Nomad Film Festival

Challenging the Stigma, Changing the Narrative

The oppressive laws and deep alienation from the mainstream society that De-notified and Nomadic Tribes face, reflect the most cruel and insensitive aspects of the Indian state and society. The Nomad Film Festival is an endeavor to create an awareness regarding the plight of the DNTs by showcasing short films, movies, documentaries, etc. on the issues pertaining to DNTs. The Festival will bring together film-makers who are engaged with the issues of these communities as well as voices from within the community itself, as it also showcases films made by people who belong to these communities and have braved all odds to fulfil their dreams. Through interactions with the film-makers from the DNT community, The Festival also hopes to break the stereotypical notions around these communities.

The Nomad Film Festival was organised last in Delhi, Mumbai and Latur. The link for the 1st Nomad Film Festival

The Festival is open for entries for 2nd Nomad Film Festival to all aspiring film-makers who are keen to creatively engage with issues pertaining to DNTs.

2nd Nomad Film Festival

Please click on the link to access the Application form as well as the Rules and Regulation  Application form 2nd Nomad Film Festival

1st Nomad Film Festival

The DNTs continue to suffer the social and criminal stigma of being “born criminals” or “habitual criminals”. Even today majority of DNT and NT are landless and illiterate. Marginalization continues to characterize their nomadic experiences; phenomena such as urbanization and environmental conservation, rapid industrialization schemes have contributed to the increasing impoverishment of these communities. The communities have not been able to absorb themselves in the mainstream development of India. In rural areas, these communities typically live outside the village boundaries and within urban spaces they can be seen living in slum clusters or in smaller groups as pavement dwellers.

Clearly, the oppressive laws and deep alienation from the mainstream society that these communities face are rooted in their history. To break these shackles, civil society is waging a multi front struggle against some of the most cruel and insensitive aspects of the Indian state and society. The Nomad Film festival is an attempt to showcase short films, movies, documentaries etc. on the issue of Nomadic and De-notified Tribes and bring together the film makers who are engaged with the issues of these communities. It is also an opportunity to bring forth the voices from the community itself, as some films have been made by people who belong to the NT and DNT communities and have braved all odds to fulfill their dreams. The Film Festival is also an endeavor to create awareness in society regarding the plight of the De-notified Tribes and Nomadic communities across different corners and break the stereotypical notions around these communities through interactions with the film-makers. Last but not the least, through this Film festival we want to pay homage to our dear ‘Amma’ Late Mahashweta Devi, whose support for indigenous communities in India has been long-standing and immense.

Film Board

For the purpose of the event, NAG-DNT’s Nomad Film Festival Board, comprising of 5 board members has been constituted. The names of the board members are as follows:

  1. Gautam Agarwal, Chairperson (Senior Media Person)
  2. Dheeraj, Board Member (Sr. Researcher, Praxis)
  3. Mangla Verma, Board Member (Advocate)
  4. Meghna Chawla, Board member (Communication and Media head, SEEDS)
  5. Madan Meena, Board member (Painter and researcher on Ethnography, Tribal art and oral traditions. He has also published three books Nurturing Walls (Tara Books), Joy of Creativity (self-published) and Tejaji Gatha (Kota Heritage Society).

Movies Screened

The Widow’s Home- The widow’s home, is a short film made by three aspirant filmmakers. They choose to document a Chhara women’s life which is miserable because of her livelihood of brewing liquor. Chharanagar, an infamous place for brewing liquor and where almost every woman spends so many years in jail as they do not have any option for their livelihood because of their tainted history as ‘Criminal Tribe’. This movie has been made with a hope that this film will raise an awareness of Chhara women’s lives and society will change their attitude towards them and give them an opportunity to live a dignified life. The film can be seen here.
Kushal Batunge (young director from DNT (Chara) community)

Bulldozer-  This  film is based on the struggle of Dubgar Tribe against their home and slum demolition.
Dakxin Chara (winner of the national Mahatma Gandhi Bi-yearly Award, film producer, director and actor. He is also from DNT community)

The Fight of Survivor- The movie is based on Madari community and their struggle for survival. The movie tries to see the relationship of animals with the people belonging to the Madar Community and the effect of animal right groups and forest department on their livelihood.
Dakxin Chara

Vimukti is a film about the experience of Denotified and Nomadic Tribes in West Bengal. Shot on location over one year the film highlights the educational attainment of some of India’s most oppressed people. The trailer can be seen here.
Dheeman Bhattacharya

The Lost Behrupiya- Behrupiya is an ancient art form once practised in major parts of the Indian sub-continent. Its literal meaning is many avatars. People performing this art are called Behrupiyas, and they would dress up as various characters and enact scenes on the streets. The characters would be from history, folklore, mythology or everyday life. Travelling across the country, the artists would perform in different cities and live on alms.  In the earlier days, people would wait for a Behrupiya to perform in their locality. Once hugely popular across Pakistan, India, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal, this ancient art form has fewer proponents now. With new ways of consuming entertainment taking over, the once popular Behrupiya has now become a dying art. The current generation in the Indian sub-continent has probably never seen a Behrupiya perform.

The Lost Behrupiya, a short film made by Sriram Dalton and Rupesh Sahay, won the Best Film on Art and Culture at the 61st National Film Award, in the non-feature film category (Art & Culture). While Sriram Dalton is the Director, Story & Screenplay writer, Rupesh Sahay is the producer, co director and concept writer of this film.
The film has also won laurels internationally. It won Merit Award at the Indie Fest California. Has also been nominated at the Golden Egg Film Festival Mexico for the Best Documentary Film and the Best Hair and Makeup. The film can be seen here.
Sriram Dalton

A Documentary on Bahurupi- The documentary tries to portray a comparison between a bahurupi who uses many costumes to earn his livelihood and a normal person, who also uses many costumes to fit into society. This film can be seen here.
Ankan Roy, Ananya Chakraborty and Sagarika Basu.

Paandhrya- Paandhrya, whose caste belongs to the nomadic tribes, is from the family earning their living by performing acrobatic feats for their survival. Stealing and begging for food are their regular traits. He attends school inspite of the wrath of her reluctant mother who is already fed up with her drunken husband and worries about daily survival of her little kids. In his school, watching a film showing the mother’s love and culture moves the introvert Paandhrya. With the newfound consciousness he starves for the true love of his mother and on the other side he carries an inferiority complex in his mind that comes out of the white scar on the lips which also gave his pet name called ‘Paandhrya’. Paandhrya is determined to go to school! For this crime he has to fight against his mother, the tribe and the whole society. The moral and social suppression tests his determination. Everyone tries their best to corner him and he reaches to a point where he doesn’t see any hope. Finally he chooses a path to come out of it. He rebels!!     The trailer can be seen here.
Sandeep Mane

Phool Pardhi

It is a story about a Pardhi family which sells flowers on the streets of Mumbai to live the life of dignity inspite of the criminal stigma they carry. The trailer of the film can be seen here.
Mayank and Sandeep

Media Coverage
DNA India
, 28 August 2016

Catch News, 31 August 2016

Indian Express, 3 September 2016

Hindustan Times, 3 September 2016