Talking To The Wind

Since 2015, Maharashtra, India has been in the throes of a man-made drought which has surpassed the drought of 1972, a natural calamity. During the past three years of the drought, farmers have invested thousands of dollars in their crops, all in vain.

The societal norm in India, especially the rural areas, is a patriarchal system where the man goes to work and the woman stays home to take care of the house and children. The women are not looked at as a resource but are treated like a liability. To preserve her and her family’s honor in the society, the woman is married off as soon as she turns eighteen. The financial status of the family they marry depends on the dowry her parents can afford to give. Since bank loans are not easily accessible to them, farmers take money from private money lenders who charge exorbitant interest dowry. With no income because of the relentless drought, the farmers get drawn into a vicious debt cycle. In the communities of Maharashtra, a family’s honor is everything; not being able to provide for his wife and children destroys that honor. The farmers commit suicide because for them, it is the only way out. Since 2013, farmers are committing mass suicides - numbers reaching 1100 per year - the result of the conditions.

Intimate and eye-opening, Talking To The Wind shows the social and psychological effects of climate change as it impacts identity, the idea of masculinity, and the pressures of social structure.

  • Akshaya Sawant
  • Akshaya Sawant
  • Akshaya Sawant
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature, Student
  • Genres:
    Foreign, Drama
  • Runtime:
    60 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    March 25, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    39,100 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital 4k
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • 53rd Annual WorldFest Houston International Film Festival
    United States
    Platinum Remi Award - Socio/Economic Films
  • Riverside International Film Festival
    United States
    April 22, 2020
    Audience Award, Best Student Film
  • DOCfeed International Film Festival
    February 15, 2020
    Dutch Premiere
Distribution Information
  • Hope B Lit
    Country: Worldwide
Director Biography - Akshaya Sawant

Akshaya Sawant is a multimedia artist from Mumbai, India with a passion for bringing real stories to the forefront of the reel world focussing on the human experience knitted in the web of gender, culture and traditions.

She received her Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts with a major in painting. Riding the popular trend of digital photography during her undergraduate years, her brother gifted her, her first DSLR camera to explore new avenues of art; at least that’s what she told him. However, it was when she created a stop motion animation film, Out Of Boredom, that she truly discovered her voice through the lens.

She is a Dean's Fellow and received her MFA from Emerson College, Boston in May 2019. She has interned for the internationally acclaimed film Ship Of Theseus, WGBH and HubSpot Academy, a worldwide leader in inbound marketing. Her first feature documentary Talking To The Wind has received The Virgin Unite Social Impact Film Fund (2017 & 2018) and was a semifinalist at The Gucci Tribeca Documentary Film Fund 2018. She is an active member of International Documentary Association, Women In Media, SFFILM and The D-Word.

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