Panjim, January 9, 2023:
Purple Fest 2023: At the International Purple Fest-Goa, 2024, delegates witnessed a heartfelt and well-received display of compassion through the Purple International We Care Film Festival. Held at the Inox Multiplex, the festival featured an array of impactful films such as ‘Post Dark,’ ‘I Am Special,’ ‘Doves Tail,’ ‘God Knows,’ and various thought-provoking short films.
One notable aspect that added depth to the event was the enthusiastic participation of school students in the film screenings. A total of 10 schools, including Mushtifund High School, Panaji, St. Anne’s High School, Pernem, Holy Cross Institute, Quepem, and others, contributed to the vibrant audience.
Among the short films, ‘Hingbagee Lambi’ by L. Amarendra Sharma stood out by emphasizing the rights of Persons with Disabilities, steering away from a charity-centric narrative. ‘Attitude,’ a South Indian short film, told a compelling story of a man with a leg disability who, despite facing challenges, excels in academic pursuits and secures a job. The poignant ‘Butterfly Circus’ took centre stage, featuring international motivational speaker Nic Vujicic. This film portrayed a circus troupe uplifting spirits during Depression-era America, inspiring hope in a limbless man from a sideshow.
Avelino D’Sa, President of the Disability Rights Association in Goa, attended the screenings and expressed his appreciation, stating, “Having a dedicated film section at the International Purple Fest-Goa, 2024, adds an intriguing dimension, allowing attendees to witness and draw inspiration from these powerful narratives.”
The presence of key figures, such as Liby Mendonca, a special educator from the Gujarati Samaj Special School, Margao, added depth to the event. In her address to the students after the screenings, she emphasised, “Disabled people don’t need sympathy; they need empathy.” This sentiment encapsulated the overarching theme of the film festival, promoting understanding and empathy towards individuals with disabilities.
The curator of the We Care Film Festival, Satish Kapoor, said, “We have been hosting this festival for the past 10 years at various locations across Goa, and this marks our second year collaborating with the International Purple Fest. The festival’s inaugural edition was held in Delhi, after which it evolved into an educational travelling film festival, spanning 200 venues across India and internationally in places like Paris, Mauritius, Iran, UK, and China.”
He further informed that during the initial two years, they exclusively screened Bollywood films, but this didn’t effectively raise awareness. “So we decided to invite entries for short films on disability issues. We received 40 films, which we continue to showcase.”
The film festival left a lasting impact with its thoughtful curation of films, fostering awareness, and promoting a more empathetic understanding of the challenges faced by persons with disabilities.