Soma Girls (2009) explores the lives of girls growing up in a hostel in Kolkata, India. From ages 6 to 17, the film follows these intelligent, funny and high-energy girls as they overcome extraordinary circumstances to lead ordinary lives.
We were just informed today that the film will screen in Paris!!!! The festival is CINEFFABLE: The Paris International Lesbian & Feminist Film Festival. Please check out their amazing site. I’ve read all the information about the fest and how it’s organized, why it was created, etc., and it sounds like a wonderful, wonderful venue, as well as a great party!
The idea of the festival is to have a place where lesbians and women can showcase their work without any competition from men. Therefore, only women can submit and attend. At first I was a little freaked out because I worried that it was going to be like the Michigan Women’s Music Fest and not include transsexuals, but the festival organizers are WAY ahead of me and I was grateful to read that all women who consider themselves women–no matter stage of transition they’re in if they’re transitioning–are welcome. This made my heart glow. I wouldn’t have attended the fest otherwise.
I’ll add more info like screening dates and times as soon as I know them!
SOMA GIRLS is screening in many major markets nationwide on PBS today, 4:30 EST. Check your local listings!!!
It will also screening in select markets throughout the month. The best way to find out if it’s going to air in your market is to check your listings daily until mid-April. I know that’s a lot to ask, but the list we got of stations airing the film is too long to add here!
We are thrilled to announce that SOMA GIRLS will be receiving a PBS broadcast! The film is being distributed by NETA: National Educational Telecommunications Association. Showings will begin in March 2012 on selected stations nationwide, and the film will remain on the NETA broadcasting system until Feb 2015! So there might be many, many more chances to see it on TV!
As Nandini and I get more information about which stations/channels and times the film will be showing, we will add that here.
Many thanks for everyone’s support, and especially to CAMM: Center for Asian American Media for supporting our little film!
***2009/10 Grant recipient ~ New York State Council on the Arts***
“Soma Girls” TRAILER
If recent news reports are to be believed, India has been feted as the next global superpower. However as India flourishes with an influx of corporate monies and urban development cities like Kolkata are dealing with a dark underbelly of urban issues. Kalighat is one of the largest red light districts in the city with most of the sex workers coming from outside Kolkata; some from as far away as Nepal and Bangladesh. But whatever their origin, their reasons for being in the profession are mostly the same: they were tricked, forced, or sold into the trade since they were teenagers or younger.
The chances that the children of sex workers will be forced to earn their living similarly is very high. With this in mind, social worker, Urmi Basu started Soma Home, a hostel for girls. The 30 girls living in the home are mostly daughters of sex workers or come from poor families and run the risk of being forced into prostitution. Because of that risk, Soma Home has been placed far away from Kalighat and is therefore inaccessible to the pimps that ‘manage’ the mothers of many of these children.
Each girl at Soma Home is painfully aware of their individual circumstances but yet they play, dance, study and speak of wanting to grow up, to become independent and find a way to get their mothers and sisters out of the trade.