Actress Shabana Azmi Celebrates International Women’s Day with The Asian Circle at the London Asian Film Festival

The Asian Circle celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD) at the European premiere of Chalk n Duster, a film starring Shabana Azmi. With this year’s IWD theme of Be Bold for Change, we turned to Chalk n Duster, its fascinating story and an all-star cast, to learn about the commercialisation of the Indian private education system.

The film was screened to a full house at the Regent Street Cinema, in London, on 11 March 2017. The event was organised by Tongues on Fire in partnership with The Asian Circle.

Legendary actress and social and women’s rights activist Shabana Azmi made a special guest appearance to meet the audience and talk about the film. On the topic of International Women’s Day, Shabana said: ‘We live in a patriarchal society and we need to still do a lot more to change attitudes. Men and women are different. Not better or worse. Just different. In the UK charities like The Asian Circle are doing very good work but if all such charities could work as one that would be tremendous’.

The event was organised as part of the London Asian Film Festival, an independent film and arts festival organised by Tongues on Fire that has been showcasing South Asian films since 1999. Dr Pushpinder Chowdhry, Director and Founder of Tongues on Fire and the London Asian Film Festival, and a member of The Asian Circle Executive Board, said that ‘Tongues on Fire champions the rights of Asian women and celebrates South Asian culture’.

Dr Santosh Bhanot, Founder and Chair of The Asian Circle, said that ‘education plays a critical part in helping to reduce violence. Education needs to be accessible to all. We are campaigning hard to change the abhorrent and tragic violence that women face. One in three women around the world are faced with violence [and this] needs to be stopped. We at The Asian Circle are passionate about supporting women.’

All funds raised will go towards The Asian Circle and Oxfam’s project in India, which is supporting women who have experienced violence and is encouraging dialogue about gender-based violence in rural communities in Chhattisgarh and Odisha. Click here to learn more about the project.