Driving with Selvi (pictured), Elisa Paloschi‘s film about a former child bride who becomes one of South India’s first female taxi drivers, has taken the Truth to Power Documentary Award at the 19th edition of the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival.
As previously reported, the 74-minute film – which takes home the CDN$750 (US$564) cash prize – follows Selvi over a period of 11 years, during which she talks candidly about her past life as a child bride. Married off on her 14th birthday, the young girl managed to escape the grasp of her abusive husband before learning to drive and becoming Karnataka’s first female cab driver.
Honorable mention went to Eddie Cahyono’s Siti, in which a young Indonesian mother struggles financially to care for her son, husband and mother-in-law.
Independent juries comprised of distinguished members of the media arts community selected this year’s award winners. Jury members for the documentary category included Karla Bobadilla, board member for WorkInCulture; Immanuel Lanzaderas, a lawyer for Legal Aid Ontario; and Victoria Shen, a board member for the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers.
Reel Asian serves as Canada’s largest pan-Asian film festival to “fuel growing appreciation for Asian cinema in Toronto.” This year’s event showcased 72 film titles from more than 10 regions, including Canada, Afghanistan, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and the U.S.
Driving with Selvi premieres in Amsterdam for IDFA on Friday (November 20). Read our profile of the film here.