“Ajji” Film Premiere
Photo credit: "Ajji".



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"Ajji" Film Premiere, with The Asian Circle

The Asian Circle celebrated International Women’s Day and one hundred years of women getting the vote in the UK with the screening of “Ajji” in partnership with the UK Asian Film Festival. “Ajji” or “Granny” is a narrative about the violent rape of a woman’s grand-daughter that only she is prepared to do something about. The law, judicial system and family all want to hide the torturous rape to either save face and honour, or because they find it too difficult to fight power and corruption.

For three years, The Asian Circle has been supporting a project which is working on ending violence against women amongst rural communities in the state of Chhattisgarh, India. Alcohol fuels much of the violence. Influential men from the “Panchayats” —the ruling committees in tribal villages—, the police and government officials have all supported awareness-raising programmes in which they discussed with men the impact of alcohol on attitudes and behaviours.

Santosh Bhanot, Chair of The Asian Circle, commented, “all women deserve basic human rights and we recognise men must be part of the solution. For this reason much focus of the work is on behaviour changes by partners towards women. Three out of four men perpetrating violence amongst these patriarchal communities believe it is their right to beat and punish their wives to keep them in control. Through discussion and conversations and with the support of the men and women from the “Panchayats”, the government departments established training programmes. We see that a positive difference can be made on alcohol abuse and violence”.

Event details

When? 15 March 2018, at 6.45 pm.
Where? Regent Street Cinema, 309 Regent St, Marylebone, London, W1B 2UW.


6.45 pm: Drinks Reception

7.45 pm: Introduction from the UK Asian Film Festival and The Asian Circle
Pushpinder Chowdhry, Director of Tongues On Fire, Founder of UKAFF.
Santosh Bhanot, Founder and Chair, The Asian Circle, UK.

8.00 pm: Film Screening and Q&A with Director Devashish Makhija


Sponsorship will go towards The Asian Circle and Oxfam projects in India to help end violence against women.



The Asian Circle

The Asian Circle is a network of UK-based women with a passion to support vulnerable women in India and South Asia by building awareness of their plight and through fundraising. Founded and chaired by Santosh Bhanot, The Asian Circle membership women from all walks of life, working in partnership with Oxfam.

The Asian Circle aims to support projects that increase South Asian women’s capability and full participation in their communities through strengthening their voice, gaining equality and realising their earning potential. The Asian Circle is supporting a project that works on preventing violence against women and aiding survivors in rural communities in Chhattisgarh and Odisha.

Tongues on Fire
Tongues on Fire is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to provide a platform for independent film and arts with a link to South Asia. The company celebrates South Asian culture, its vibrancy and its many dimensions through storytelling, live events, master classes and film screenings. Under the leadership of festival director Dr Chowdhry, Tongues on Fire provides a platform for new talent — to commission emerging artists, showcase their work, offer networking occasions with industry leaders and to provide inspiration and learning opportunities. Tongues on Fire produces the annual London Asian Film Festival that has been going strong for over fifteen years and champions both arts and cinema, intertwining political and social messages with entertainment. Tongues on Fire has a strong background championing the rights of Asian women through cinema.

We look forward to seeing you at the event!