Previous Editions

1st ViBGYOR, International Film Festival for Documentaries and Short Fiction

Dates: February 22-26, 2006 | Focus Theme: Water | Chief Guest of Inaugural Ceremony: Lasse Naukarinen, Finnish filmmaker | Films screened: 200

Chetana Media Institute (Thrissur), Nottam(Kerala) and Abhivyakti Media for Development(Nashik), with the support of various film societies and cultural organizations, launched the 1st edition of  VIBGYOR in 2006. Four awards were given away in two categories – documentary and short fiction. The Competition section at national level for Documentaries was based on the theme `Women Frames’. Non-competitive section included national and international short fiction, documentaries, music videos, animations and spots based on the central theme of ViBGYOR, `Celebrating Identities and Diversity’.

2nd ViBGYOR, International Film Festival

Dates: May 10-13, 2007 | Focus Theme: Earth | Chief Guest of Inaugural Ceremony: Yasmin Kabir, Bengladeshi filmmaker

 The 2nd edition was launched with a National Conference based on ‘Earth’. Members of the National Adivasi Andolan movement presented an Invocation to Earth.  Dr. Ram Dayal Munda delivered the keynote address, ‘Land—ownership and displacement in the context of globalization and Privatization’. Reputed documentary filmmaker Anand Patwardhan, social activist and scholar Ram Dayal Munda and Kerala State Chalachitra Academy Chairman K.R.Mohanan were some of the dignitaries present.

3rd ViBGYOR, International Film Festival

Dates: February 13-17, 2008 | Focus Theme: Energy | Inaugural film: Voices from Baliapal | Retrospective: Ranjan Palit-Vasudha Joshi

Prior to the Festival at Thrissur, a National Conference was organized at Thiruvanathapuram on `Energy- Policies, Problems and Solutions’. Magsaysay Award winner Sandeep Pandey delivered the keynote address and an eminent panel led the presentations and discussions. ViBGYOR Film Festival Opening Ceremony was held on February 13th in Pananchery Panchayat, to mark it as `Festival from the People’. The Panchayat President Ms. Lilly Francis, along with 14 filmmakers who came from different parts of the world, lighted lamps of peace and harmony. The high point of the day was the screening of the short film `Akavum-Puravum’ scripted and directed by the women’s group of Pananchery Panchayat.

4th ViBGYOR, International Film Festival

Dates: February 04-08, 2009 | Focus Theme: Food Sovereignty or Bhakshya Swaraj

Chief Guest of Inaugural Ceremony: Dr. Ilina Sen, Dean of Mahatma Gandhi Hindu University, Wardha and wife of imprisoned human rights activist Dr. Binayak Sen

The Festival began with an international Conference that emphatically pointed out the need for protecting our basic human rights including the right to have decision-making power over our food and food producing resources. The 5-day Festival, held in the Sangeet Natak Akademy, Thrissur, Kerala, was a combination of screening more than a hundred short fiction films and documentaries, Open forums and Mini conferences on current social and political issues, `Free Dr. Binayaksen’ and other campaigns and a Workshop on `Community Radio’. ViBGYOR-2009 served as a platform for the coming together of social activists and filmmakers of national and international acclaim and people from various walks of life who came to share their dreams of ‘another/alternative world’.

5th ViBGYOR, International Film Festival

Dates: February 17-21, 2010 | Focus Theme: South Asia – Democracy, Justice, Peace | Chief Guest of Inaugural Ceremony: Dr. Binayak Sen, human rights activist

The 5th edition began with the South Asian Conference on ` State, Communal and Developmental Conflicts in South Asia’. Zakia Soman, Founder Member, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan inaugurated the Conference. Dr. Binayak Sen, national Vice President of PUCL did the key-note presentation of the Conference. Immediately after the closing of the South Asia Conference, we had the inauguration of the` Justice for Bhopal’ Campaign Photo Exhibition, marking the 25th anniversary of the Bhopal tragedy victims’ campaign for justice. Seven politically significant short films were screened in the Open Air venue as part of the `Inaugural Films Package’. In the following days, from 18th-21st, a total of 100 films were screened at three venues (Regional Theatre, Natyagriham and Open Air Screen). Apart from the screenings, there were the `Meet the Directors’ sessions, the Mini Conferences, two Campaigns, the Farm & Food Fair, the Media Exhibition, Music Time and the Cultural Night.

