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The Superbowl Of Films; The Academy Awards 2012 Are Here!

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By Shubham Singh (with inputs from Rigya Singh):

The real movie capital of the world throws the greatest wrap tonight!! Yes, we are talking of the Oscar night. And just some hours after, the curtains get off and you get to access the stars of ‘Hollywood’ on red carpet.
Of course, everyone’s familiar with the evening’s stunning fashion and the mesmerising acceptance speeches but every year this brings a lot of surprises and fun.

Not every artist bags the golden lady home but believe me, just being nominated for the Academy Awards only means the world to them. The victory there indicates the strength of their position. The 84 year old lady will bring forth the some unforgettable moments on the red carpet, the most prestigious and glitzy affairs of the whole world. And the whole world sits at odd hours every year to watch the complete ceremony unfold in its glamorous fashion.

In India, if the film is bringing money, getting acclaimed and the film-makers are maintaining their self-respect, they do not bother to get an approval from a selected jury. Or maybe the tradition and culture depicted in Indian cinema is not of the parameters of the Oscar jury. Mother India (1957), Salaam Bombay (1989) and Lagaan (2002) all carry the prestige of being former nominees for Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards, but unfortunately none of them succeeded in winning. Both Gandhi (1983) and Slumdog Millionaire (2009) in comparison won achieved glorious victory of eight awards each, including Best Picture.

Of all the 24 categories to be awarded this night, the nominations of main categories and winner predictions are as follows:

Best Picture:

o War Horse
o The Artist
o Money Ball
o The Descendants
o The Tree of Life
o Midnight in Paris
o The Help
o Hugo
o Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

And the winner is… probably ‘The Artist’. No other movie has the film pundits talking like it is happening for this movie.

Best Director:

o Michel Hazanavicius for ‘The Artist’
o Alexander Payne for ‘The Descendants’
o Terrence Malick for ‘The Tree of Life’
o Woody Allen for ‘Midnight in Paris’
o Martin Scorsese for ‘Hugo’

Prediction- Oh! Martin Scorsese, he so deserves it for moving out of his comfort zone to deliver a family friendly movie.

Best Leading Actor:

o Demian Bichir in ‘A Better Life’
o George Clooney in ‘The Descendants’
o Jean Dujardin in ‘The Artist’
o Gary Oldman in ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’
o Brad Pitt in ‘Moneyball’

The honour is perhaps going to be carried away by Jean Dujardin

Best Leading Actress:

o Glenn Close in ‘Albert Nobbs’
o Viola Davis in ‘The Help’
o Rooney Mara in ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’
o Meryl Streep in ‘The Iron Lady’
o Michelle Williams in ‘My Week with Marilyn’

The race is a close one between Viola Davis and Meryl Streep but inclination is towards the magnetic performance by Viola Davis for ‘The Help’.

Best Supporting Actor:

o Kenneth Branagh in ‘My Week with Marilyn’
o Jonah Hill in ‘Moneyball’
o Nick Nolte in ‘Warrior’
o Christopher Plummer in ‘Beginners’
o Max von Sydow in ‘Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close’

And the expected winner is — Christopher Plummer

Best Supporting Actress:

o Berenice Bejo in ‘The Artist’
o Jessica Chastain in ‘The Help’
o Melissa McCarthy in ‘Bridesmaids’
o Janet McTeer in ‘Albert Nobbs’
o Octavia Spencer in ‘The Help’

The talk is hovering around Octavia Spencer.

Best animated feature:

o A Cat in Paris
o Chico & Rita
o Kung Fu Panda 2
o Puss in Boots
o Rango

‘Rango’ is the most favoured one here.

The rest of the expected wins in various other categories are:

  • Writing (Adapted Screenplay)- ‘The Descendants’
  • Documentary (Feature)- ‘Undefeated’
  • Foreign Language Film- ‘A Separation’
  • Cinematography- Emmanuel Lubezki ‘The Tree of Life’
  • Film Editing- Anne-Sophie Bion for ‘The Artist’
  • Music (Original Score)- Ludovic Bource for ‘The Artist’
  • Music (Original Song)- ‘Man or Muppet’, written by Bret McKenzie for ‘The Muppets’
  • Sound Mixing- John Midgley for ‘Hugo’
  • Sound Editing- Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty for ‘Hugo’
  • Art Direction- Dante Ferretti for ‘Hugo’
  • Costumes- Sandy Powell for ‘Hugo’
  • Makeup- ‘The Iron Lady’

These names are most likely to win but do not be disheartened if you do not see your favourite name in here, luck can change as the night rolls on. After all, there is always some scope for upsets and unexpected wins.

It just might be the night for the silent black and while French film ‘The Artist’ that is slated to win. If Voila Davis and Octavia Spencer win in their respective categories, it will be the biggest win for African American actors since 2002 when Halle Berry and Denzel Washington won the Academy Award for Best Actress and Actor, respectively. But Voila Davis has competition from ‘The Iron Lady’ Meryl Streep herself. She has not won since 1983 but is the most frequently nominated actress (a whooping seventeen times with two wins). Time will only tell who will win otherwise we have Billy Crystal as the host. He will keep us all entertained in the wee hours of the morning. Keep your popcorns and fizzy drinks ready (or a lot of caffeine).

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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