News & Events

The NLS Public Lecture Series | Screening of the Film ‘From the Shadows’ & Interaction with its Director Miriam Chandy Menacherry


Room No. 101, Old Academic Block (OAB), NLSIU campus
(Open to public)


Thursday, September 21, 2023, 5:00 pm

As part of the NLS Public Lecture Series, the University will be screening the documentary film ‘From the Shadows’ followed by an interaction with the film’s Director Miriam Chandy Menacherry, at the NLS campus on Thursday, September 21, 2023.

Director’s statement on the film: 

Child sex trafficking seems a distant reality from our lives. Yet in a single image, the shadow of a girl on a wall disrupts my sense of normalcy with the message #missing. Can shadows speak? I relate to Leena spreading a powerful message through art but when she steps into unchartered waters to support a survivor in a prosecution case, the story takes a series of twists. Samina is from a family of fisher folk without Leena’s support, she stands little chance of enduring the trauma of a relentless battle that raises uncomfortable questions. Hasina provides answers. A veteran activist who learns courage from survivor Ella. Together they convict a political kingpin and repatriate cross border trafficking survivors.

From the Shadows is different because it shuns sensationalism for a dignified approach. After most of the filming Samina wanted her face concealed as the verdict is nowhere in sight. As a woman I understand her but as a filmmaker I enter the edit room conflicted. Samina’s expressive face is edited to become a form much like the shadow whose story one must dig deep to discover,. A new canvas emerges forcing the audience to listen hard to layer the story with what is `unseen’. If we respect constraints that define the world of survivors we can navigate the legal minefield around cases of sexual violence to construct important narratives. Through observational footage and rare conversations, the film sensitively handles stories from the shadows gently placing them in the spotlight.

Festivals and Special Screenings: 

The film was:

  • Selected by the South Asian House and Global Media Makers for Special International Women’s Day Screening in a run up to the SXSW Festival in Austin March 2022
  • Nominated at the Toronto International Women’s Film Festival March 2022,
  • Semi finalist at Angeles Docs, Nominated One World Media Awards (UK) for Feature documentary,
  • Official selection at the International Social Change Film Festival.
  • Selected in the competition at International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala (IDSFFK) August 2022,
  • Headlined the Beyond Borders Feminist Film Festival November 2022,
  • Selected as part of Samabhav, a travelling film festivals organized by Men Against Violence and Abuse (MAVA) in campuses across India.


About the Director

Miriam Chandy Menacherry, Director/Producer/Screenwriter.
Miriam makes films that celebrate everyday heroes, approaching every story through the lens of popular culture to find the intersection of social cause and the arts. She shoots for years to capture intimate accounts of real people whose stories we do not notice, whether it is a Bollywood dancer who moonlights as a rat killer in Mumbai (The Rat Race), or children choosing music over violence in an area known for gang warfare (Lyari Notes). Her films have premiered at IDFA, nominated for the Alliance of Women Film Journalists – EDA award, won the Mipdoc Coproduction challenge at Cannes and nominated `for the youth jury award at Sheffield (UK). Broadcast internationally on channels like Arte, DR1, NGC, Al Jazeera, YLE and Netflix. In India, her films have had theatrical releases. Her latest film turns the spotlight on survivors of child sexual violence as they emerge `From the shadows’ through a viral wall art campaign. Miriam is one of 18 fellows selected for the Global Media Makers Fellowship by Film Independent (USA) and the US State Department.

About the Team 

From the Shadows #missingirls has been backed by an almost completely all woman team who bring to the table strong skill sets in every facet of filmmaking from Co-Producer Aliya Furniturewala and Sheena Matheiken, DOP Ranu Ghosh, Editor Irene Dhar Mallik, Co Editor Anuja Thakkar, Screenplay Writer and Impact Producer Triparna Bannerjee, Production Controller Sharon D’Mello and Researcher Nandini Dar. They also have widely experienced Consulting Producers in the doc fraternity Claire Aguilar formerly the Director of Programming and Policy at IDA and Alysa Namhias. Their impact advisers are Rebecca Lichtenfeld an Emmy award-winning New York based human rights advocate and Ragnhild Ek an award-winning filmmaker and communications expert. The film is a testimony to the collaborative effort of women to bring to the screen a difficult and hard hitting story of our times.

Awards & Recognitions 

The film was selected for 12 international forums and awards as a work in progress. The awards and grants received include `Hatched 2023’ grant for social impact by Chicken & Egg pictures (USA), Docaviv Award (Israel), Yes Foundation’s Social Documentary Award, Global Film and Media Initiative Award (Sweden 2021), the Global Media Makers fellowship and 2021 microgrant (USA), a production grant from InMaat Foundation (USA 2021), EIDF South Korea (2021), Industry Choice Award and Shortlisted for Breaking Through the Lens Cannes (2022), Docs for Sale IDFA (Netherlands, 2022), Visions Du Reel Market (Switzerland, 2023), and Thessaloniki Agoda Market (2023).