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'Writing with Fire' in Oscars, It is the most inspiring journalism movie

01:56 PM Feb 09, 2022 IST | pallavvjain
 writing with fire  in oscars  it is the most inspiring journalism movie

Sushmit Ghosh and Rintu Thomas’s documentary ‘Writing With Fire’ has been successful in getting the nomination for the Oscars. The film has received a nomination in the Best Documentary Feature category. Writing with Fire is based on Khabar Lahariya, a newspaper run by Dalit women. The story of the newspaper’s chief reporter and crime reporter has been presented in this film, who covers the story in the dangerous areas of the country.

Writing With Fire is directed, produced, and edited by filmmakers Sushmit Ghosh and Rintu Thomas. The film has already earned a lot of names. It has garnered much acclaim in the film circuit. It has received the Special Jury Award and Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. Even before this, Indian Films Smile Pinky and Period End of Sentence have received Oscars in the Best Short Documentary category.


What is Khabar Lahariya?

Khabar Lahariya is a regional newspaper published in the Bundeli language. It is completely run by Dalit rural women. All kinds of news are there in this newspaper. The work of women empowerment and rural development is given importance. The special thing about this newspaper is that it is printed in the Bundeli language in big letters so that the newly literate people can read it easily. This newspaper is being published from Chitrakoot for the last eight years. A non-governmental organization called ‘Nirantar’ helps in its publication. It has about 20 thousand readers. Its cost is Rs 2. Due to this newspaper, leaders have started paying attention to this area. Due to the news being published from here, work has been done in the field of health, education in the area. Because of this newspaper, heinous crimes like rape have started to be reported and people have got justice. The YouTube channel of Khabar Lahariya has become very popular. Now Khabar Lahariya is entering into the digital age.

Writing with Fire Review

Newyork Times Review: Several times in the documentary “Writing With Fire,” we see women reporters standing alone in a crowd of men — cops, miners, political rallyists — asking gentle but firm questions. The women’s grit in the face of palpable hostility is impressive, and it becomes more so when you learn that they’re in Uttar Pradesh, an Indian province known for crimes against women, and that they are Dalits, or members of the country’s so-called untouchable caste.


Thomas and Ghosh focus on arcs of resistance rather than repression, tracing how, as Khabar Lahariya’s YouTube channel rapidly gains followers, its stories achieve real results: a neglected town receives medical attention; a rapist is prosecuted. If the film’s brisk telling sometimes presents these victories as too easily won, it’s a necessary corrective to the skepticism the women still face (“They’re destined to fail,” Meera’s husband scoffs).

And at a time when the profession faces increasing dangers in India, the film’s faith in the powers of grassroots journalism is nothing short of galvanizing.


Who are Sushmit Ghosh and Rintu Thomas

Sushmit Ghosh

Sushmit is a Sundance Fellow and has directed and shot several award-winning shorts, many of which have been used globally as education and social impact tools. Winner of the National Film Award of India, Sushmit’s work is also supported by the IDFA, the Bertha Foundation, Doc Society, the Tribeca Film Institute, Chicken & Egg Pictures, Sundance, Sorfond, and The Finnish Film Foundation. His interest lies in using new technologies and creative strategies to enhance both the visibility and impact that storytelling can create in the digital era. Sushmit has completed his studies at Jamia Research Center and Delhi University. In his spare time, you’ll find him biking in the Himalayas or lazing in a bookshop.

Rintu Thomas

She is also a Sundance Fellow and Co-founded Black Ticket Films, a creative agency in 2009.


Rintu Thomas shared a video on Twitter, where you can see their joy after the announcement of their name for Oscars.

Results of the Oscar winner will be announced on 27th March 2022.

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