IDF - Chicken & Egg Grantees 2015

The Indian Documentary Foundation and Chicken & Egg Pictures have announced the two recipients of their joint Fund for Women Directors. The filmmakers will receive in-kind services, such as editing, post production and sound mixing.


SHAZIA KHAN, director of "I Never Left", and MEGHA RAMASWAMY director of "The Firebirds" will each receive USD $10,000 combined of funding and in-kind support. Both directors are based in Mumbai. They will also have a chance to attend one major North American market, where they will receive one-on-one mentoring from the Chicken & Egg Pictures team.

I never left

I Never Left is set in the conflict-ridden region of Kashmir, where turmoil manifests itself in different forms. Deaths, disappearances, and rapes have been carved in to the collective consciousness of the people. It has been almost two decades since the filmmaker left the valley; the armed rebellion came, peaked, and waned. Today, she decides to trace back the way to her homeland and discover how it has metamorphosed in to a land of insanity. People open their lives sometimes in hope, sometimes in obligation, but mostly to just share their pain. These are the tales of loss. These are the faces disfigured by the politically tragic history of Kashmir. These are people who remind us that conflict is far from over.

Shazia Khan is a writer director and producer from Kashmir. She has directed more than 10 documentaries, and worked with international channels like Dutch National Broadcast Television, NMO, OHM, and Al Jazeera. She was also one of the leading videographers for TARA channel, and has also shot for the BBC World Trust and The Ford Foundation. Caravan, her documentary about the journey of Islam in India, and Salaam India, a documentary about the present day situation of Muslims in India, won awards and were screened at various International film festivals.


Her last film SAMA, looks at the Muslim Mystic Music of India.

Shazia Khan
newborns still3

The Firebirds fuses elements of documentary, performance, and narrative cinema into an 80-minute feature that will take a close, sometimes discomforting, look at the lives of women coping with acid violence in India. Delving deep into themes of identity, loss, social disaffection, punitive justice, beauty, and fear, the film conveys personal journeys through monologues and testimonials that are written and performed by the survivors themselves. In search of a language and syntax to help express their context, these women become part of the filmmaking process, conceiving and authoring their experiences and existing dilemmas. Their explorations render themselves as literary pieces, ode-like in their conveyance of human feeling.

Megha Ramaswamy is a screenwriter, director, and film producer based in Mumbai. Her screenplay, Girls was selected at the NFDC Binger screenwriters lab (Venice, Goa) and had been shortlisted by the Sundance Institute writers lab 2012.


The feature The Newborns is based on her short film of the same name, which premiered at The Toronto International Film Festival and has already won several prizes at other festivals.

Megha Ramaswamy