Past News

DocedgeKolkata at IDFA

This year the IDFA was attended by two projects from DocedgeKolkata 2017.

"Slave Garden"  by Abhra Aich had been chosen for IDFA Award in DocedgeKolkata 2017 – an invitation to the IDFA for being part of the IDFA Academy and the festival.

"Writing with Fire"  by Sushmit Ghosh and Rintu Thomas pitched the film at IDFA Forum, Central Pitch.

Team DRI wishes both the projects the very best and congratulates them on their pitches at the IDFA Forum.

“24th Street”  by Zhiqi Pan (China), a DocedgeKolkata incubated film, was one of the 15 films that participated at IDFA Competition (Feature Length). With its colorful main character, Su, 24th Street offers an original twist to the story of modernizing China – and those on the fringe who can’t keep up. In Hangzhou, 24th street is under construction, attracting a large number of migrant workers and their families from rural areas. Old Su, in pursuit of free love during his youth, betrayed his parents for Qing to drift in various urban city districts. Su has been slowly phasing out of their living space where his shack and vegetable fields are facing relocation. Su yearns to go back to his hometown, but how will he face his past, a now un-recognizable homeland?

"Demons in Paradise"   by Jude RATNAM, had its Dutch Premier at the IDFA. The film is the result of ten years of work. For the first time, a Tamil documentary filmmaker, living in Sri Lanka, is seeing the Civil war from the inside.
Jude Ratnam was five when civil war broke out in Sri Lanka in 1983. The war would go on for 30 years. It left its mark on Jude’s family and relatives as well. Now, he once again takes the same train from south to north, this time as a documentary filmmaker. He follows the traces of the war: the violence, the people who helped and the self-destructive terrorism of the militant groups. We see the country’s still painful wounds from Ratnam’s point of view. The constant fear of the wartime period has left deep scars in his family, down to the very youngest generation: Ratnam still feels uneasy when his young son speaks loudly in Tamil.

Congratulations to Zhiqi Pan and Jude Ratnam.

"Up Down & Sideways"

by Iswar Srikumar and Anushka Meenakshi

A film by DocedgeKolkata alumni Iswar Srikumar & Anushka Meenakshihas bagged the New Asian Currents Award for Excellence and the Directors Guild of Japan Award at the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival.
Also, it has been awarded the 3rd prize in the International Competition at the Bozcaada International Festival of Ecological Documentary in Turkey. The film had three screenings at the Jio Mami and is now travelling to Mostra in Sao Paulo (Brazil), Womex (Katowice, Poland), Film South Asia (Nepal), and IDFA (Amsterdam, The Netherlands).

Congratulations Iswar & Anushka!

DocedgeKolkata 2017 projects at Doc Ports Incheon and DMZ Docs

"Flickering Lights"   by Anupama Srinivasan and Anirban Dutta won the Best Asian Project Award at the 4th Docs Port Incheon (under the Asian Project Pitch). The film won the Award jointly with “No Boys Land”   by Nontawat Numbenchapol (Thailand).

"Flickering Lights"   is a socio-political narrative about a remote village, Tora, on the India-Myanmar border. Seventy years after Indian independence, news floats in that electricity may arrive. The film also follows three different people and through these three different perspectives, we understand the ethos of the community, their preoccupations and priorities. The film will alternate between the lives of the people and the electricity work, two threads that move together, at times intersecting - life flickers between hope and frustration.

Another DocedgeKolkata 2017 filmmaker, Sreemoyee Singh was among the five filmmakers to win a grant under the ‘New Directors Documentary Project’ at the 9th DMZ Docs Fund for her film "Toward Happy Alleys" ("Be Kucheye Khoshbakht").

A Phd. student from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, Sreemoyee Singh, went to Iran to work on "The National and the Translation in the Exile cinemas of Iran". She lived in Tehran for three-and-a- half months and found out ways to shoot secretively, switching on the roll button randomly in buses or while walking on streets. At first, she felt she was constantly negotiating. However, eventually, people started trusting her and opening up to her and her film started taking shape. “Toward Happy Alleys” is a film about the artists in exile in Iran and how art finds ways of expression despite the strict censors in the country. Though the film primarily deals with filmmakers, it also depicts how regular people in Iran deal with the recurring issue of censorship and how they figure out ways to live and express themselves in such repressive spaces.

Congratulations to Anirban, Anupama and Sreemoyee …

DocedgeKolkata Awards at Docs Port Incheon and DMZ Docs

The DocedgeKolkata works together with Docs Port Incheon and DMZ Docs in awarding selected filmmakers, with their projects, from these forums. The Awards invite a director or a producer of the projects to participate in DocedgeKolkata 2018 and provides accommodation. "The Birth of Resonance"   (directed by Lee Jeong-jun and produced by Kim Na-rae) and "Where the Peach Is in Bloom"   (directed by Jiang ChunHua and produced by Ruby Chen) were awarded in Docs Port Incheon 2017.

