Film Festival

12 Documentaries you cannot miss at the International Documentary & Short Film Festival of Kerala


We present a list of 12 documentaries worth watching at the International Documentary & Short Film Festival of Kerala that will take place from June 10th – 14th in Trivandrum (Kerala, India).

Indian Documentaries

18 feet

18 Feet by Renjith Kuzhur – India | 2015 – 77 min.

Karinthalakoottam is an indigenous band that propagates the music of soul to connect people with a sense of historic resolution. 18 feet symbolizes the holy distance dalits, the downtrodden, were to ensure for the sanctity of upper castes. P R Remesh, a city public-bus conductor, is the man behind the exuberant squad that drums empathy for all in denial of historic untouchability attached to the disused community. The troop is the vanguard in redefining the identity of people who are battered by senseless incorrectness through centuries. The downtown Kerala band rekindles the sense of sanity for all with a massage of love and harmony.

Fireflies in the Abyss

Fireflies in the Abyss by Chandrasekhar Reddy – India | 2015 – 88 min.

The dangerous lives of laborers making their living in an Indian coal mining boomtown are brought into focus through the indomitable spirit of an 11-year-old boy determined to escape the dark abyss and return to school.

Trailer (Will open in a new window)

Muzaffarnagar Eventually

Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hai… (Muzaffarnagar Eventually…) by Nakul Sawhney – India | 2015 – 136 min.

‘Muzaffarnagar Eventually…’ looks at the various socio-political-economic dimensions around the anti-Muslim massacre in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts in 2013 and follows its impact on the 2014 Indian general elections.
*This film is out of competition*

Trailer (Will open in a new window)


Nicobar, a long way by Richa Hushing – India | 2016 – 65 min.

A film explores the cultural resilience of the Nicobarese tribe in the aftermath of Tsunami of December 26th 2004.
*This film is out of competition*


Shepherdess of the Glaciers by Stanzin Dorjai – India | 2015 – 75 min.

In the Himalayan High Plateaus, far from any human life, we will accompany Tsering, a shepherdess, throughout one year, thanks to her brother’s knowing camera. We will discover the moving and exceptional picture of a woman who has devoted her life to her cattle.
In the Far Northern Mountains of India, in Ladakh, Tsering leads her flock of 300 sheep and Pashmina goats to graze on the 5500 m high Himalayan Plateaus. Surrounded by this dry and desolate landscape, she lives with her cattle under the continuous threat of wolves and snowleopards.
Her brother followed her during one year and filmed her exhausting work: both exceptional and moving pictures in which we discover the maternal tie between her and her sheep. A life diametrically opposed to the Western luxury industry which will use the Kashmir wool she produces.


Sleeping Cities by Shaunak Sen – India | 2015 – 52 min.

The film probes the heady world of night-shelters, improvised sleeping spaces and the infamous sleep-mafia to consider “Sleep” as a deeply conflicted and textured socio-political terrain.


Mod (The Turn) by Pushpa Rawat – India | 2015 – 69 min.

Mod is an attempt by the filmmaker at communicating with the young men who hang out at the ‘notorious’ water tank in her neighbourhood in PratapVihar, Ghaziabad. The water tank is a space that is frequented by the so-called ‘no-gooders’ of the locality, a place where they play cricket, play cards, drink and smoke up. When she enters the space with her camera, the boys are curious and at the same time wary of it and her. They sometimes resist, sometimes protest, and at times, open up. As the film unfolds we get a hint of the lives the boys lead and the fragile world they create for themselves at the water tank.

International Documentaries


Amy by Asif Kapadia – UK | 2015 – 128 min.

The creator of a gripping documentary on legendary F1 driver Ayrton Senna has returned five years later with a portrait of Amy Winehouse. In her short, tumultuous life, the singer made an indelible mark on the history of popular music before the demons of dependence put an end to her career at age 27.

Trailer (Will open in a new window)

Cartel Land

Cartel Land by Matthew Heineman – Mexico, US | 2015 – 100 min.

A physician in Michoacán, Mexico leads a citizen uprising against the drug cartel that has wreaked havoc on the region for years. Across the U.S. border, a veteran heads a paramilitary group working to prevent Mexico’s drug wars from entering U.S. territory.

Trailer (Will open in a new window)

He Named Me Malalala

He Named Me Malala by Davis Guggenheim – UAE, US | 2015 – 87 min.

A look at the events leading up to the Taliban’s attack on Pakistani schoolgirl, Malala Yousafzai, for speaking out on girls’ education followed by the aftermath, including her speech to the United Nations.

Trailer (Will open in a new window)

The Salt

The Salf of the Earth by Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, Wim Winders – France, Brazil, Italy | 2014 – 110 min.
During the last forty years, the photographer Sebastião Salgado has been travelling through the continents, in the footsteps of an ever changing humanity. He has witnessed the major events of our recent history; international conflicts, starvations and exodus… He is now embarking on the discovery of pristine territories, of the wild fauna and flora, of grandiose landscapes: a huge photographic project which is a tribute to the planet’s beauty. Sebastião’s Salgado’s life and work are revealed to us by his son, Juliano, who went with him during his last journeys, and by Wim Wenders, a photographer himself.

Trailer (Will open in a new window)

Where Am I

Where Am I? Beyond Girl and Woman by Kim Hyo-jung – South Korea | 2016 – 95 min.

The practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) is still widespread in parts of Africa despite innumerable concerns about and objections to it. Taking an exhaustive look into FGM, this film hopes to impart greater awareness about a practice that is often excused as being merely a part of “culture.”

Trailer (Will open in a new window)

To view the complete schedule of the IDSFFK please visit this link: Schedule 2016

For more information about the festival please visit the official website: IDSFFK Website

AFF would like to remember the readers that the International Documentary & Short Film Festival of Kerala is part of our partnership program (See all partners). We want to thank them for their support and wish you guys have a great edition.

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