Ever growing...

Thats what we feel about Under Construction Films, the brilliant initiative for the distribution of documentaries. UCF is conceived as a non-broadcast, non-commercial distribution initiative for educational films. They aim to bridge the gap between educational audio visuals and audiences, to facilitate a culture of vibrant discourse... and they also make it possible for all of us to access an eclectic collection from a single source. All their documentaries can be ordered from Scholars- we're eclectic too!

UCF is a wing of the Magic Lantern Foundation which came into being in 1989 as a media action group with the objective of using communication tools to advance human rights and give voice to the problems and concerns of marginalised people. Gargi Sen and Ranjan De - among the most visible faces of MLF- have been making a range of films on issues of considerable social relevance, on the adverse impact of tourism, on the rights of forest dwellers, on construction workers, on the dispossessed.... The range is impressive, and their films have impact.

This month, on the 28th, 29th and 30th (April 2008), MLF and the India International Centre are organising a festival of contemporary political films: Persistence Resistance.

"The festival aims to create a cinema space that celebrates the diverse nature of films in India today. The idea is to showcase the range of subjects and forms the films work with, and to interrogate the emerging aesthetics of political filmmaking. It is becoming clear that political films are no longer bound by the binaries of the past, perhaps developed during war filmmaking, and yet there is no one picture that is seen for the formal explorations are as vast as the diverse subjects.

The festival will also carry a section on international documentaries that are difficult to access in India. And although these films deal with issues and themes that are unique and not very well known in India, there is indeed a common resonance or a common resistance. So the festival is also attempting to explore the notions of internationalism in the present scenario of neo-liberal globalisation.

Simultaneously the festival will aim to present films in multiple ways of seeing, interacting andengaging by creating installations, parlour screenings, video library and film displays along with regular auditorium screenings. Nearly 100 films will be screened from the collection of films that are distributed through UCF."

Their guiding spirit, Marcel Duchamp has this to say, "The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act. This becomes even more obvious when posterity gives a final verdict and sometimes rehabilitates forgotten artists."

If you are in Delhi, this is an event to not be missed.... and if you aren't, you can always check out the program on the MLF website and write back to us for any films you'ld like to have.