Laal Pari: Not a Fairytale
(20 min) India/USA
[watch trailer]
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Sunday 10/27, 1:00 PM (Session 31)

Director/Producer: Sadia Halima


When Laal Pari - an illiterate woman in Bihar, India – ran for a seat on the village council, she never expected to be elected for a second term, and to be back to work on the cause closest to her heart – safety and equal rights for women in her village community. Self-motivated and self-taught, Laal fights to change the playing field for women's participation in politics at the grassroots level.  But in the male dominated political world of rural Bihar, finding a voice for herself and the means to serve her people turns into a daunting task. Threatened by pervasive misogyny and stunted by patriarchal bureaucracy, will Laal be able to make herself heard?


Sadia Halima holds an M. A. in Social Documentation from University of California, Santa Cruz and a Bachelor's in Mass Media and Mass Communication from the University of Delhi. Before moving to US, Halima worked as Assistant Director for feature length Hindi fiction films and reality TV shows in New Delhi.  Her thesis film Laal Pari ("The Red Fairy"), a vérité documentary about an elected woman leader's struggle to find voice in the male dominated village council in rural India received the Chancellor's Award at University of California, Santa Cruz. Her earlier projects include a documentary on contemporary Indian Muslims entitled "A woman is a woman first" and a collaborative film "The Audio Gadgeteer", which was screened at the 2012 Hot Docs festival. Halima is passionate about social justice issues especially women rights, religion, and the politics of identity, and hopes to one day mentor more girls into filmmaking through education and community-based initiatives.

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