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A Film a Day
Tune in for a film a day. We present original and captivating animations, feature films, documentaries, shorts, music videos and experimental films from around the world.

No need to line up for tickets, or even get out of those pajamas! Just log in and experience cinematic voices from Burkina Faso, Turkey, Chile, Egypt and many many more places!

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We are Sudeshna and Charys from the Imagining Ourselves team. Watching the films presented in this festival has been both inspirational and educational. The plethora of images and stories from far off places featured in the festival has given us great insights into varied cultures and the many ways of approaching life.

In case you have missed any of these brilliant films, we are happy to inform you that all of them will remain available for viewing until the end of October, and most will be available later as well. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to experience the great wisdom they have to offer!

Talk with you soon!

-Sudeshna and Charys

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Tintin Wulia
Posted on Wednesday, October 24, 2007 3:16 PM
History is really interesting, isn't it - it always sound that it began at one point. But when did it begin? Did it begin the white people started to explore the world? Isn't that an insult as well, as though ignoring what happened before that? When you look back at history, where do you look at? What does "native" mean? How did the indigenous population came to the places they were? I have the impression that somehow wars over regions have "always" been there. And legends say it's always the stronger that won. So who was the winner before the white people came to North America?

I might be asking very sensitive questions here, but that's why we're in this forum, isn't it? So please allow me to try to continue:

What happened in North America back when Plato was discussing about keeping foreigners out of a city's border? That was about 2533 years ago. About 2533 years ago, who had the equivalent of the white guilt, and the black innocence?

In the '90s Indonesia (this was about 17 years ago now), people started talking about going "back" to their "roots". Many people, mostly of the supposedly "native" race, decided that going back to their roots meant going "back" to Islamic roots. Women started to wear hijab. There were even fanatic cults in which men woulc cover their body from head to toe as well, in arabic-style clothing.

Mind you, Islam came into the "Indonesian" archipelago in the 13th century (that's about 707 years ago now), and was brought by Indian merchants and Chinese missionaries. Regardless of the story about the Chinese Muslim missionaries in the 13th century, however, it is still a common thing even now (at present, 0 years ago) in present-day Indonesia to see being "Chinese" as an opposite of being Muslim. ("The Chinese eat pork".)

When you talk about history, and when you talk about being "native", which point in time are you referring to? When you talk about your "culture", which culture are you referring to, and at which point in time?

I think in reality, we are all, and I mean all, migrants. Culture is always in flux, and only in the interest of politics is it frozen. When we deliberately choose to look at history, I think it is unfair not to look beyond a certain point in it. I do appreciate political respect given by a group (usually of race) of people towards another group (or other groups), but unfortunately as long as it is still surrounded with an aura of power-shifting, our wars will never end.
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Aparna Malladi
Posted on Wednesday, October 24, 2007 2:01 PM
Renee, point duly noted and I appreciate it. A wise man once said 'Give a man, no country, no religion and no name and he will love everyone'. I am coming from that perspective. I would love to ask 'How did you get to be here with me right now in this moment, tell me the story of where you started and where you came from'.

- I want to lose my self and my identity because I want to be 'One' with you -
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Renee Gasch
Posted on Wednesday, October 24, 2007 12:45 PM
Hi! I don't know if I agree that the question "Where do you originally come from?" should be obsolete. I think it is a really important question that too many people in my country ignore. As a white person living in the United States, I am encouraged to forget my history. I am taught to ignore all the bad and good things in my past as if they had nothing to do with me.

A poet once told me, "America is a place where people come to lose themselves." It is so true. I did not know where I originally came from until very recently when I did a family history project. I was amazed to learn that my grandparents intentionally tried to forget their former languages and customs in order to assimilate into "American" culture. Forgetting that many of us are immigrants is an insult to all of those currently trying to immigrate to the U.S. and to the indigenous populations who truly originally come from this land.

After I found out where I originally came from, now I feel like I'm obsessed with asking the question of other people. I want to know how people got to where they are today! I realize that the question becomes a problem when it is asked in a way that implies "you don't look like you belong, where do you REALLY come from." But I do think it would be a fabulous thing if more people were genuinely interested in each other's histories and where we all originated from.
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Aparna Malladi
Posted on Wednesday, October 24, 2007 10:18 AM
Where do you originally come from? - By Tuntin Wulia - That question should be obsolete by now. Yet we are still interested in asking that question. Why? Maybe because we feel the need to pigeon hole someone, maybe we need a place of judgment to start to know someone, or maybe we to feel different and when the other is different, it makes us different. Would really love to see a full length documentary come out of this.

