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Saturday, 4 May 2019



Mumbai, Thursday, May 2, 2019: In an unprecedented international gathering, all Consulates in Mumbai, through the Consular Corps, came together to host a special screening of SON RISE, a powerful gender rights film, by National Award winning filmmaker, Vibha Bakshi. The Screening was co-hosted by UN Women, the Films Division and Sonia Hays, wife of New Zealand Consul General and Vice-Dean of the Consular Corps, Ralph Hays, at the recently opened Museum of Indian Cinema, Peddar Road. The film was recently unveiled in February at the Royal Opera House by the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and supports the global UN ‘HeForShe’ movement.

Speaking to a packed house (additional theatre was opened to accommodate the large turn-out) of influencers and change makers, Vice - Dean of the Consular Corps and New Zealand Consul General and Ralph Hays, said, “The Consular Corps is proud to come together to pledge our support for the urgent and important need to change the narrative on gender inequality. We are proud of Vibha Bakshi for creating SON RISE, a powerful and positive gender rights film which makes men equal collaborators in the struggle.”

On the UN’s association with the film, Nishtha Satyam, UN Women’s Deputy Country Representative for India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka said “Nothing gets to the heart the way cinema does. SON RISE is ‘magic’ since it brings out not only voices of discrimination but also of courage, of sheer strength.”

Director General of Films Division, Prashant Pathrabe, said “We are proud to showcase SON RISE, a film which actuates a positive cultural shift in society.”

Following the success of her previous National award winning film, ‘Daughters of Mother India,’

Ms. Vibha Bakshi said, “A film cannot solve the problem, but it can certainly open a dialogue. SON RISE focuses on ordinary men, who have done the ‘extraordinary’ to change the narrative on inequality. The three men featured in this film are the torchbearers and the real heroes for change.  It’s time for men to become part of the struggle in establishing a gender equal society, and set examples for other men to follow.”

Last year, Ms. Bakshi received an Honorary Doctorate from her alma mater Boston University for her work as a journalist and filmmaker in making stories of hope which effect change.

The film is set in Haryana, a strong Patriarchal society, with a highly skewed sex ratio due to rampant illegal sex determination and female foeticide. The sex ratio imbalance has led to unprecedented levels of gender crimes, ranging from bride trafficking to gang rapes.  It is in this unlikeliest place, the filmmaker finds ordinary men taking on the ‘extraordinary’ fight to change the narrative on gender inequality. From a forward-thinking Sarpanch, fighting for women to enter the male-dominated arena of local-politics, to a farmer who, in an arranged marriage, decides to marry a gang rape survivor and vows to support, to the end, her fight for justice.

For further information please call: Prioska Uke, Weber Shandwick India; 9833430483

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