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Oxfam India, Bhubaneswar is organizing panel discussion on Women in Cinema :Celebration unstereotype cinema

Bhubaneswar:17/3/19: Oxfam India, Bhubaneswar is organizing screening of award-winning Hindi film SONI, directed by Ivan Ayr that explores the lives of two Delhi Policewomen here on Saturday at Idcol Auditorium. The film starring GeetikaVidyaOhlyan and SaloniBatra received Oxfam Best Film on Gender Equality Award 2018.  The film shows how two Delhi based female police officers react to the rise of sexual violence. The film is an attempt to understand the rage policewomen feel against the sexual violence in the capital of the country while at the same time, being saddled with the responsibility to enforce and uphold the law. The film screening is also followed by a panel discussion on Women in Cinema # Celebration unstereotype cinema.As a panelist eminent  Director Sabyasachi Mohapatra and  yest year actress and Educationist Malabika Roy  has participated in discussion.Akshaya Kumar Biswal,Regional Manager of OXFAM  odisha  unit has delivered welcome address and Rukmani Panda has moderating the panel discussion on behalf of OXFAM. Geetika Vidya Ohlyan and Ivan Ayr  were  also  actively participated  in  panel discussion.During panel  discussion  Sabyasachi Mohapatra said“In fact, women characters usually get more importance in Odia movies. We have had dashing ladies in Odia cinema and there have been many women-dominated movies. There have been and will be many women-centric Odia movies in future too.”

Actress Malabika Ray, who, too, was on the panel, agreed with him. “I have never felt gender difference in Odia movies,” Ray said. “We see gender difference in uneducated societies. Many Odia movies have been women-centric. Our films showcase all shades of a woman, not just of weak and helpless ones. Our movies show both soft and tough women characters.”

Ivan Ayr, who directed Soni, shared her experience. So did the movie’s lead actress, Geetika Vidya Ohlyan. “The best part of the movie is that a woman is standing up for another woman,” Geetika said. “Have faith in yourself. Be strong and gentle to others. You should be focused on careers and life. Only then can you reach your goal. It is not about who is masculine and who feminine.”

About the Film:

Soni is a crime drama film, which has been written by Ayar and Kislye and directed and edited by debutante Ivan Ayr. Kimsi Singh and Kartikeya Narayan Singh have bankrolled it under their banners Jabberwockee Talkies and The Film Cafe Production.

The film revolves around the story of a young policewoman named Soni (Geetika Vidya Ohlyan) and her superintendent Kalpana (Saloni Batra), who have collectively taken on a growing crisis of violent crimes against women in India’s capital city, Delhi. The film chronicles the life of these two women.


Soni showcases the gender biased society and Ivan Ayr’s direction and Ayar and Kislye’s script are thrilling. Geetika Vidya Ohlyan and Saloni Batra have delivered brilliant performances, which is the highlight of the film. The movie has decent production and picturisation, background score and dialogues are attractions on the technical front.Despite the obvious good intentions and solid performances in this movie, there still seems to be a meandering quality about it that leaves a viewer feeling the director has no urgent point to make. The material here — the threat posed by ordinary men to women and girls who simply walk down Delhi streets —  is for older teens only, but Soni is often so slow-moving that it feels as if the filmmakers and performers have forgotten what point they are trying to make, which may not attract an Instagram-trained audience

Objective :   The objective of organising screening of the award winning film as well as a panel discussion is that there is ample of scope in film genre to uphold women’s agency and discuss about gender issues. But in last few years it has been seen that film plays a significant role in creating violence in society, especially violence against women and girls. The producers, directors, writers, lyricists and actors those who are involved in making of cinema should come forward to revive and break the stereotype thinking and create a space for gender equality in Cinema.

In previous years AlankritaShrivastava’s Lipstick Under My Burkha and Rima Das’sAssamese film Village Rockstarswon the Oxfam Best film on Gender Equality award.


Oxfam works primarily through grassroots organisations to bring deep-rooted sustainable changes in people’s lives. We do this through long-term development programming and link it to positive policy changes at various levels. We work for the socially excluded and most marginalised communities by mobilising them to campaign for greater economic and social reforms. We use our learnings about what works and what doesn’t at the grassroots level, through research and advocacy, to bring about pro-poor changes in policies and institutions.

We see poverty as a problem of power, the lack of power. Our programmes are currently active in the critical states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh. We work with the most marginalised segments – Dalits, Tribals, Muslims, and Women. For them, poverty is more than lack of income, healthcare and education. It is a crippling state where these groups do not have any control in deciding the course of their own lives. They are excluded from basic decision-making rights.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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