‘Writing With Fire’ selected for Oscar documentary section | Calcutta News

KOLKATA: Delhi-based documentary “Writing With Fire” by Sushmit Ghosh and Rintu Thomas was shortlisted in the documentary section of the upcoming Oscar round on Wednesday.
Tajdar Junaid, from Kolkata, who composed the music for this film with Ishaan Chabbra, said Oscar news opens up channels for more documentary makers to come from India and be recognized.

This documentary chronicles the rise of “Khabar Lahariya”, a newspaper run by Dalit women, who are moving from print to digital to remain relevant in modern times. In a crowded news landscape dominated by men, it is the only Indian newspaper run by Dalit women.


Armed with smartphones, chief journalist Meera and her reporters are breaking traditions, whether on the frontlines of India’s biggest problems or in the far reaches of their own home, redefining what it means to be powerful. Incidentally, the Tamil film ‘Koozhangal’ (Pebbles) which was selected by a jury in Kolkata as India’s official entry to the 94th Academy Awards was not selected.
On Wednesday, Ghosh wrote on Facebook that it is “a bit surreal to say this:” Writing With Fire “has been shortlisted for an Oscar! Sharing a memory of the shoot, where the unit was having tea after finishing the day’s shoot, he wrote: “It’s a story of hope and resilience and we are celebrating this moment with all of you. , it takes a lot of cups of chai to make a movie! ”
The documentary, which won 28 international awards, including double wins at Sundance, an audience award at the Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival, best documentary in San Francisco and double wins at BlackStar, was hailed by the legendary journalist and activist Gloria Steinem. When Ghosh asked Steinem if there was anything particular about the movie that attracted her, Steinem first referred to her narrative or the form of the story. Then she went on to describe how the film was “experiential” since the person, who told the story, had been there, instead of being a collection of facts.
Junaid, whose composition “Dastaan” has previously been heard in “The President” by legendary Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf, the Hollywood film “Sold” produced by Oscar winner Emma Thompson, the independent film “Mukti Bhawan” and the much talked about OTT movie. Axon ‘said: “If a manufacturer’s theory is unique and honest, it will get where it needs to be.” When composing the music, where he used South American ronroco and charango instruments, Junaid had to be “extra sensitive” in portraying their characters and be “subtle but assertive.” “I had to become like a character in the film. so that the music does not dominate anything else, ”he said.
Two years ago, when Ghosh showed him a cut from the film, he had no idea that “the story of these mighty and courageous women would be so inspiring.” “We take a lot of things for granted. They include things like coming back at a certain time of the night, charging our phone without thinking about electricity. When I saw the story of these women, it left me speechless because of the courage they carry, the adversities they face, the problems of women journalists in the male-dominated world. They are going from print to digital and none of them has ever had a smartphone in their life. Overcoming these obstacles, telling the truth for what the truth is through their work has been inspiring. It made me complain less about things that I don’t have.

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