Oscar winners film on Indian girl screened at Kolkata fest

meganlOscar winner Megan Mylan’s documentary “After My Garden Grows”, which tells the story of a teenager in rural West Bengal growing food on a tiny rooftop garden to feed her family and as a means to delay her marriage, was screened at the 20th Kolkata International Film Festival to a packed audience.

The American documentary filmmaker clinched the Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject) for “Smile Pinki”, which released in 2008. It is based on a five-year-old girl from Varanasi with severe cleft lip. 

Her current venture, the 10-minute short “After My Garden Grows”, was showcased at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Bollywood actor Aamir Khan hosted a special showing in Mumbai Friday.

Revolving around 16-year-old Monika Barman, a resident of Bhutkura village in Bengal’s Cooch Behar district, it shows how minor girls are turning to farming on small plots of land in the district for their independence and empowerment.

This stops girls from getting married off at an early age.

Monika is one of the 40,000 girls participating in a programme to empower adolescent girls through the micro-agricultural programme for adolescents launched by the state government in 2011 as part of the central government’s Sabla scheme.

“Monika is trying to change her life as well as the lives of others in her village. This is an example that change is happening in India and through the film, we hope it reaches others,” Mylan told the mediaSunday after the screening.

Monika and her sister Kanika were also present at the premiere Sunday.

Rihanna excited about her new album
Children are agents of change Prasoon Joshi