This is an international film festival sans glamour. A film festival sans the star parade, rocking parties and the hype. This is a film festival with a passion-a commitment to make our planet earth a better place to live.
The 7 Islands International Film Festival (7iiff) for Non-Violent Resistance, Global Disarmament and Peace was born in 2006 thanks to the dedicated efforts of a few global citizens residing in Mumbai. Maybe for the first time a film festival was not just restricted to filmmakers. Several socio-cultural organizations dedicated to peace and the Gandhi ideology put in their strength behind it.
Coordination and publicity work was mostly done through the internet. And the response was tremendous. Committed filmmakers from all around the globe joined in forwarding their film videos entirely at their own cost. The foreign embassies consulates situated in India also contributed their might. The issues of the films were a revelation. The legacy of the Martin Luther Kings, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and other lesser known and even unknown mass movement heroes was brought alive; strong anti-war commentaries were heard, seen and felt in the films dealing with the imperialist designs of the US on Iraq, the Israel stalemate, the Latin American problems, India-Pakistan brouhaha and so on. A universal condemnation of global terrorism got echoed all around.
Significantly, 7iiff is slotted during January 26-30 every year. January 26th is observed as the Republic Day in India that is India became a democratic republic with a full fledged constitution on this very day in 1950 January 30th is the Martyrdom day-the day Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on that day in 1948. ‘Seven Islands’ refers to erstwhile Bombay-now Mumbai- which was a group of islands in the ancient times put together in the form of a city by the British nearly four hundred years ago. Devastating terror attacks had taken place here in Mumbai in recent times and Mumbai has now become a permanent terror target. The Festival aims to mobilize the Mumbai residents into a formidable peace front to reject the terror stigma.
The Festival strives to offer solutions to global problems through non-violent resistance and disarmament. It wants to imbibe the youth with the peace ideology through some excellent films that are instant attractions. As has been demonstrated time and again wars, terrorism and violence not only hinder world progress but also impairs human mind and personality development.
And it has been a film feast too. Outstanding works of many famous award winning filmmakers and also many unknown filmmakers have been showcased here. Films have been discussed debated upon through proactive forums. To serve the dual purpose of art and commitment the festival authorities have recently announced that from the year 2009 7iiff is going to competitive with an Award of 2,00,000 Indian rupees for the best film of the festival. Any film dedicated to the themes of non-violence, peace, disarmament-be it in the format of a documentary, feature or animation film-can vie for the Award.