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When checking out the schedule of major film festivals this year, be sure to add the powerful film Driving with Selvi to your list of films to watch. Directed by Elisa Paloschi, the film is one that portrays an intimate journey of healing, overcoming obstacles, and fulfilling dreams, all through the eyes of a young woman.
I got the chance to speak to the director of Driving with Selvi about the film, and she gave a glimpse of what viewers can expect to see on the screen.
ELISA: TELL US MORE ABOUT THE FILM YOU DIRECTED CALLED DRIVING WITH SELVI
Driving with Selvi tells the story of a young girl living in India who was forced to marry at a young age, but the marriage was violent and abusive. She escapes, and goes on to successfully live a life of freedom on her own, becoming the first female taxi driver in South India.
WHERE DO WE FIRST MEET SELVI IN HER JOURNEY?
When we first meet Selvi in the film, it’s 2004, and she’s eighteen and living in a girls’ shelter. She’s so reserved because she’s come out of this horrendous experience.
As time goes on, she grows into a stronger, different person. She becomes more confident and as a result, she takes charge of her life and learns to drive, which leads her to starting her very own taxi company.
ELISA–WHAT DO HOPE VIEWERS LEARN OR TAKE AWAY FROM THIS FILM?
I hope that people take a way a sense of value and a sense of empowerment – especially women. I want women to feel empowered that they can make positive changes in their lives, even in dire situations. I want people to feel inspired to fulfill their dreams.
THIS IS A PERSONAL STORY OF ONE WOMAN’S STRUGGLES – BUT HOW DO YOU SEE IT ILLUSTRATING A LARGER ISSUE?
Yes there is definitely the larger issue of the challenges that millions of devalued women and girls in India face. The movie sheds light on that through Selvi’s eyes and her story.
HOW DO YOU ANTICIPATE AUDIENCES WILL REACT AND IS THERE A CALL TO ACTION YOU’RE HOPING FOR AFTER PEOPLE SEE THIS FILM?
I hope that when people watch the film that they will feel inspired to start the conversation to raise more awareness of the many social and economic disparities that women face not just in India, but all over the world. And I hope that more people will want to get involved to bring about change.
ELISA: WHERE CAN WE GO FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE FILM AND SOME OF THE UPCOMING FESTIVALS WHERE THE FILM WILL BE SHOWN?
People can find out more about the films and screening dates at www.drivingwithselvi.com.