Born into Brothels
Photographs by Zana Briski and the Children of Calcutta
Winner of the 2005 Oscar for Documentary Feature film
Ms. Briski became involved in the lives of these children seven years ago while she was photographing prostitutes in Calcutta’s red-light district. In photographing the mothers, she met the children, the lowest rung of Calcutta’s social ladder. Spending time with them, Briski realized that their fascination with her camera could become a creative outlet. She began holding photography workshops to teach the basics of photography, from lighting and composition to editing and narrative sequencing. The results of their work together are documented in this book, which features biographies and photographs taken by the children, film stills from the documentary and commentary by the co-directors Kauffman and Briski. The story they tell is one of the human spirit’s potential unleashed through a camera lens, and the collaborative triumph of self-expression in a complicated reality.
Royalties from the book, sales of the film, and sales of the photographs in the book and film help to fund the children’s schooling, via a not-for profit foundation Kids with Cameras, that Briski established for the children. For more information go to www.bornintobrothels.com .
The film Born Into Brothels has won the following awards: Audience Award, 2004 Sundance Film Festival; Audience Award, 2004 Cleveland Film Festival; Best Documentary and Audience Awards, 2004 Bermuda Film Festival; Best Documentary, Filmmaker`s and Audience Awards, 2004 Durango Film Festival; Audience Award, 2004 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival; Nestor Almendros Prize for Courage in filmmaking, Human Rights Watch 2004; Audience Award, 2004 Amnesty International Film Festival; Best Documentary and Audience Awards, 2004 Nashville Film Festival; Special Merit Award, 2004 Newport Beach Film Festival; Children`s Day Award, 2004 Activist Film Festival.