Directed by Mumbai based filmmaker Shekhar Hattangadi the film is slated to be screened in the four day festival to be organised from Sept 17-20, 2015 at Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi
The Woodpecker International Film Festival and Forum will screen Shekhar Hattangadi’s documentary ‘Santhara’ as part of its upcoming third edition from September 17-20, 2015 at Siri Fort Auditorium. With silent protests erupting in different parts of the country after Rajasthan High Court judgment, this screening is aimed towards educating general people about the traditional Jain tradition of Santhara to ensure they have a more informed understanding of the issue.
According to Narender Yadav, Founder Director of the Festival, “The objective behind Woodpecker Film Festival and Forum is to promote meaningful discussions and rational debates in the public forum on issues related to development, culture and society. Recently, there have seen scores of silent protests by the Jain community, over the judgment given by Rajasthan High Court declaring the practice of Santhara — voluntary fasting unto death — illegal and an offence punishable under the Indian Penal Code. This has once again put the debate of interpreting traditional religious traditions through the tenets of modern law, into the public domain.”
Titled as ‘Santhara’ - this 25 minutes documentary, addresses a pivotal and central question—what happens when a traditional religious practice violates modern law—as it looks at the tensions that arise over ‘religious suicides’ where a religious tradition endorses the self-extinguishment of human life in a legal system that treats suicide as a criminal offence.
About the Filmmaker
Directed by Mumbai based journalist-photographer and filmmaker Shekhar Hattangadi, this films has already won awards at several film festivals.
An alumnus of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Shekhar is a writer-journalist-lawyer and film maker. Aiming to make documentaries on the controversial religious practices and other significant issues in present time, he has collaborated with ace director Kundan Shah and made a two hours long feature film, ‘Teen Behenein’ (Three Sisters) on the horrific dowry deaths in the country. However, Santhara is Shekhar’s maiden effort at documentary film-making. He has a bachelor’s degree from St.Xavier’s College, Bombay and a dual-master’s degree in International Politics and Journalism from Ohio University, USA.