Tangella Madhavi

26 mins


6 - 7.30 PM

The Salt Stories

Lalit Vachani

84 mins

7.30 - 7.40 PM

Gandhi Through the Eyes of a Cartoonist

Films Division - Shaila Paralkar

9 mins

7.40 - 7. 45 PM

Yeh kaisi Asadi Hai

Pravin Mishra

5 mins

7.45-7.50 PM

Gandhiji's Letter to Hitler

Films Division - Bhipen Choubal

3 mins


6 - 6.10 PM

Tales from Napa

Lalit Vachani

6 mins

6.10 - 7 PM

Pregnancy Prescriptions and Protocols

Surabhi Sharma

52 mins

7.10 - 7.20 PM

Yehan Gandhi Biktha Nahi Hai

Vikram Bawa

7 mins

Bapu Katha - Shadow Puppet Theatre from Orissa


6-6.10 PM

Aap Hamare Hain Kaun

Madhusree Dutta

7 mins

6.10-6.15 PM


Pravin Mishra

4 mins

6.15-6.25 PM

To Remember

Amar Kanwar

8 mins

6.25-6.45 PM

Lines of Mahatma

R V Ramani

20 mins

Bombay Jayashri and her students perform favourite bhajans of Gandhiji