Prof. Ilina Sen will Inaugurate ViBGYOR 2009

Dear Friends

Greetings From ViBGYOR Film Collective

Prof. Ilina Sen, wife of Dr. Binayak Sen inaugurates the 4th Edition of the ViBGYOR International Film Festival for short & documentary films at Sangeet Nataka Academy Campus, Thrissur on February 4th.

Dr. Ilina Sen is an internationally known feminist scholar, human rights activist, a pacifist, an agronomist, a builder and manager of institutions committed to equitable and participative development, and an author. She is a professor of Gender Studies at Mahatma Gandhi Hindi University in Wardha, and manages an innovative NGO, Rupantar in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh. Rupantar, set up by Ilina and her husband Dr. Binayak Senhouses programs including a village clinic in a falciparum malaria endemic area, an agricultural program focused on organic farming and preservation of indigenous biodiversity (e.g., of rice), program on food security and distribution systems, and several women’s empowerment initiatives including resources for victims of domestic violence. Together, both Ilina and Binayak have worked for three decades among some of India’s most impoverished and socially stigmatized populations (miners, peasants and India’s indigenous groups) on issues of health, livelihood and civil liberties. They have also published several books in Hindi.

On May 14, 2007, Dr. Binayak Sen was arrested in Raipur, under the controversial Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act. Charges against him mostly focused on his official activities as general secretary of India’s leading civil liberties organization, the People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL), visiting under-trial prisoners in the Raipur jail (to record their testimonies about health and treatment in prison), especially visits to individuals accused as “Naxalites” (the term for India’s Maoists) and allegations that he “passed messages” to them. Dr. Sen. has denied all these charges categorically. In the past few months, several national and international protests and statements of concern have been reported, including a statement by 22 Nobel Laureates petitioning the government of India and Chhattisgarh to free Dr. Binayak Sen. Recently, Dr. Sen was recently awarded the prestigious Jonathan Mann award for Global Health and Human Rights for his services to poor tribal communities and his unwavering commitment to human rights.

While Binayak remains in jail, Dr. Ilina Sen has co-coordinated his legal defense, been his publicist and liaison agent, raised funds, worked as a college teacher, and looked after the wellbeing and education of their two daughters. Ilina has made the journey to the US to receive the Jonathan Mann award on behalf of her husband and to present his case in person to the world at large.

For More Details Visit

You can walk in to the Festival Venue on February4th and buy your Delegate Pass, 100/- for 5days (Rs.50/- for students) Come to ViBGYOR…Celebrate identities and diversity!


ViBGYOR celebrates different identities and the rich diversity of people, expressed in a festival of short and documentary films held every year in Thrissur, Kerala. The non-feature films showcased at ViBGYOR reveal the political energies of small communities and social movements that assert the heterogeneity of their identities and rootedness to their land, often fighting the haughtiness and ignorance of the establishment. With all its ambiguities and ambivalences, Identities and Diversity remains the key theme of the Festival. It
covers the living experience of millions of people recorded by a set of skilled and committed documentary and short filmmakers from around the world.

The four-day Film festival is not only a treat of brilliant films but an interface with filmmakers, activists, people’s movement leaders, academicians, youth and common people from as divergent streams of life and activities. It includes talks, discussions, cultural programmes and informal exchanges

ViBGYOR At A Glance

Dates: February 4th-8th, 2009 Venue: Sangeet Nataka Akademi Campus, Thrissur
Focus 2009: FOOD sovereignty