The 14th Asian Women’s Film Festival  will be held from 5-7 March 2018.

The annual event at the India International Centre, New Delhi, is organised by the IAWRT India Chapter.

The event showcases Asian Women filmmakers, and it travels to other Asian Cities after the March event.


Of Love and Struggle

This is a central theme running through a selection of films made by women from The Philippines, which will be showcased in screenings at India’s Mumbai International Festival for Documentary, Short & Animation Films (MIFF) in late January.

The selection has been jointly curated by IAWRT members Ilang Ilang Quijano (Manila) and Reena Mohan (New Delhi) and includes classics such as Tondo, Beloved: To What are the Poor Born? (2011), Jazz in Love (2013) and Nick and Chai (2014).

Tondo is a gently observational film that focusses on a single family, who live in a dank house on the coast, near a gargantuan shipping port. The family is headed by Virgie Simpron – a pregnant mother of three. The family is workless, but not apparently for lack of trying.

Jazz in Love by Baby Ruth Villarama tells the story of Jazz, a young man from Davao whose dream wedding is within reach. His boyfriend of 11 months has proposed. However, as no law allows him to get married in the Philippines, he must fly to Germany, his boyfriend’s home country. Jazz has to move to Manilla for German lessons while his parents remain completely unaware of what is happening in their son’s life.

Nick and Chai are a couple from the island of Leyte, who try to recover after all their children die in super typhoon Haiyan, the strongest typhoon ever recorded. This film steps inside their Quieta home and observes how they suffer and try to cope with their loss. 

”Love and struggle are the themes running through this collection of films, which takes us to the vast underdeveloped countryside of the Philippines and the dense slums of Manila. These are places where socio-political conflicts play out, places where the struggle for survival is most intense” say Reena and Ilang Ilang.

“These are also places where the most recognizable aspects of Filipino culture thrive—from the love of karaoke singing, to bayanihan,or working collectively.

Exhibited by various protagonists are values that range from conservative to progressive, behaviour from abhorrent to endearing — not immovable but, always, in a state of flux or struggle. And always, with an enormous capacity to love — the self, family, community, and country.”

Ilang Ilang Quijano ‘s film Heart of the City (2011) is the opening film of the selection. It tells us about the life-and-death struggle of Manila’s urban poor settlers whose homes are about to be demolished. 

Reena and Ilang Ilang say the films are just a glimpses of a people and a country that many in the audience may not be familiar with.

“What we are hoping is to elicit is that immensely satisfying spark of recognition of our commonality and universality in these stories of love and struggle as told by Filipino women.”

MIFF runs from January 28 – February 3. of Love and  Struggle Venues: Films Division Complex & Russian Cultural Centre. Click for more information


Diana Iulia Nastasia 300x300

Diana Iulia Nastasia joins IAWRT board

Diana Iulia Nastasia from the IAWRT-USA chapter has joined the international board of IAWRT. 


She fills the vacant position created by the death of our colleague and friend, Yasmine Ryan.

“Yasmine Ryan would have been an exceptional board member, and the professional world of journalism has suffered a great loss due to her untimely passing,”Diana says.

Diana is an international lecturer and scholar in the areas of gender, culture, and the media who says “ I will make every effort to honor the commitment to the IAWRT. I also think that, together with other IAWRT board members, I can help put research on gender and the media back strongly on the IAWRT agenda, and I can also help with identifying and pursuing grants.”

Diana’s research focuses on voices and portrayals of marginalized populations including women, children, and immigrants. In 2014-2015, Diana served as a Project Co-coordinator, together with Greta Gober, on IAWRT’s Media Monitoring Research Project which resulted in a research report Gender Equity and Social Justice in Public Media as well as policy activity through IAWRT country chapters.

She began her career in Romania, teaching communications and media studies at several universities. Arriving in the USA as a Fulbright Visiting Researcher, she pursued a Ph.D. while continuing to teach communications and media studies.  Now a Faculty Fellow at the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) she is also a Project Management Associate for the Building Illinois’ Bioeconomy Consortium. This is a partnership between SIUE and regional community colleges, aimed at connecting underprivileged populations (women, ethnic minorities, unemployed, and underemployed) with educational opportunities leading to living wage careers.

IAWRT President Violet Gonda says “We look forward to working with Diana, who is a scholar who was a co-coordinator on the IAWRT GMP and is a grant-writer who will thus will be an asset for IAWRT’s fundraising initiatives.

NGO CSW/NY has created an online orientation video series for those who are new to the Commission on the Status of Women. 

The gathering of thousands of NGOs as well as the representatives of governments in the UN for the CSW can be overwhelming.

 A new video covering different topics will be released every week. These videos contain helpful information, advise, and how-to instructions to prepare you for CSW62.

