27 September 2021 23:23

#IFFM2021 Special: Meaning full entertainment which can save from forced labour and even forced marriage

"Most movies on the program list for the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2021 decode the various facets of modern slavery showcased in different scenarios, creating consciousness and awareness"

Every year month of August brings lots of joy to Melbourne’s Bollywood fans and it’s not a secret why it happens.
Indian Film Festival of Melbourne popularly knows as IFFM is the heart and soul of cities yearly calendar. This year despite lockdowns and restrictions they are back with the same zeal and more focused list of films on topics that we often shy away to talk about.

Festival Director Mitu Bhowmick Lange told The Australia Today, “I am so proud of the theme and the multilingual movie lineup which we have been able to curate for our audience this year.”

“As we were exploring the subject of Modern Slavery, we realised how deeply rooted it is in our daily lives, and how blissfully unaware we are. Most times we don’t even realise the role we play in it, but the system makes us a part of it.”

Most of us will say, What? ‘Modern Slavery’ as film festival subject.
It’s so bizarre, dude slavery ended decades ago, why are we talking about it now?

- Advertisement -

Oh, let us explain the definition of Modern Slavery, then maybe you can see the victims right here in Australia.

IFFM 1

Modern Slavery offences include Human trafficking, Slavery, Servitude, forced labour, Deceptive recruiting, Debt bondage, and forced marriage. It also includes the worst forms of child labour.

Ms Lange says, “This was one of the key reasons we thought it is time to address this issue, and what better way than the platform of ‘Cinema.”

Lata” a short film by Alisha Tejpal is set to screen its Australian Premiere in cinema at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2021

LATA STILL 6 2
‘Lata’ a short film by Alisha Tejpal; Picture Source: Supplied

The storyline will remind you that we all have seen Lata sometime in our life.
A 22-year-old domestic worker (That Kaamwali bai, Jhadu Katka wali Mausi or Domestic Help as more hip people like us want to call her) navigates her way through an upper-class home in South Mumbai.

The film leaves you with profound questions of her existence often unnoticed by the people she works for. She is not alone in this journey others like her also exist, a milieu of drivers, delivery men, other maids and watchmen that support and maintain the apartment buildings and the people who call it home.

- Advertisement -

No, We will not tell you the whole story. From 12 August 2021 login to IFFM’s website for free or go to Cinema to navigate with Lata the architectural blueprint of her life in which space divides and restricts access.

IFFM 1 3

And before we forget, watch out for local filmmakers because IFFM2021 is also running a short film competition with the central theme of Modern Slavery.

India’s award-winning filmmaker Onir and Bollywood actor Richa Chadha will be the esteemed judges for this year’s short film competition.

Richa 4
Bollywood actor Richa Chadha

Onir told an Indian newspaper, “I am rather looking at the list of beautiful stories, empowering one of the filmmakers whose story would make an impact.”

Festival’s subject Modern Slavery and Equality is very close to his heart as he advocates equality for those left behind in society.

“It’s a problem of the world, not just one country. The humiliation, prosecution, exploitation and oppression we suffer are often derivatives of some or the other kind of inequality, namely gender, caste or sexual preferences. And talking about it through any medium is the first step towards change,”

Onir says.
onir 1 5
Award-winning filmmaker Onir

Australia’s Federal Assistant Minister for Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs Jason Wood understands the critical role played by the community in working together to combat modern slavery.

“Events like The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne provide a valuable forum to raise awareness about vulnerable groups and the human experience of modern slavery practices,”

 Assistant Minister Wood said.

“Most movies on the program list for the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2021 decode the various facets of modern slavery showcased in different scenarios, creating consciousness and awareness,” added Mitu Bhowmick Lange.

“Another effective strategy to prevent and address modern slavery is community partnerships with civil society, non-government organisations (NGOs), business and industry, academics and unions,” Assistant Minister Wood said.

Assistant Minister Wood 4 Launch of the NAP 6
Federal Assistant Minister for Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs Jason Wood

In Australia, modern slavery describes all human trafficking, slavery and slavery-like offences in Divisions 270 and 271 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) (Criminal Code).

If you have immediate concerns for your safety or the safety of another person please dial Triple Zero (000). If you suspect something is wrong, you can contact the Australian Federal Police on 131 237 or go to the AFP website.”

The Australian government is committed to addressing the full cycle of modern slavery, including by supporting, protecting and empowering victims and survivors of this crime.

More information about the Australian Government’s efforts to combat human trafficking and slavery is available online: Modern slavery (homeaffairs.gov.au)

Liked it? Take a second to support The Australia Today News on Patreon!
become a patron button 7
Liked it? Take a second to support The Australia Today News on Patreon!
become a patron button 8
,