Mumbai, July 21, 2015: Leslee Udwin’s India’s Daughter receives Audience Award at The Indian film Festival of Stuttgart in Germany.
India’s Daughter is an INDIA-UK co-production, which tells the story of the horrific Delhi gang rape of NIRBHAYA which sent shockwaves around the world in December, 2012, and of the unprecedented protests and riots which this horrific event ignited throughout India, demanding changes in attitudes towards women.
Speaking on the occasion, Leslee Udwin said, “Following on the latest award India’s Daughter was graced with at Biografilm Italy, we are thrilled by the news that the film was honoured with the Audience Award at the Indian Film Festival at Stuttgart last night. This is such a positive and welcome development especially given that it was the first Indian Film Festival which was courageous enough to host this important film and its powerful call for global change for women and girls across the world. What is so heartening to me is that when Indians abroad see the film in screenings and festivals, they invariably comment on how surprised they are to find the film so positive about India, the protests and the enlightened male role models in the film, which far outnumber the negative male figures. Having been led by their government and their media to expect a film that shames India, they find themselves embarrassed and amazed that this film could have been banned. ”
She further added, “I live in hope that the undemocratic and unconstitutional suppression of freedom of expression in the world’s largest democracy, which the ban on this public interest documentary has wrought, will be re-thought. The ban, made on a film which the government had not even seen, and shocking calls for the ban by a band of Indian Feminists whom I had formerly respected and admired – including Vrinder Grover, Indira Jaisingh, Kavita Krishnan and others – is what is bringing shame on India. Not the film. I know this to be a fact because as I travel the world (upward of 30 countries so far) and screen the film followed by panel discussions, international audiences are always appalled by the ban. They
understand fully that the film deals with the issue in their own country also and are shocked that the Indian government could possibly have banned a film that is so important for women, so positive and insightful in its demand for change and call for an end to the global violation of the human rights of women and girls.
On 5th August, 2015, the Delhi High Court will hear a petition brought by 2 forward-thinking individuals who are committed to democracy and a better world for women, which asks the court to lift the ban. I pray that we will have a wise and independent judge and that we can again move forward with India holding its head up high on the international stage, leading the world by example as it did in the courageous and inspiring protests against the Nirbhaya gang-rape in 20/12-13.”
The Indian Film Festival Stuttgart is the largest Indian film festival in Europe. Since 2004 it has been presented by the Filmbüro Baden-Württemberg for one week in July. In 2011 the festival changed its name from ‚Bollywood and Beyond’ to ‚Indian Film Festival Stuttgart’. The focus of the festival is on films which represent the whole range of the Indian cinema. The festival program includes classical Bollywood productions but, furthermore, introduces films from all regions of India. Since nowadays the Indian film industry offers ambitious independent, documentary and short films that present a differing and critical view. Frequently these are classical art house productions which portray the life and problems of the people in India