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Aparna Malladi
Posted on Wednesday, October 24, 2007 10:06 AM
RAM a Short Film by Caroline Ting - To tell a story with a twist and create a 3 dimensional character in 3 minutes. It reminded me why I love a good short film so much. Congratulations Caroline, you captured it perfectly including the outtakes.
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United States
Posted on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 12:49 PM
The Grace Lee Project takes a humorous approach to identity crisis. What begins as one women’s existential dread about having to try to be perfect ends up discussing people discovering who they are and coming to terms with that individual identity.

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winfridah chilyobwe mcekeni
United States
Posted on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 7:15 AM
First i must congratulate you ladies for making such eye openning films. I have been following the films and checking the ones that are coming. It is all inspirational creativity and comforting to see that women are openning the closed lids on life experienced by women world wide. I learned a lot from Leslie To's move and I was able to relate with it. As Africans we have strayed away from our culture and are comformed and more comfortable in being who we are not. It is okay to Move with the trends but at the same time uphold our culture and heritage. we are mostly afraid of not fitting in if we are ourselves, but believe me the world now is very accepting and receptive and they are willing to even learn your culture. I am glad you even pointed out the greedy that has left Africa the way it is now, although we are slowly but sure working towards recovery in cases like Rwanda. Leslie I added a story to your story and made a mistake on kwame Nkrumah, he is former President of Ghana and not Nigeria and his book is titled, "I SPEAK OF FREEDOM." I wrote without checking references for corrections before submitting.
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Nesteren AKCAY
Posted on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 2:42 AM
Dear Nefin, great work, well done. Thanks for inviting us in a Mevlevi Den, showing us around, letting us hear the philosophy so plainly and so simply. And thanks for giving us Elif as our tour guide with all her inner beauty and shy smile, it was a beautiful experience :)
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Nefin Dinc
Posted on Monday, October 22, 2007 3:21 PM
Thank you for everybody who watched the film and posted comments.

I receive the question about the t-shirt Elif is wearing quite often. She happened to wear that t-shirt that day and I filmed it. I prefer not to interfere while I am filming. After all, it tells a lot about her, and her environment in my opinion.

People also wonder what Elif is doing right now. She is still attending the Mevlevi Den and going to high school. Last time I spoke to her, she was considering being a filmmaker.

I would be more than happy to answer you questions.

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United States
Posted on Monday, October 22, 2007 1:51 PM
"Monologues" by Meggie Miao is an interesting project, and it expresses the difficulty many women face of not only a generational gap, but a cultural gap between themselves and their mothers.

The imagery is subtle but strong; the butterfly fluttering against the window, the image of both fixing their hair in the mirror. Even the clothes, the mother dressed in muted colors and the daughter's bold red scarf, seem to highlight the differences.

Many of us have been through similar internal struggles. Did you, Meggie, show your mother this piece? Has the film helped you bridge the space between the two of you in any way?

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Melis Birder
Posted on Monday, October 22, 2007 1:26 PM
A lot of people who hadn't had the chance to see my film watched The Tenth Planet online.
Thanks for providing this opportunity. Now, I'm watching I named Her Angel as I was always curious to go inside the Semazens lives...
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Tracy Marafiote
United States
Posted on Monday, October 22, 2007 12:19 PM
What a wonderful film. I appreciated learning about some elements of one way of worshipping within Islam, and so gaining just a little bit of understanding of the variety within that religion. (Yes, I *am* aware of my ignorance!) It was fascinating to watch the process of a young girl gaining a passion about such a powerful form of expression and faith. Very inspiring!
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Burcu Avsar DeSart
Posted on Monday, October 22, 2007 12:13 PM
Nefin, it's a great movie. You explained the Mevlana's philosophy very simply without being didactic. It is very inspirational as well. The pureness of believing. I love the last scene, her smile, finding something you lost... Your movie gave me hope. Congratulations! Can't wait to see your other documentary.
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Chris Taylor
Posted on Monday, October 22, 2007 6:50 AM
just a quick one from me, Nefin, interesting film, but did raise some issues in my mind which I will discuss later. A couple of instant reaction points: who chose the "Oh shit" T shirt? I also wonder about the use of the word "den" it has a negative collocation for me. Most of all I like the filming the style suited the content very well and I was wondering about the title all the way through, and you gave me the answer right at the end!. Optum canim.
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Janberk Atikol
Posted on Monday, October 22, 2007 6:33 AM
Thank you for this wonderful film which handles mevlevism in a different manner. It's quiet wise to tell about it from a point of view of a young girl, which is very unusual. I'm looking forwards to see your new doc. All the best....
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Zeynep Gül Yüzbaşıoğlu
Posted on Monday, October 22, 2007 12:00 AM
Sevgili Nefin;
Öncelikle tebrikler,tüm dünyada tanıdığım herkesi kendine hayran bırakan Mevlana'nın felsefesi ve Sema törenlerini tanıtma yolunda süper bir çalışma olmuş.
Keşke konuyla ilgilendiğini bilseydim.Yakından tanıdığım bu işi senelerdir yapan biri var.Tanışıp onunla da görüşebilirdin.Tekrar tebrik ediyor ve başarılarının devamını diliyorum,bizleri haberdar et.Hoşçakal,sevgiyle kal...
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Yafa Goawily
Posted on Sunday, October 21, 2007 5:41 AM
( oh Dear ) it's a great film
you made my day :) and you made me have a new ideas.. :)
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Tintin Wulia
Posted on Saturday, October 20, 2007 10:14 PM
Hi all,

