The World Before Her
Through dramatic vérité action and unprecedented behind-the-scenes access, THE WORLD BEFORE HER sweeps back the curtain to reveal the intimate stories of young women determined to win the Miss India beauty pageant crown and the forces that oppose them. Hindu fundamentalists view pageants as immoral and a symbol of the rapid Westernization of India; protests are common.
As the contestants move through beauty boot camp, filmmaker Nisha Pahuja travels to another corner of India to visit an annual camp for young girls run by the Durgha Vahini, the women's wing of the militant fundamentalist movement. Through lectures and physical combat training, the girls learn what it means to be good Hindu women and how to fight against Islam, Christianity and Western influences by any means necessary.
Moving between both camps and the characters' private lives, THE WORLD BEFORE HER creates a lively, provocative portrait of the world's largest democracy at a critical transitional moment. These young women may represent opposing extremes but in their hearts they share a common dream: to help shape the future of India.
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THE LATEST FROM @worldbeforeher ON TWITTER
An interesting article linking the high rates of female foeticide with economy that supports and sustains it and... https://t.co/sWtkyPOT2i
July 6, 2016
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May 30, 2016
Festivals & Awards
Tribeca Film Festival
Winner - Best Documentary Feature
Hot Docs International Film Festival
Winner - Best Canadian Feature
Toronto International Film Festival
Canada's Top Ten
Traverse City Film Festival
Winner - Best Foreign Film
“Beautiful and poignant.”
“Nisha Pahuja’s documentary turns out to be a thought-provoking film that examines women’s limited choices in a patriarchal country reeling from the contradictions of rapid modernization.”
-The Globe and Mail
“Pahuja's talent for juxtaposition is uncommon … THE WORLD BEFORE HER is one of the best documentaries on femininity and culture in years.”
-Sound on Sight
“In Nisha Pahuja’s brilliant study of women’s choices in modern India, two vastly different movements claim to promote female empowerment…. Don't miss it.”
“Extreme choices and attitudes confronting women in India are laid bare in Nisha Pahuja’s quietly shocking film.”
THE WORLD BEFORE HER completed a three-part national outreach campaign in India. The first part was a theatrical release in the summer of 2015, which was incredibly successful, making the film the most broadly distributed documentary ever released in theaters in India. There has been an immense amount of press as well. The next two components started in the fall, involving a screening tour at colleges and universities sponsored by campus women’s rights organizations, and a grassroots tour to areas where female infanticide is still practiced and rates of female feticide are high.
Successfully funded Kickstarter campaign for THE WORLD BEFORE HER's India Screening Tour, including updates from the tour.