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India Currents gave me a voice in days I was very lost. Having my articles selected for publishing was very validating – Shailaja Dixit, Executive Director, Narika, Fremont

“Sparks of Humanity” is the theme of the ninth annual United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF). The festival was established in 1998 to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This festival of international documentary films will be held Oct. 25-29, 2006 at Stanford University, with pre-screenings in San Francisco on Oct. 18 and 22 and in East Palo Alto on Oct. 20. Here are the South Asian entries in the festival. Between Two Stones: Nepal’s Decade of Conflict (21 min.), produced by IRIN Films. In February 1996, the first shots of Nepal’s civil war rang out across
the Himalayas. Ten years into the conflict, more than 12,000 people have lost their lives as the Nepalí ruling monarchy battles with Maoist rebels seeking to establish a communist republic. The civilian population, meanwhile, is trapped in the middle. Oct. 25, 9:15 p.m., Cubberley Auditorium. Beyond the Call (82 min.), directed by Adrian Belic. Three middle-aged men, former soldiers, and modern-day knights, travel the world delivering life-saving humanitarian aid directly into the hands of civilians and doctors in some of the most dangerous places on earth, the front lines of war. Oct. 22, 8:10 p.m., Roxie Cinema. Oct. 29, 4:40 p.m., Cubberley Auditorium.
The Shape of Water (70 min.), directed by Kum-Kum Bhavnani. In an intimate encounter with five very different women in Brazil, India, Jerusalem, and Senegal, narrated by Susan Sarandon, The Shape of Water offers a close look at the far-reaching and vibrant alternatives crafted by the women in response to environmental degradation, archaic traditions, lack of economic independence, and war. Oct. 26, 8:20 p.m., Annenberg Auditorium. Oct. 18: Delancey Screening Room, 600 Embarcadero, San Francisco. $12 general, $8 students. Oct. 20: Eastside Theater, 2101 Pulgas Ave., East Palo Alto. $5 general, $2 students. Oct. 22: Roxie Cinema, 3125 16th St., San Francisco. $8 general. Oct. 25-29: Cubberley Auditorium, School of Education, Stanford University. Annenberg Auditorium, Cummings Art Building, Stanford University. $8 general, $5 students. (650) 724-5544.

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Vandana Kumar

Vandana Kumar is a publishing executive with a 35-year track record in the industry. She leads the India Currents Foundation as President and CEO. As a new immigrant, she co-founded India Currents magazine...