Look for videos on the NGO CSW/NY Youtube ChannelFollow on twitter at @NGO_CSW_NY and Facebook for updates.

The sixty-second session of the CSW (2018) will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 12 to 23 March 2018.

Representatives of Member States, UN entities, and ECOSOC-accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from all regions of the world are welcome to attend the session.

Priority theme: Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls. Review theme: Participation in and access of women to the media, and information and communications technologies and their impact on and use as an instrument for the advancement and empowerment of women (agreed conclusions of the forty-seventh session).

IAWRT will be organising and participating in side events in UN Headquarters and parallel events outside UN headquarters in New York.


Archana is a Filmmaker & Broadcaster, based in New Delhi, India.

What type of projects do you do?

I direct and produce documentary films, mainly advocacy films on social issues. I run a community radio station that broadcasts programs on local issues involving the community. 

Why did this sort work interest you, and how did you get started?

As a documentary film maker, I have worked with farmers, weavers, labourers and socially excluded communities. At times I felt that I used them to make a film, but never went back to help them get over their problems or misery. In 1997 I started a ‘not for profit’ and began working in an extremely impoverished and marginalized community close to Delhi, the capital of India. In 2010 I set up a community radio and started to use information to empower the community. Today we broadcast for over 14 hours a day and have trained over 100 community members to become broadcasters. Our radio station has won two national awards and several other commendations for the work we are doing.

What part of this job do you personally find most satisfying? Most challenging?

Working with the most vulnerable communities is extremely challenging. Giving women the confidence to speak out is most satisfying. After seven years of constant struggle it is heartening to see women defy all kinds of restrictions to come to the radio station and participate in the programmes.

What do you like and not like about working in this industry?

As a filmmaker, we move from one theme to another and that is something I don’t like. I enjoy meeting new people, exploring new ideas and traveling to new locations for my films. I like the diversity of themes that we work on. As a broadcaster I like the idea of looking at information as a tool for empowerment. I also like the idea of a holistic approach and of working within a particular community defined by its geography. The community broadcasting sphere, unlike filmmaking has an immediate impact and is extremely interactive and engaging and the space for making independent programmes is shrinking and government control on all forms of media is increasing.

My strongest assets/skills, areas of knowledge, personality traits and values are….

My strongest assets are that I am not afraid of hard work and am extremely calm in periods of crisis. I have leadership qualities and am a team player. I respect diversity and am comfortable working with people from different cultures. I am task oriented, organized and have a very target driven approach. I have an eye for detail and have good oral and written communication skills. I am perceptive and am a visionary. If I undertake a task, I give it my best.  I am an achiever and have the ability to turn an adversity into an advantage.

I am an award-winning filmmaker and community broadcaster. I have been featured in many journals and magazines for the work I have done in empowering underserved communities. I am a good trainer and have a good knowledge of gender and politics in India. I understand issues pertaining to minority communities rather well. I am well-travelled. My areas of knowledge are community radio and community media, documentary filmmaking, gender and women’s empowerment. I have done several films on disaster management and have worked on all kinds of disasters.

Has IAWRT’s network of media women around the world helped or inspired you?

 It has certainly inspired me. As Managing Trustee, IAWRT India, I have acquired new skills in terms of organizing film festivals and enhancing skills in organizing events.

What are your long-term goals?

I would like to make a difference in the lives of women through my work, I would like to work with women from different countries and create opportunities for experience sharing and learning.

What special advice do you have for young women seeking to qualify for this type of work?

My only advice is that they should be honest to themselves. They should be patient and perseverant. They should learn to stand up for what they believe in and now bow down to pressures and power games. Life is tough, but if you believe in yourself, you can fight for yourself and your values under all circumstances.

Do you have any special words of warning, or encouragement, because of your experience?

Don’t give up. Work hard, believe in yourself, there will be many who will say Why to you but very few who would say Why Not? Look out for such people and stick to your own goals.

 Links to some of Archana’s work  

Archana Kapoor Productions

Radio Mewat: radio by the people, for the people and of the people 

Twitter @archanakpr

Media attention

Riding the air wave

Change is in the airwaves in rural India

Tune into Mewat

FM of the masses

How One Award-Winning Radio Channel Forever Changed an Underserved Community in Haryana

Community radio to take care of consumer complaints in Mewat

Rural radio poised to bring hinterlands to speed

This Community Radio Programme Encouraged a Father to Support His Daughter’s Education

In India’s Rural North Community Radio Empowers and Inspires

Radio Mewat: radio by the people, for the people and of the people

Forget Newspapers or the Internet. Indian women are betting on one of the oldest forms of media

Community Radio Inspires Women In Isolated Village To Express Themselves

Big data to cameras: How technology is empowering Muslim women

Devi Awards by Indian Express Group  devi awards- facebook

Featured in the Vodafone coffee table book: Women of Pure Wonder