ViBGYOR International Documentary Film Festival (Report)

The ViBGYOR Documentary film festival took place (from the 12th of Jan to the 16th of Jan.2011) in Thrissur, Kerala. The New Socialist Alternative (The Indian section of the CWI) and its national campaign ‘Campaign to Reclaim Democracy’ is having a stall and discussion meetings on the issues of Socialism and Marxism at this radical film festival which attracts young activists from all over the country. The New Socialist Alternative has made a mark here in Kerala over the years, especially during the campaign against the war in Sri Lanka, with Cde. Siritunga Jayasurya of United Socialist Party (Sri Lankan Section of the CWI) a well known public socialist figure here.

The Stall of New Socialist Alternative is attracting lot of attention from the young crowd here, and our interventions here on various debates is having an impact here with many copies of the book Marxism in Today’s World being sold and other CWI publications such as ‘World in Crisis’, ‘Che Guevara’, ‘Planning Green Growth’, ‘1917’ are some of the publications which are being bought very enthusiastically.

ViBGYOR Film Collective (VFC), formed in February 2006, is an open coalition of various networks and groups, representing Indigenous People, Dalits, Youth, South Asian Relations, Human Rights, Environment and Development, Women’s Issues, Globalisation, Labour, Culture and Media etc. at National and South Asian level. Through its annual ViBGYOR International Film Festival for short and documentary films in the second week of February and the associated activities spread throughout the year, this radical event has been attracting many serious activists & younger people alike from across the country.

The hall mark of our intervention this time was the campaign cycle tour that was undertaken by myself from Bangalore to Thrissur (Kerala) which covered a distance of 543 Kms. going through Karnataka, Tamilnadu, and Kerala which was accomplished successfully. It was a wonderful, eventful, political and social experience for me throughout this campaign tour. The tour started on the 6th Jan. 2011 morning at 6.00am where some of my close friends from Bangalore flagged me off & it ended today in Trissur at 7.00pm. I had the honour of being received by renowned documentary film-maker and anti-communal and anti-Nuclear activist Anand Patwardan who gave me the bouquet of flowers as a mark of appreciation; at that reception in the regional theatre there around 500 radical activists from Kerala and from various parts of the country gave me a standing ovation as I entered the hall with my cycle! (the organizers insisted that I do it). I was covered by a few news channels on the campaign Cycle tour, and also local press has published articles about me and the New Socialist Alternative (NSA).

This initiative of the New Socialist Alternative was to highlight the objectives of ‘Campaign to Reclaim Democracy’ such as anti-communal-ism, anti-Caste-ism and also the issues of saving the environment for the future generations. The alternative system to the exploitative capitalism was the main theme of this cycle tour campaign.

Jagadish Chandra

From ViBGYOR International Documentary Film Festival, Trissur, Kerala