”Writing with Fire” with Rintu Thomas & Sushmit Ghosh


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Right now, “Khabar Lahariya” might not be as well-known as “The New York Times”, but, with 150 million YouTube views and growing, India’s only women-led news outlet has already established itself as an indispensable local watchdog and source of reporting in the country’s most populated state. Winner of the Audience Award at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, “Writing With Fire”, directed by first-time feature filmmakers Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh, is a fascinating and inspiring profile of Khabar Lahariya’s fearless women journalists as the media outlet makes the crucial transition from print to digital.

Talking to Mike and Ken from their home in Delhi, Rintu and Sushmit delved into the making of their film and offered a fascinating, big picture look at the political forces and changing media landscape that are rapidly transforming Indian society. As members of India’s Dalit (“untouchables”) caste, how have the women journalists of Khabar Lahariya overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to do their work under the most difficult, and often threatening, circumstances? What objections do they hear, even in their own homes, from husbands and parents who wish they would give up their work and restrict themselves to their traditional domestic roles? How has the rise of Prime Minister Modi tested the very fabric of India’s democracy? And how is this film the filmmakers’ own personal response to the changing times in their country? Recently named to the Oscar shortlist for Best Documentary Feature, “Writing With Fire” premieres on PBS’ Independent Lens on March 28th.

Follow “Writing with Fire” on instagram and FaceBook writingwithfire.film. Also music box films.

Follow on twitter @topdocspod

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