Pankaj Kumar presents his latest film “In God’s Land”

In God's Land
Thursday, April 11, 2013
7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Alwan for the Arts, 16 Beaver Street, 4th Floor, between Broad & Broadway in Lower Manhattan
Admission: $10 at the door ($5 for Students, Seniors, & Alwan members). Doors Open 6:30pm

Join us for screening and discussion of the latest film by Indian director Pankaj Rishi Kumar, which deals with the issues of tenant farmers, land development, and temple-owned land in India.

Tickets: $10 at the door ($5 for Students, Seniors, & Alwan members)

Doors Open at 630pm.

In God’s Land (Pankaj Rishi Kumar, with Animation by Aditi Chitre, India, 2012, 72mins, HDV)

In God's Land

After taming a former wasteland through hard work and sweat and creating a community, the settlers start living there. The mythical birth of their village God Sudalai Swami unfolds the village’s unique journey to fight the oppression of the ‘big’ Vanamamalai Temple. Now that the clergy owns the land, the settlers are reduced to being tenant farmers and must make way for redevelopment after the land is sold off for a Special Economic Zone (SEZ). A dispute over god’s land begins.

In God’ Land is not simply about the fight between the priests and the farmers. Using animation it recounts the history of the land and satirizes the exploitation perpetuated by religion and class distinction. The film looks at the land within the larger issue of development, forcing us to recognize the totalitarian attitude of the ideals of development, ostensibly to bring economic prosperity but rarely a benefit to real users. But the film’s most interesting element is the people living on this god’s land. Instead of fighting the temple or government, they accept this dire reality and try to find comfort in god’s will, perhaps because for them it is still the land of god. (CHO Young-jung, Busan Film Festival)

Supported by AND fund, Korea World premiere @ Busan Film Festival.
(Official Selection for competition, Wide Angle Documentary Section)
Official Selection Competition–0110 International Digital Film Festival, New Delhi, 2013. Official Selection Competition–Signs Film Festival, Trivandrum
Chennai Documentary Festival

About the Director

Pankaj Rishi Kumar

Graduating from Pune’s Film and Television Institute in 1992, and specialising in Film Editing, Pankaj was assisted editor on Sekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen. After editing documentaries and TV serials, he made his first film KUMAR TALKIES. Subsequently, Pankaj has become a one man crew producing, directing, shooting and editing his own films. (Pather Chujaeri, The Vote, Gharat, 3 Men and a Bulb, Punches n Ponytails). His films have been screened at festivals all over the world. He has won grants from Hubert Bals, IFA, Jan Vrijman, AND (KOREA), Banff, Majlis and Sarai. Pankaj was awarded an Asia Society fellowship at Harvard Asia Centre (2003). He was a TA at the first Asian Film Academy (Pusan). Pankaj also curates and teaches.

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