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    Title: Pakistani filmmaker’s documentary on Islamophobia in India wins big at London Film Festival
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    Pakistani Filmmakers Documentary On Islamophobia In India Wins Big At London Film Festival 27280
    Description: The recognition keeps getting louder for Pakistani filmmakers and artists across the globe in 2023. Filmmaker Shehzad Hameed Ahmad not only highlighted the islamophobic motives of right-wing groups in India through his documentary titled India's Saffron Brigade but also won an award at the Association of International Broadcasting Award 2022. According to a press release, the documentary, which won the Highly Commended award, investigates the reasons behind the weaponisation of Hinduism in India by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a right-wing, paramilitary volunteer organisation that aims to create a Hindu Rashtra - a subcontinent only for the Hindus. From supporting cow vigilantes in Rajasthan attacking Muslim cattle traders to spreading Islamophobia across RSS-backed television stations, Ahmed aimed to showcase how India’s secular fabric is under threat. It documents how the RSS has close ideological connections with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), forcing the US Commission on International Religious Freedom to recommend India be put on a State Department freedom of religion blacklist. According to the list of winners on the official website, the judges were “impressed by the storytelling and balanced treatment of a complex issue.” India’s Saffron Bridge questions the viewers to evaluate if secular Indians can ever fight back to revive Gandhi’s ideals of a pluralistic, multi-faith society when religiopolitical groups get authority in state matters. In Bad Faith, Hameed’s acclaimed documentary is part of a three-part docu-series that attempts to understand the links between populist nationalism, religion and violence, and its impact on minorities across Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India. It follows religion-based political groups across Asia, with aggressively nationalist objectives: the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in India, the Islamic Defenders Front in Indonesia, the Jamia Haqqania in Pakistan and Sri Lanka’s Buddhist extremist outfit the Bodu Bala Sena to investigate their strategies and motivations. Hameed has previously won many awards for his work in documentary filmmaking. His accolades include 10 World Medals at the New York Festivals, 3 Global Media Awards in Germany, a Green Image Award in Japan, a Silver Award at the 2020 Handle Climate Change Film Festival in China, and the Mediacorp News Award of the Year 2015. In 2016, he was also honoured with Pakistan's Agahi Journalist of the Year.  
    Published Date: 08-Jan-2023
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