"The Birth of Resonance"   is an ethnographic film that follows Sun-bin Lim, a traditional drum maker for the past 56 years. The film sees an intangible cultural asset with hearing impairment making his last large drum with his son, Dong-guk Lim, who is also his apprentice. These two very different people are now trying to reach for one sound. The film is Lee’s first feature documentary debut.

"Where the Peach Is in Bloom"   is a socio-political story about friendship, betrayal and love which can only be concealed. The story follows Leigong and Chanjuan’s puppy love. They are however separated by the separation rule - any kind of interaction is strictly forbidden between boys and girls in the juvenile reform school.

Concerto for Two Hearts (directed by Jeong Gwan-Jo and produced by Naomie Choi) was awarded at the 9th DMZ Docs.

The film follows a pianist/clarinet player, Seong-ho. He is a talented musician with an autistic disorder. His father left the family, his mother has devoted herself to groom Seong-ho into a musician and his brother is neglected and pushed to take care of Seong-ho. This family’s cacophony is perhaps slowly forming a symphony.

Team DRI looks forward to hosting the filmmakers during DocedgeKolkata 2018 and welcomes their beautiful projects.

DRI at the Busan International Film Festival 2017

With previous DocedgeKolkata tutors and participants – Fujioka Asako (Japan), Siane Ha (South Korea), Sam Seonkyu Park (South Korea) and Seokpil Kang (Executive Manager, Docs Port Incheon).

Bishnu Dev Halder, representing the DRI Team, is just back from the Busan International FilmFestival.

It was a wonderful experience, - a festival marked by its vibrancy, apart from the magnitude, scenic location and some great films. The warm and lively South Korean audience is perhaps what makes the festival a special one. The experience of watching a film on the gigantic screen at the BIFF Theatre with close to a thousand people is an experience to cherish forever.

Also, it was most heartening to meet so many of the past DocedgeKolkata attendees from all over Asia. One of the recent DocedgeKolkata projects – Whispering Trees, directed by HeoChulnyung and produced by Sona Jo – was screened at the festival. Two of our past DocedeKolkata observers – Archana Phadke and Arya Rothe – were also at the festival as the winners of the Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Fund. – Archana, with her project About Love  , and Arya with her project A Rifle And A Bag   which won the BIFF Mecenat Fund.

Bishnu was also a part of Platform BUSAN, the brand new initiative of BIFF, involving many fruitful sessions including one called 'Incubating Asia - On the possibility of documentary co-production between Asian countries'. It was a time of some great interactions with new filmmakers from Asia. Most had several eager queries about DocedgeKolkata and we may look forward to seeing many of them at the 2018 DocedgeKolkata edition.

  • Busan Cinema Center, the main venue of BIFF

  • With Docedge alumni Arya Rothe, Kim Sang-kyu, and Archana Phadke

  • BIFF Theatre

  • With director Heo Chulnyung and
    producer Sona Jo of The Whispering Trees

Writing With Fire
by Sushmit Ghosh & Rintu Thomas
is selected for
Sundance Institute | Bertha Foundation Fellowship

Docedge alumni Sushmit Ghosh and Rintu Thomas, after being awarded with the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund | 2017 have been chosen for the Sundance Institute| Bertha Foundation Fellowship for their work-in-progress film Writing with Fire.

For this film, it has been a very inspiring journey. Earlier, the Tribeca Film Institute, partnering with the Gucci and Oath Foundation, had announced their 2017 grant recipients for the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund. Amongst the eight feature-lengths documentary film projects selected was Writing With Fire by Sushmit Ghosh and Rintu Thomas. The films selected for this round all deal with significant issues of our time that highlight and humanize critical domestic and international social concerns, especially focusing on women and youth.

The Sundance Institute celebrates diverse topics by creative artists from all across the world. The Sundance Institute | Bertha Foundation Fellowship is a fresh initiative to support filmmakers dealing with strong social and human concerns impacting our times. Congratulations to Writing with Fire for having found its place in this prestigious platform.

DocedgeKolkata 2017 Project goes to IDFA Summer School

Writing With Fire
Directors: Sushmit Ghosh & Rintu Thomas

goes to IDFA Summer School....

Writing With Fire  is another incubated project awarded at DoceKolkata 2017.
Sushmit and Rintu have just been to the IDFA Summer School. Here's a glimpse into their experiences...

" At the recently concluded IDFA Summer School, we had an opportunity to spend a valiant week with filmmakers from across the world, in a city where all different cultures met.

