IAGB Spotlight -IIFFB – Razia Mashkoor
It is said that a lot of really good films never get seen by the audiences. Razia Mashkoor, or Razia Boston as one may know her, is trying to change that for Boston’s Indian American community. India International Film Festival Boston (IIFFB) just completed its 5th year under her leadership and once again proved to be a growing platform for Indian filmmakers across the globe.
Our mindscape often gets dominated by mainstream films released with a bang and targeted at our wallets. We all adore such movies. However, there is a special place for independent films which are generally devoted to distinct content, style, or artistic vision. These films do not necessarily adhere to the unsaid rules or sometimes gimmicks of the business for the purpose of profit. The experimentation through such films fosters the possibilities of breakthrough in every aspect of moviemaking. Funding and equally important, release & distribution are crucial factors in the survival and success of independent films. That’s where film festivals like IIFFB play an important role.
To be a host for independent films needs an independent spirit. Razia Mashkoor and her team have demonstrated that spirit time and time again. In the second year of the festival itself, veteran actress Neena Gupta tweeted about them, and through that opportunity, IIFFB could capture the attention of the world media. The team nurtured this budding film festival even through the crazy pandemic times and saw it growing. Razia’s media journey had begun with ‘Boston Desi Connection’, a go-to place that she had developed for Bostonians to find out about local happenings. As we Desis love Bollywood, through IIFFB, Razia is attempting to take us all on a tour of the Indian independent film world. The motto for this film festival is to build cultural bridges and represent the inherent diversity of India through feature films, short films, and documentaries; championing social causes has been the focus of IIFFB.
IIFFB is one part of the activities taken up by a non-profit organization, ‘White Feather Creations’ which is founded by Razia Mashkoor. Going by the focus of IIFFB perhaps it is not a surprise that another important aspect of this organization is humanitarian work undertaken within the USA and in India. ‘We The People Dream’ is another important part of Razia’s dreams and efforts. Growing up in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh she has seen the trials and tribulations that economically weaker and socially marginalized communities have to go through. And understands that every effort is worth being made to alleviate some of the pain and hardships of those people.
Razia is a daughter, wife, mother, and elder sister; but she has preserved her identity as an independent woman. She is an accomplished Urdu writer. Above all Razia is an entrepreneur with an eye for market needs and opportunities, which is why she is marrying her love of cinema with her passion for social causes and strives to build a common platform that will be self-sustaining. Razia knows that to arrive at that point, she needs a team of independent and thoughtful people like her.
We wish Razia Mashkoor the best in all her pursuits!