2021 Sundance Docs in Focus: WRITING WITH FIRE

Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Black Ticket Films


WRITING WITH FIRE
Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh chronicle the trailblazing work of India’s only news outlet run by Dalit women – once known as “untouchable.”

Festival Section:
World Cinema Documentary Competition

Country:
India

Sundance Program Description:

You have probably never heard their names before. You might not be familiar with their news outlet, Khabar Lahariya, India’s only all-female news network. Yet the women we meet in Writing With Fire are some of the most inspiring and fearless reporters you will ever encounter.

In their feature debut, directors Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh follow this ambitious group of Dalit wonder women—led by their chief reporter, Meera—as the team switches from print to digital in order to stay relevant. Armed with smartphones and the courage and conviction one must be born with, they investigate the incompetence of the local police force, listen to and stand by victims of caste and gender violence, and challenge long-standing, harmful practices that lead to injustice and intimidation. Thanks to the directors’ intimate yet respectful lens, we witness these rural reporters’ awe-inspiring efforts to dismantle patriarchy and redefine traditional notions of power. Writing With Fire is an electrifying reminder to never underestimate the strength of a woman who’s had enough.

Some Background:

Directors/Producers:
Rintu Thomas & Sushmit Ghosh
Co-founders, Black Ticket Films. Thomas and Ghosh make their feature directorial debut with this project, which was included in the 2019 Sundance Talent Forum. They are past Sundance Institute Stories of Change Fellows and recipient of the National Film Award of India.

Executive Producers:
Patty Quillin
Past Sundance docs:
ON THE RECORD (2020)
THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS (2020)
ALWAYS IN SEASON (2019)
MOONLIGHT SONATA: DEAFNESS IN THREE MOVEMENTS (2019)
THE DEVIL WE KNOW (2018)
INVENTING TOMORROW (2018)
THIS IS HOME (2018)
BENDING THE ARC (2017)

Quillin is a philanthropist and a past creative advisor to Sundance’s Catalyst Forum. She also executive produced 2021 Sundance US Documentary Competition title REBEL HEARTS via the Meadow Fund, as well as Premieres docuseries PHILLY DA. Quillin’s husband is Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.

Hallee Adelman
Past Sundance docs:
THE SOCIAL DILEMMA (2020)
THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS
US KIDS (2020)

Founder, World of HA Productions. Adelman is a philanthropist, children’s book author, and teacher who is committed to bettering the lives of children and family through education, storytelling, and film.

Co-Producers:
John Webster
First Sundance credit. Producer, JW Productions. The Helsinki based Webster mentors documentary projects at DocEdge Kolkata each year, India’s largest nonfiction pitching and incubation platform for Indian and Asian filmmakers.

Tone Grøttjord-Glenne
Producer/co-owner, Sant & Usant. Grøttjord-Glenne most recently executive produced the critically-acclaimed feature doc GUNDA.

More Info:
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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance

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