A preliminary net search reveals more than 25,000 foreign films and documentaries on disability issues are available to the audience through proper channel and distribution network. In India, no proper information is available about films made on various issues of disabilities. There are nearly 40 films (both Hindi and regional language) and 50 documentaries which are hardly available to the audience including NGOs and professionals who are working in the disability sector as there is no proper channel and distribution network existing in India.
In countries where the films and cultural festivals are held regularly, the observation has been made that they have proven effective and popular because they are the sole opportunity for the disability community be the provider, to give something back. But in India few public activities have been used by members of the disability movement to break down barriers and misconceptions about persons with disabilities. A few activities have been organized to raise awareness about disability issues. In India there is no such funds available for creating awareness on disability issues among general masses.
BROTHERHOOD has been using the Audio-visual media since 2002 to initiate discussions and dialogue for the integration of people with disability into the mainstream of society. Through several projects, we have demonstrated that film and documentaries can be a powerful medium for educating the public about disability issues, dispelling myths, stereotypes and misconceptions about persons with disabilities and promoting a new approach to disability which guarantees equal rights and opportunities and equal access.
Creating awareness on disability issues through the medium of films is a new concept to India though the world over such festivals have been held before in various countries. Research shows that in most countries, the majority of children with disabilities do not know any disabled adults and, consequently, many have a difficult time in imagining their future. Audio-visual medium can provide opportunities for them to observe adults with disability undertaking a wide variety of activities, in effect, introducing them to positive role models.
BROTHERHOOD is pioneer in organizing film festivals on disability issues in India. Since 2003 we have organized five international Special Film Festivals jointly organized by the World Bank the National Trust, Tamana Welfare Society and Asian Academy of Film and Television, Icongo, Iridium Interactive etc.
The aim of the We Care film festivals is to create awareness about disability issues through the medium of films and to foster integration in society by spreading the message of ability. The festival is aimed at giving a fillip to the rights-based approach where persons with disability are considered persons first. We Care aims to remove the myths, misconceptions, prejudices and stereotypes about disabled and disability among society through the medium of films.