6th ViBGYOR, International Film Festival

Dates: January 12-16, 2011 | Focus Theme: Political Filmmaking and Media Activism in South Asia | Festival Director: Anand Patwardhan | Chief Guest of Inaugural Ceremony: Saeed Mirza, filmmaker | Saratchandran Memorial Lecture: Medha Patkar | Films screened: 130 films from 20 countries

This edition of the Festival was dedicated to the memory of late C.Saratchandran, founder member of ViBGYOR and a long time political filmmaker and media activist. The special focus theme was `Political Filmmaking and Media Activism in South Asia’ in tune with the vision and mission of Sarat. The festival began with the South Asia Media Activists’ Get-together.Models of Media Activism’ was a special series of interactive sessions. There was also an exhibition on Media Activism on all five days. A workshop on Adivasi Ayurveda was led by Dr.Vijayan. Medha Patkar delivered the first Saratchandran Memorial Lecture on `Challenges to Peoples’ Movements and Alternative Media Responses’. 52 filmmakers, including Norma Marcos from Palestine, attended the festival.

7th ViBGYOR, International Film Festival

Dates: February 22-26, 2012 | Focus Theme: South Asia- Lives and Livelihood |Festival Director: Meghnath | Saratchandran Memorial Lecture: P.Sainath, Magsasay award winning journalist | Chief Guest of Inaugural Ceremony: Mallika Sarabhai, dancer and social activist | Inaugural film: Jai Bhim Comrade by Anand Patwardhan

There were five mini conferences on themes like State Fabrication Victimization and Civil Torture, Impact of Global Free Trade and Climatic Change on Livelihood, Women and Livelihood in South Asia, the Koodankulam Anti-Nuclear Agitation and Livelihood and Migration in South Asia. There was an exhibition on various social themes like Endosulfan pollution was there on all five days apart from food and craft stalls. 100 films from 20 countries were screened, and more than 50 filmmakers, including Francisco Taboda Tabone(Mexico), David Bradbury(Australia), Beate Peterson(Norway), Raymond Tan(Singapore), Someetharan (Srilanka), Anand Patwardhan, Sanjay Kak, Biju Toppo, Razi Muhamed, Nandan Saxena, Kavita Bahl, Navroze Contractor, Anjalie Monteiro, K P Jayasankar from India attended the festival.

8th ViBGYOR, International Film Festival

Dates: February 07-12, 2013 | Focus Theme: Stolen Democracies | Festival Director: Kavitha Joshi | Chief Guest of Inaugural Ceremony:Saratchandran Memorial Lecture: Prof.Larbi Sadiki, Tunician writer, political scientist | Inaugural Film: Forbidden by Amal Ramsis (Egypt)

The Festival took off with the premier of FABRICATED by KP Sasi as a Curtain Raiser.. Renowned filmmaker Kavitha Joshi was the Festival Director this year. There were two retrospectives, on Kesang Tseten, the Nepali filmmaker and on Sameera Jain, well known editor and filmmaker from India. There were 3 Mini Conferences on ‘Stolen Democracies in South Asia: Conceptualising the sub-continental threat on Democracy’; on ‘Democracy and Development: the other directions’; and on ‘Democracy: Voices from the margins’. There was a special package of films called Uranium Film Festival (UFF), which showcased about 16 films. Filmmakers and activists like Kesang Tseten (Nepal), Karin Hayes (USA), Marcelo Bichara (Brazil), Pinnaya Zwata (Burma), Sirithunga Jayasuria (Sri Lanka), Sameera Jain and KP Sasi were some of the participants.