16 projects were held in a daily basis in a series of master classes, where 32 participants representing one-on-one sessions, group meetings, film screenings and industry interface to discuss about their projects. Academy award nominated cinematographer Ed Lachman showing us excerpts from his work, sharing some wonderful stories from his early years. Editor Jesper Osmund also elaborated on how to communicate a storyline for a feature project in under 3-minutes. The session with director-editor duo Kim Longinotto and Ollie Huddleston also dealt with approaches to storytelling.

Kim was assigned to us as a tutor and we had the opportunity to discuss our film threadbare with her. The group sessions were all about participants coming together and discussing the challenges we were facing with our projects. What really struck us in these sessions was the humility and grace with which our fellow filmmakers conducted themselves.

The days would usually end with film screenings and intense debates about cinema, art and more! IDFA had made sure that there was ample time for participants to relax over lunches, dinners and boat trips along the city's famous canals.

We've come back revived, looking forward to getting back to filming. But I feel, what we've brought back with us are the meaningful bonds of trust and friendship that will stretch well beyond our individual stories.
" -  Sushmit & Rintu

IBF Classic Docedge Kolkata 2017 Project gets grant

Slave Garden
Director: Abhra Aich

Awarded the IDFA Bertha Fund (Classic) Development grant....

The project was one of the recipients of Docedge Awards and went on to be invited to the IDFA. Recently, this film has also been selected as one of the grantees of the IDFA Bertha Fund. Abhra is currently shooting in the strife-torn hills of North Bengal and we asked him to share with us a bit about his current experienes...

' As you read this, we must have already entered a no internet zone. Over the past year and a half of shooting of this film, we have been occasionally severed from the outside world for several days like this. Mobile internet has been blocked and local televisions are not allowed to operate by the authorities in order to maintain peace and harmony in the area. Darjeeling is under a complete shut down for more than one and a half months now. My journey with this film has been full of surprises. Effects of sudden demonetisation on the tea workers, accidental burning of my character’s home and the present situation have seeped into the narrative of my film.

My film has progressed reasonably well in the past months and a number of windows have been opened up for me, post DocedgeKolkata 2017. In July, my project was selected for the IDFA Bertha Fund. I hope to travel to Amsterdam in November to attend the IDFA Academy and the IDFA festival. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Docedge Kolkata, the tutors I met there and the colleagues who have encouraged me and are helping me to make this film take shape.
' - Abhra Aich

Dhaka Doc Lab, Bangladesh

A new forum is born!

Dhaka Doc Lab, Bangladesh

in association with
DocedgeKolkata, Asian Forum for Documentary

A South Asian documentary co-production platform for incubation and pitching
Dhaka, Bangladesh (8th -13th September, 2017)

The first edition of DDL is looking for promising projects for submission.

Find more at :



5 films mentored at DocedgeKolkata 2017 have been invited by Sheffield Doc/Fest for an additional mentoring and co-production guidance during Sheffield Doc/Fest starting from 9th to 14th June 2017 as part of an Indian delegation. Filmmakers would be participating in the lab from 7th – 9th June. The lab is followed by a special round-table with experts and professionals.

Congratulations filmmakers!

Writing with Fire
Sushmit Ghosh/Rintu Thomas
Flickering Lights
Anupama Srinivasan/Anirban Dutta
The Geshe Ma Nuns
Malati Rao
Noon Ko Chia (Slave Garden)
Abhra Aich
Toward Happy Alleys
Sreemoyee Singh

DocedgeKolkata specially celebrates the selection of two awarded DocedgeKolkata projects in MeetMarket, Shefield Doc/Fest :

 Writing with Fire – Sushmit Ghosh/Rintu Thomas
 Flickering Lights – Anupama Srinivasan/Anirban Dutta

Wish you all success Sushmit/Rintu and Anupama/Anirban!

Moments from Doc Lab from Sheffield Doc Fest 2017

DocedgeKolkata, Asian Forum for Documentary receives EDN Award 2017


In a special presentation Paul Pauwels, Director, EDN, conferred DRI and DocedgeKolkata with a recognition that is a great privilege and honour to receive. This year Nilotpal Majumdar was honoured with the EDN Award, in recognition of his outstanding contribution towards developing the international documentary culture.

DRI has worked tirelessly in the face of all obstacles and continued with its mandate of developing an Indian and Asian hub of documentary professionals participating from all over the world. And today, the forum – DocedgeKolkata, Asian Forum for Documentary, stands proud as a renowned focal point for documentary practice and incubation of reality storytelling.

Nilotpal accepted the award along with the entire DocedgeKolkata team on 3rd of March 2017. It was a very emotional moment for DRI, and we cannot express in words the inspiration that it has given us in carrying on ahead.

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