Mumbai: Mahesh Bhatt and Vinta Nanda of the NGO ACEE – The Third Eye, in order to mark the one-year anniversary of the Global Centers for Health & Development, brought together diverse filmmakers, Nigerian director of note Tunde Kelani, and Oscar-nominated American producer Stuart Sender got together to discuss health issues in global cinema. Directors Kalpana Lajmi and Barnali Ray Shukla, Aimee Corrigan of GIST, Ravi Walia – producer of A Prayer for Rain, Chris Dzialo of HH&S among others for a discussion on Health in Global Cinema.
Ravi Walia whose A Prayer of Rain consists of Interwoven stories of people in India and US as they face dilemmas of life together said, “A Prayer for Rain” is a story that needed to be told. It is about the Bhopal Gas tragedy that happened 30 years ago and has not yet achieved closure. We made this film based on the worst industrial disaster India has ever faced so that we can bring to attention the plight of the people at the time and also the current state of Bhopal where the sufferings continue even today in other forms and justice has not yet been delivered.”
Mahesh Bhatt said “The three largest film industries of the world have come together to share and learn from each other. Suffering is what touches all of us in similar ways and empathy is what binds all of humanity together. Filmmakers are sensitive to the pain and respond to this suffering through their craft. What makes this group special is their commitment to adding socially relevant elements to mainstream cinema.”
“The job of a filmmaker is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable”, commented well-known Hollywood director Stuart Sender.
“The Global Center Summit is an opportunity for Hollywood, Bollywood and Nollywood to come together and address the most pressing health and social issues faced by the different communities of the world, enthused host Vinta Nanda.
“We are the world, and the world is us. When one makes a film, one has to put in ones’ best effort as we never know where it might reach. We hope to collaborate with and learn from the Indian film industry,” added acclaimed Nigerian director Tunde Kelani.
“The field reality in India is different from what we can imagine from an urban context. Women in rural India are changing. They are taking charge of their lives and working towards a collective consciousness leading to their own empowerment,” said acclaimed director Kalpana Lajmi.