9th ViBGYOR, International Film Festival

Dates: February 11-16, 2014 | Focus Theme: Gender Justice | Festival Director: P. Baburaj

  1. Saratchandran Memorial Lecture: Dr.Selvi Thiruchandiran, academician & writer (Sri Lanka)

Retrospectives: Marc Achbar (Canada) & Deepa Dhanraj (India)

The festival started with the German film DEN ANDRA SPORTEN, a documentary on Swedish National Women’s hockey team, as a Curtain Raiser. Before the screening a local girls’ football team, which struggled to establish itself, was felicitated. A performance of ‘kalaripayatu’ by a group of girls followed. The festival was officially inaugurated with a performance “Gandhari”  by Asmitha, Hyderabad. The international retrospective was on Marc Achbar from Canada and national retrospective was on Deepa Dhanraj. Both the filmmakers were present in the festival. More than 100 films on the Focus theme, ViBGYOR theme package, Country Focus (Cuba), Kerala Spectrum, Focus Children, Pravasi package etc were screened. Mini conferences, music recitals, stage performances, exhibitions, etc were held as usual

10th ViBGYOR, International Film Festival

Dates: February 16-21, 2015 | Focus Theme: Green?Growth | Festival Director: Surabhi Sharma

Chief Guest of Inaugural Ceremony: Cheruvayal Raman’, an adivasi farmer and a pioneer in conservation of indigenous seeds

  1. Saratchandran Memorial Lecture: Pablo Solon Romero, the Executive Director of Focus on Global South (based in Bangkok)

Inaugural film: `To Singapore, with Love’ a film from Singapore, directed by Ms. Tan Pin Pin

Retrospective: Fauzia Khan (Bangladesh) & Altaf Mazid (India)

Films screened: 125 films from 27 countries

The chief guest of the inaugural ceremony was `Cheruvayal Raman’, an adivasi farmer (Kurichya tribe) from Wayanad, a pioneer in organic farming who has been cultivating and preserving scores of rare species of rice seeds. A Workshop on `Digital Filmmaking’ by Nandan Saxena and Kavita Bhal. About 40 filmmakers including Gary Marcuse (Canada), Fernanda Robinson (Mexico), Rami Hassoun (France), Altaf Mazid (Assam), Anand Patwardhan and RV Ramani. Mini conferences were on `Green Growth, No Growth: Seeking Alternatives’, `Unorganized Labourers in the New Growth Regimes’ and `Challenges to Public Democratic Spaces’. The last one became the highlight of this edition, where representatives of the Hindutva political organizations that attempted to disrupt the screening of a film during previous ViBGYOR Festival were invited. The campaign was on `Solidarity with Land Rights Struggles’.

11th ViBGYOR, International Film Festival

Dates: April 06-10, 2016 | Focus Theme: Cultural Diversity |Festival Director: RP Amudhan

Chief Guest of Inaugural Ceremony: Ms. Richa Singh, the first woman chairperson of Student Union, Allahabad University

  1. Saratchandran Memorial Lecture: Yogendra Yadav, politician, psephologist and academician.

Retrospective: Paromita Vohra

Declaring solidarity with the different resistance movements and peoples’ struggle across the nation, we picked an important campaign, `Free Debendra Sarangi’, (filmmaker and activist from North India) and presented the Campaign Statement in the Opening Ceremony. Out of the 95 films screened in this edition, a special highlight under the Focus theme was 6 curated film packages tilted `MANY Indias’ to underscore the diversity and heterogeneity of Indian culture. Mini Conference was on `Challenges to Diversity’ and Anvar Ali (poet and activist), Ambu Bhal (Amrutbhai Ratnabhai) from Gujarat, Richa Sing, Junuldhan Barla  (activist from JOHAR, Jharkhand) Josua Isaac Aazad from Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (Chennai) and Faisal (LGBT activist, Kerala) were the panelists. There were two cinematography workshops one by Sony and the other by Nikon.