This 6th Auroville Film festival was very rich in strong movies that represent the hot topics of our time, as well as the category’s overall theme of Human Unity. As a jury it was difficult to limit ourselves to just three awards, as there were quite a few films that we feel deserve recognition. We have therefore decided to share two of the awards between two films each. We have also created a Special Mention category in order to acknowledge two more outstanding movies. 

The following films have been awarded in the category ‘Human Unity’:

Cinema Paradiso Award 

This award will be shared by two films:


This feature-length Hindi drama interweaves the stories of three women from different backgrounds, and explores issues of caste, class, gender and religion, played out against a growing intolerance to difference. While the town’s men conduct a public chess tournament, the women’s lives intersect, and they find ways to subvert and transcend barriers. While the film’s considerable merits alone make it an award-contender, we judges were also impressed by the collaborative filmmaking process by Ektara Collective, where the director’s credit is shared by all participants. We feel that this filmmaking process based on volunteerism and cooperative spirit aligns with the principles of Auroville, and the festival’s focus on human unity.  


This documentary portrays the rice cultivators of the village of Phek in Nagaland, who sing unique polyphonic songs together, while working hard in the fields or sitting around the bonfire. Their poetic songs of love express a longing for the other, and for community. For this poetic and artistic depiction of connection and unity, we award one Cinema Paradiso Award to the film’s directors, Anushka Meenakshi and Iswar Srikumar, who are here with us today.

Wisdom Award


Tucked away in the foothills of Dharamshala lives Didi Contractor, who lives on her own terms. German-born and raised in US, she has adopted India as her home, where she implements her passionate mission and vision of sustainable mud architecture – a vision that she shares widely in order to inspire others to live in harmony with the earth. The director Shabnam Sukhdev beautifully captures Didi’s deep philosophy of connectivity to the environment, tradition and living in harmony with human nature.

Jury Award

This award will be shared by two films:


Abu is a deeply personal documentary about the filmmaker’s own journey of migration from Pakistan and Canada, and coming out as a gay man. It foregrounds the  relationship of the director – Arshad Khan – with his father, and encompasses themes of migration, sexuality, abuse, secrecy, intolerance, homophobia and fundamentalism. It is a sensitive exploration of the challenges to the bonds between parents and children, and a father and son’s journey to forgiveness and acceptance – and it therefore has a strong coherence with the festival’s theme of human unity. 


This German-Swiss documentary by Barbara Miller explores female sexuality in the 21st century across the globe, foregrounding evocative stories from India, Africa, Japan, USA and Germany. It highlights the obstacles that stand in the way of women’s evolution, such as culture, sexism and misogyny. Through the cultivation of their own consciousness and strength, the film’s subjects overcome these obstacles, showing how human unity can be achieved both internally and externally. 

Special Mentions 

We wish to acknowledge two short films with special mentions:


When a man discovers he has returned home with a veiled woman who is not his wife, how does he find his own wife amongst the sea of burqa-clad women? This film is humorous romp that highlights the difficulties of being forced to live by societal standards in a repressive regime with absurd rules. For this well-crafted and highly engaging film that makes important points through incisive humour, we award a Special Mention to the director Fabrice Bracq from France. 


How does a totalitarian state oppress, silence and bring into line defiant citizens? By literally white washing them! For opening our eyes for this topic in a playful and touching way, we issue a special mention for the innovative animated film “The unusual bath of Mr.Otmar” by the young Croatian filmmaker Niko Radas.