Sunanda Bhat

Sunanda's interest in documentaries is to represent people living on the margins of a fascinatingly intricate and stratified Indian society. Unraveling these layers reveal glimpses of lives that are often far more interesting than fiction. Convinced about the strengths of story-telling as a way to communicate an idea, Sunanda constantly looks for new and interesting ways of portraying these stories.

Her latest independent work 'Have you seen the arana?' has won critical acclaim and has been screened at film festivals in India and in Toronto, Milan, Paris, Estonia, Finland, Fiji, Malaysia and Indonesia. The film won the John Abraham National Award and an Honourable Mention at the International Film Festival for Environment, Health and Culture held in Jakarta, Indonesia.

She started Songline Films in 1996 inspired by Bruce Chatwin’s book by the same name. Songlines or ‘dreaming tracks’ are a series of song cycles sung by Australian aborigines as they find their way across the landscape.

She has also made several commissioned films for NGOs on various social issues. Her short film Ini Oru Vidhi Seyvoam (Let's make it right) on rural sanitation won the Gold Drop award at the International Water and Film Events, 2012 at Marseilles in France, while ‘Bol Ayesha Bol’ (Speak Ayesha Speak) was screened at the International Film Festival, Amsterdam.

Sunanda lives and works in Bangalore, South India.

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Ningal Aranaye Kando? | Have you seen the arana?

The film interweaves contemporary narratives with an ancient tribal creation myth to explore the effects of a rapidly changing landscape on lives and livelihoods.

© Songline Films | 2012 | HD | Stereo | 73 minutes | Malayalam | English subtitles
Official Selection, International Film Festival of India Jean Rouch International Film Festival. Paris, France African, Asian and Latin American Film Festival, Milan, Italy. Female Eye Film Festival, Toronto, Canada. Parnu International Documentary and Anthropology Film Festival.

Ini oru Vidhi Syvoam | Let's make it right

A short film to raise awareness on the need to build and use toilets for every home in rural India.

© WASTE | 2010 | 20 minutes. | Tamil | English subtitles

Yoga as Therapy | TV series

On the practice of yoga for stress related illnesses.

© Goodlife Entertainment.2006 | 14 films | 27 minutes each | English

Athani to Dusseldorf

On the transformation of debt-ridden artisans of a dry North Karnataka town from being marginalized to becoming participants at the International Shoe Fair in Germany.

© ASCENT | 2004 | 50 minutes | Marathi / Kannada | English subtitles.

Nalai Nammadai | Tomorrow is ours

A short film on the benefits of saving and micro insurance.

© TATA-AIG | 2002 | 20 minutes | Tamil | English subtitles

Bol Ayesha Bol | Speak Ayesha Speak

The story of Ayesha, a 16-year-old girl, pregnant out of wedlock, shunned by her family, but supported by the women of the village, becomes the metaphor for change among agrarian women labourers in a village in South India.

© ADATS | 1998 | 45 mainutes | Telugu | English subtitles