Film Forward: One more step towards cultural dialogue Bibbi Abruzzini March 31, 2012 World FILM FORWARD embarks on a creative road trip across the globe developing new audiences for independent film and enhancing cross-cultural understanding. FILM FORWARD is an international cultural exchange program designed to enhance cross-cultural understanding, collaboration and dialogue around the globe by engaging audiences through the exhibition of films and conversations with filmmakers. This month 10 films and 2 filmmakers have been traveling to 5 different locations in India in the framework of the FILM FORWARD program climbing over geographical and social boundaries. The films selected tackle universal themes and stimulate the spectator to ‘keep the conversation going “beyond the time of projection”. The program is an initiative of the Sundance Institute, the internationally-recognized nonprofit organization founded by Robert Redford, in partnership with several cultural institutions. “It is exciting to expand our relationships with the vibrant community in India as we mount this multifaceted cinematic program”, said Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute.“We hope to continue building cultural bridges which encourage discourse, the creation of new ideas and a meaningful cross-cultural dialogue”. The high-priority Asia Cup cricket match between India and Pakistan did not affect the affluence of a multicultural audience at the Habitat World culture center in New Delhi on March 18 for the screening of the documentary film Somewhere Between. Film director Linda Goldstein Knowlton shot this tender and extremely touching documentary over a period of 3 years, exploring the sense of belonging and the issue of identity of 4 young teenage girls adopted from China, now living in the U.S. Scene after scene we plunge into the girls’ existences perceiving both their strength and fragility. Families and places of origins are another source of identity. The lives of these young women are somehow anachronistic as they pursue a journey in their past to understand their present. “I wanted to look at this search of identity that everyone has around the world, and I also wanted an opportunity to talk about adoption from the girls’ point of view,” explained Linda. “The biggest challenge has been to be for 3 years away from my daughter”. The Q&A session with Linda Goldstein Knowlton which followed the screening gave the possibility to both the audience and the filmmaker to exchange ideas. Artists and films will hit the road again, continuing their journey across the five continents enabling audiences to embrace the similarities and differences inherent in our world.