Jan Vrijman Fund supports 6 Asian projects

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The Jan Vrijman Fund (JVF), an initiative of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), has granted €212,000 (just over US$279,000) to 20 new projects, including 5 from or about Asia.

The JVF provides grants to independent documentary makers from developing countries, and covers individual film projects as well as projects that promote local documentary production and distribution in general. The fund also plays an advisory role. The fund selection committee, which included IDFA director Ally Derks and VPRO commissioning editor Barbara Truyen, selected six projects for script and project development, eight projects for production and post-production and six for festivals and/or workshops. The fund considered 401 projects from more than 40 countries.

1 script and project development grant recipients from Asia:

- “Kashmir: Beyond the Line of Control” by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Pakistan

4 production and post-production recipients from Asia are:

- “United Red Army” by Naeem Mohaiemen, Bangladesh (idfa website)

A film trilogy that traces a history of 1970s ultra-left terrorist groups, tracking the survivors of ‘dirty wars’ in Bangladesh, Japan, and Germany to probe parallels with the present moment. Part 1 of the trilogy looks at the 1977 hijacking by the Japanese Red Army of JAL 472 to Dhaka. Part 2 of the trilogy will look at the ordeal of the hostages of the European ultraleft, whose fates were sealed by the post-Dhaka non-negotiation position. Part 3 will explore the ultra-left’s death struggle against the Bangladesh state, which led to the rise of an Islamist-Military entity in the aftermath. (Bangladesh / Japan)

- “Char – The Island Within” by Sourav Sarangi, India (idfa website, video trailer)

Meet Rubel and Sofi, two kids, taking rice to Bangladesh from India by crossing Ganga, the river that acts as the border and eroded their home. They settled in CHAR… a fragile island formed within the river, a no man’s land patrolled by army men. With death just a bullet away Rubel dreams of a life in city while hiding and walking with a sack of rice to reach another country. Sofi runs like a rabbit in between. The sharp sound must not pierce through his body; not while his mother awaits him hearing bullets that took her husband away. (India)

- “Shall I Adopt or Confront” (pictured) by Siti Ariani Muflikhah, Indonesia (idfa website, film website)

The film tells about teenager stories that reveals significantly, yet the changes are not always visible in Conservative Moslem Culture omnipresent. Parents start to create the image of bringing up the daughters as ‘little women’ during their two years in a Public Elementary School until moving on Junior High Schools. (Indonesia)

- “Selection: Who will be a Gurkha” by Kesang Tseten Lama, Nepal (idfa website)

Gurkhas have been soldiering for Britain for 200 years ago, following a war in which the two were enemies, deployed in battlefields in every continent, most recently, Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, thousands of young Nepalis continue to be lured to become ‘Gurkhas’; a far cry from the rustic hill boys of yesteryear, they are drawn by wages equaling British soldiers, in spite of a grueling selection process, where one out of 100 may get in. Selection means partaking of the myth and glamour of the Gurkhas, but also the prospect of dying in battlefields in Afghanistan and Iraq. (Nepal)

One grant for other activities have been awarded to Trigger Pitch, Indian Documentary Foundation, India.

SOURCES: Jan Vrijman Fund (22/03/12)

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