Sawnet - Cinema -
Pratibha Parmar was born in Nairobi, Kenya and came with her family to live in England in 1967. Before she began to make films, she was a youth and community worker working in the Asian community with young women.
She studied at Bradford University for her B.A. Hons degree and did postgraduate studies at the Cultural Studies Centre at Birmingham University. She travelled to India in 1975 and worked as volunteer in rural development projects around India. During this time she spent 3 months working in Calcutta with Mother Teresa.
She worked in the feminist publishing collective, Sheba Feminist Press in the mid 1980s, where she was responsible for editing and publishing writings by Asian and African-Caribbean women, including the British publication of The Cancer Journals by Audre Lorde. She is a Board member of Women in Film and Television (UK) and The Directors Guild of Great Britain.
She is the founder of Kali Films
- Identities, Passions and Commitments. Interview at lolapress.org
- Sita Gita
A half hour drama monologue performed by Nina Wadia exploring the duality of a young Asian woman's life. Sita is a hard working student studying law and taking care of her father and brothers while Gita is a lap dancer in a club earning money to buy her independence. How does she reconcile these two aspects of herself?
(2000, 24 mins)
- The Righteous Babes
explores the intersection of feminism with popular music, focusing on the role of female recording artists in the 1990s and their influence on modern women.
(1998, 50 mins)
- Brimful of Asia
The explosion of 2nd Generation Asian talent in mainstream British culture features musicians Talvin Singh, Asian Dub Foundation and Cornershop as well as fashion designers and writers.
(1998, 24 mins)
This stylish, witty and warm movie set in gay bars, in dreams, in adverts and cyberspace delights in the gloss of the world it depicts as it explores one womans foray into cybersex looking for emotionally safer sex.
(1997, 15 mins)
- Jodie: An Icon
A fast paced, breezy look at the transatlantic phenomenon that has made Hollywood actress Jodie Foster an icon for lesbians who identify with, adore and celebrate the screen personas of her remarkable career.
(1996, 25 mins)
- The Colour of Britain
looks at the work of renowned South Asian artists who are at the forefront of redefining British culture. Available from
(1994, 55 mins)
- Memsahib Rita
Shanti's face is brown and painfully Indian, even though her mother was a beautiful white woman. Can Shanti survive in London's East End, with the ugliness of racism around her and the bitter memories of a mother who committed suicide, unable to take the pressures of an interracial marriages In this unusual fictional short, studded with fantasy and magical realism, there are some surprising answers.
(1994, 20 mins)
- Warrior Marks
- Sawnet Review by Srimati Basu
- A Place of Rage
This exuberant celebration of African American women and their achievements features interviews with Angela Davis, June Jordan and Alice Walker.
(1991, 54 mins)
- Sawnet Review by Lata Narayanan
For South Asian lesbians and gay men in Britain, North America, and India, the term captures the blissful intricacies of being queer and of colour. Inspiring testimonies bridge geographical differences to locate shared experiences of isolation and exoticization but also the unremitting joys and solidarity of being "khush"..
(1991, 24 mins)
- Sawnet Review by Srimati Basu, Lata Narayanan
- Flesh and Paper
(1990, 24 mins)
- Memory Pictures
A beautiful composed profile of gay Indian photographer, Sunil Gupta, and the way his work portrays issues of sexual and racial identity in relation to personal and familial history.
(1989, 26 mins)
- Sari Red
Made in memory of Kalbinder Kaur Hayre, a young Indian woman killed in 1985 in a racist attack in England, Sari Red eloquently examines the effect of the ever-present threat of violence upon the lives of Asian women in both private and public spheres.
(1988, 11 mins)
- Flesh and Paper
In 1986, Suniti Namjoshi and Gillian Hanscombe published a selection of poems entitled Flesh and Paper. The poems are a dialogue between the two women as friends, poets and lovers. This film features an interview with Suniti Namjoshi, and discussions by others about her life and work with readings of her poetry.
(, 26 mins)
Sawnet film reviews
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