Thanks to IMOW for putting together such diverse and always interesting films in this program. My small piece is coming up next/now and I hope you would enjoy it.

Kavita and Niyati's comments, however, touches a topic that has always interested me.

When living in Indonesia I didn't hear too much about Timor Leste and Aceh - it was only when I went out of its borders that I started to learn more about the history of the nation (and of my family as a tiny little speck in it, perhaps unwilling but left with limited choice).

State-sponsored terrors always seem to happen when a government is clenching to its borders to preserve its existence. This is why I'm personally concerned with the climate of border-strengthening around the world now, putting its blame on terrorism. This seems like the most recent political climate that was triggered about 7 years ago with 9/11. But then reading Plato's dialogue "Law" I could feel a similar climate - and that dialogue came from around 2355 years ago!

What are borders anyway? They're really only invisible, ever-changing (often in the expense of mere humans), artificial lines being reinforced by the governments' rules and regulations. In my family, although we were all born in a geographical region currently known as Indonesia: my grandmother's birth certificate was legalized by an arm of the Dutch government in the 1910s, my mother's was legalized by an arm of a Japanese government in the 1940s, and mine was legalized by the Indonesian government in the 1970s.

Was my grandmother Dutch, is my mother Japanese, and am I Indonesian? Are the three of us Chinese? Indonesian? Chinese-Indonesian, Indonesian-Chinese? Indonesian-born Dutch, Indonesian-born Japanese? Dutch-Japanese-Indonesian-Chinese?

Honestly, I feel neither, but I do feel I'm human.

2355 years is a long time, but it's not yet forever.
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Kavita Joshi
Posted on Friday, October 19, 2007 11:51 AM
Hi Niyati

My guess is that you've put your finger on all the three main reasons - the media, our self absorption, and the distance.

But I also think there's more, and that has to do with our "democracy". The Armed Forces Special Powers Act gives the military the right to shoot (and kill) without a warrant, on suspicion alone. Its actions are, for all practical purposes, non-justiceable. This very undemocratic law has been enacted and brutally enforced in a "democracy" for 50 years now. 50 years. For all the people living on our margins (both physical and imagined), how democratic is the experience of our "democracy"?

We dont even have to travel to Manipur, we can ask the Yamuna Pushta slum dwellers who were summarily evicted and their thriving colony razed in the name of city beautification. Or any rickshaw puller in the city, or even a domestic worker - how democractic is their daily experience when they encounter a policeman?

Its a question I'm putting more to myself than to anyone else - how fiercely are we Indians guarding, strengthening, and protecting our democracy?

As regards the mainstream media, let me share an observation - The "naked" protest blazed into the headlines and was soon forgotten. For months after that Manipur was burning; yet so little made it to the national media. We may all think, Manipur is remote, the media doesnt have bureaus there, etc. But if you visit Manipur, you'll find that there are many local camerapersons who filmed all the mass protests and troubles, for months. There is a well-respected local news channel that was telecasting it daily. Which means - footage of broadcast quality was available to the national media had it CHOSEN to access it. Then why this erasure? Why does most of the national media consistently choose to ignore Manipur? In that "why" lie dormant so many questions about marginalisation; and about the nature of our democracy...

I'm going to pause, as this has been a very long response...
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Niyati Sharma
Posted on Friday, October 19, 2007 9:53 AM
Hi Kavita,

I must say that as an Indian, I am ashamed that I didn't know very much about the problems in Manipur. Your film really shows the complex nature of this isssue as well as sheds some light on the state sponsored terror in a way. I wonder why you think it is that these issues don't come to light in a democracy and why the rest of India is in a way apathetic. Is the media? our self-absorbion with our own lives? Or that in a way Manipur seems rather far away...
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