International category of “films that develop the theme of human unity”

Wisdom Award: A Letter From India by Naveed Mulki & Shaktiraj Singh Jadeja

A small diverse village of 30000 in southwest India demonstrates its ability to live a harmonious existence. The film is shot in b&w with soft gentle awareness that brings a rich vibration to the viewers.

Cinema Paradiso Awards

In Your Eyes by Barak Heymann

A reflection of real, authentic, spontaneous ‘human unity’ is inevitably the internet, the world wide web, so to say… where all identities mingle, they can relate to each other, have access to each other… without judgement there can be understanding and acceptance. The ‘Web Stars’ or the internet influencers are in that sense true icons of human unity… as beautifully portrayed in the film ‘In Your Eyes’… In Israel, those from social margins, outside the mainstream, find a ground, a voice and a huge following, they find love and connection.

White Eye by Tomer Shushan

A young Israeli man comes across his stolen bicycle. Seeking justice he contacts the authorities. What develops changes his perception dramatically, compassion comes to the foreground too late.

Jury Award: Baluji by Marie-Cécile Embleton

If there is an inspiration, a lesson in indefatigable spirit, it is in the film ‘Baluji’… ‘Baluji’ also takes us into a sweet journey of love and dedication, the kind of love that we cross our fingers for! A story of truly empowering companionship and collaboration that we all yearn for. And of course music – its practice and pursuit that can heal, connect and liberate!

Category of “films made by Aurovilians, bioregion residents and guests of Auroville”:

Cinema Paradiso Award: Learning from the Intangible by Alessandra Silver

The Cinema Paradiso award under the category of Auroville films at the 2022 Auroville Film Festival is given to ‘Learning from the Intangible’ by Alessandra Silver. It is a film that truly captures the essence of an Aurovillian educational experience for children, creating space and opportunities to learn and expand their knowledge and experiential horizons. The “Free Progress” pedagogy and curriculum are embedded in a value system that enables “integral education” grounded in reality, culture, and virtues essential for the sustenance of the human and ecological spirit. The voices of parents and children in Auroville make the “intangible” actually “tangible”, and the film becomes a medium of inspiring educators and parents to engage with a process that will build a generation of citizens who would actualise “the psychic being”. The film is shot and edited to make for lived storytelling. As India moves forward to implement the New Education Policy 2020, this documentary can sensitise and inspire educational policymaking and practice to transform education. The words “nothing can be taught” stay with you beyond the 85-minute film.

Wisdom Award: Conversations on Death by Serena Aurora

The Wisdom award under the category of Auroville films at the 2022 Auroville Film Festival is given to ‘Conversations on Death’ with Aurovilians by Serena Aurora and Danielle de Diesbach. A thought-provoking exposition, the film reflects on the meaning of death, and ‘death in Auroville’. A wide gamut of ideas is brought forth including the conquest of death “where each cell of our body will have to become conscious.” Pithy words by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother punctuate Danielle de Diesbach’s exploration as she sets out to interview Aurovilians, young and old. The perspectives of the interviewees along with the meditative words and music offer an understanding that frees you from the fear and apprehension of death. “The material or physical causes of death are not its sole or its true cause: its true inmost reason is the spiritual necessity for the evolution of a new being.” The film is aurally and visually orchestrated with substance and meaning, drawing ‘Death’, typically considered a ‘dark’ subject, into the light.

Jury Award: En Udambu (My Body) by Earthling Koushalya

The Jury award under the category of Auroville films at the 2022 Auroville Film Festival is given to ‘En Udambu (My Body)’ by Earthling Koushalya. A socially sensitive film on the use of online social media as a medium of sexual violence against women, this is a powerful representation of women reclaiming their bodies as their own, against this violation. The protagonist uses the same online space to challenge the male toxic behaviour that violates her privacy, with a counter-strategy in which her body becomes a weapon of resistance and breaks the barriers of social stigma and shame that she is threatened by. The private and public lens on ‘My Body’ merge in the depiction of love and pride that a woman has for her body, against the fear she is expected to live with, to protect her body. Subtle lighting and music combine to bring the actors’ narrative alive, with scope for more.

Mongbra Award: Pre-Monsoon by Jonak Chakrabarti

The Mongbra award under the category of Auroville films at the 2022 Auroville Film Festival is given to ‘Pre-Monsoon’ by Jonak Chakrabarti. A fun film with a youthful perspective… sometimes abstract, sometimes real…in Auroville. Awarded for its creative and experimental take on memories and growing up, relationships with the self and others, friendships and dreams… magnifying life with curiosity and love. A scientist, a detective and an experiment in an unsuspecting town, truly this is what an Aurovillian journey can be. Free of any ‘isms’, finding your own paths with freedom and a spirit of unlearning and being one with nature and its surprises. The scripting, camerawork and editing make the film engaging, but warrant a shorter and tighter film.

Special Motivation Award: Lockdown – 48 Athisayam by Yatra Srinivassan

Special Motivation award under the category of Auroville films at the 2022 Auroville Film Festival goes to ‘Lockdown – 48 Athisayam’ by Yatra Srinivassan. A satirical take on life within four walls, this film calls for public viewing on a significant day to day experience with male alcoholism and marital relations. This short film uses language and actions to open a window into the reality of life on the peripheries of Auroville.