La Crosse, Wis. – In conjunction with International Women’s Day, UWL will host a film festival that explores the faith, labor and gender struggles of contemporary women from India.

The South Asia Film Festival, “Who is India’s Daughter?” runs Monday, Feb. 29 – Monday, March 7. Film screenings are planned every evening at 6 in 1309 Centennial Hall, followed by guided discussions. They are free and open to the public. The event will also feature a lecture and discussion with award-winning filmmaker Sonali Gulati.

The festival kicks off at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 29, with a screening of the BBC documentary “India’s Daughter.” The film is about the 2012 infamous gang rape and murder of a young Delhi woman.

The documentary’s release was the inspiration for the film festival, notes Gita Pai, assistant professor of History, one of the festival organizers. “India’s Daughter” roused debate about the plight of women in India, sparking questions related to the challenges of Indian women and how they can overcome them.

“Why refer to India’s girls and women as ‘daughters?’ Do ‘India’s daughters’ need rescuing more than women elsewhere?,” asks Pai.

Pai; Mahruq Khan, Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies; and Nabamita Dutta, Economics, organized the festival with those questions in mind.

“Through the film festival, we hope to show that Indian women can defy patriarchal mindsets,” says Pai.

Award-winning film director is featured guest

The festival will also include a reception, discussion and lecture with Independent Filmmaker Sonali Gulati, who has made several award-winning short films. The festival will feature the screening of two of her films. “I Am” explores Gulati’s experiences as an Indian lesbian who never came out to her mother and “Nalini by Day, Nancy by Night” is about the outsourcing of American jobs to India and its impact on women. The following events feature Gulati:

– A reception with Gulati at 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 2. RSVP to the reception at

– A screening of “I Am” at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 3 in 1309 Centennial Hall. It follows a 6 p.m. screening of “Nalini by Day, Nancy by Night” at the same location. After the screenings, Gulati will lead a discussion.

– A public lecture, “The personal is political,” at 10 a.m. Friday, March 4, in Cameron Hall of Nations, 1300 Centennial Hall.

For more information or special accommodations contact Gita Pai, History, at For more details visit:

Films to be shown throughout the week include:

Monday, Feb. 29

 “India’s Daughter” 

Tuesday, March 1

“The World Before Her” 

Wednesday, March 2

“Pink Saris” 

Thursday, March 3

“Nalini by Day, Nancy by Night” 

“I Am” 

Post-movie discussion with Filmmaker Sonali Gulati.

Friday. March 4

“Light Fly, Fly High” 

Monday, March 7


UW-La Crosse Media Relations • 1725 State St. La Crosse WI

Media Contact: Gita Pai, UWL assistant professor of History, or 608.785.8352