Filmmaker Kavitha Lankesh is making a documentary on her sister, the renowned journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh, who was shot dead in 2017. The documentary is one of four entries worldwide rewarded by the Free Press Unlimited, Amsterdam for highlighting crimes against journalists.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, Kavitha said that the Amsterdam-based foundation had called for proposals last year, for documentaries on journalists who have lost their lives in war, or by an act of violence in the line of duty. Out of the around 300 submissions, four were selected, including Kavitha’s proposal.
“The film captures the life of Gauri soon after she took over our father’s publication, Lankesh Patrike, in 2000 and her activism. The documentary is likely to be premiered in a film festival in the Netherlands,” the filmmaker added.
Kavitha also said that before submitting the proposal, she had asked herself whether she would be able to endure the trauma of following the life of her sister yet again and filming it.
“It was a tough decision to make because Gauri was more than a sister to me. She was my friend, mentor and soul keeper. I have still to come to terms that she is not around. Making the film meant going back to those traumatic memories. But I felt that I must tell the story of this woman who knew no fear when it came to fighting for justice and the constitutional rights of people,” she added.
The filmmaker noted that the documentary is in the final stages and will be completed in early 2022.
Gauri Lankesh was a Bengaluru-based journalist-turned-activist who worked as an editor of Lankesh Patrike, the Kannada weekly founded by her father Lankesh P. She also ran a weekly titled Gauri Lankesh Patrike. Known as an advocate for the freedom of the press, she was also critical of right-wing Hindutva politics and the caste system.
On September 5, 2017, Gauri was assassinated by unidentified persons at her residence in Rajarajeshwari Nagar.
As per the TNIE report, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) established by the Congress-led Siddaramaiah government of Karnataka has arrested and chargesheeted 18 accused, who reportedly claim to be part of some fringe right-wing groups, for the murder of Gauri Lankesh.