To complement our advocacy efforts, CCS hosts an annual Asia-wide documentary festival to capture the livelihood challenges faced by the rural and urban poor. The festival brings to light policies and regulations that limit livelihood freedom of the poor.

By encouraging documentary makers to find interest in livelihood issues and providing them a platform to share their experiences and creativity, Jeevika: Asia Livelihood Documentary festival hopes to strengthen the Freedom Struggle of the Poor and change the attitudes and minds of many towards inclusive and sustainable development and to advocate for liberalisations at the bottom of the pyramid.

Festival Objectives:

  • Bring to light policy challenges to livelihood freedom across varied sectors in Asia to advocate with policy makers for changes in livelihood policies and regulations
  • Encourage talented filmmakers from all over the world to take greater interest in livelihood challenges, deepen their understanding these issues through a policy perspective
  • Through the popular medium of documentaries, sensitise the general public through robust discussion and dialogue on the implications of bad policies and the disastrous consequences people face while earning an honest livelihood of their choice and bring about changes in practice and mindsets

Over the years, not only has the festival provided a unique platform to filmmakers and disseminated information about livelihood trials and tribulations, it has also proved to be a source of inspiration for other causes championed by CCS.

  • Starting with 9 screenings at the first festival, we now receive over a 100 entries each year and the number is only expected to grow. Previous years have seen remarkable participation from filmmakers throughout South Asia, livelihood professionals and activists, as well as artists from various other fields such as photography, theatre, music, painting and dance are encouraged to showcase their work. The festival organised over two days engages over 500 individuals from various cross section of society.
  • Over the years, this unique festival has won support from celebrities like Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Subhash Ghai, Deepti Naval, Nandita Das, Rahul Bose and Shabana Azmi who have also been chief guests during our inaugural and award distribution ceremonies.
  • Our ‘Bamboo is not a tree’ campaign had its beginnings in a documentary, Hollow Cylinder screened at the Jeevika festival in 2009, which highlighted the plight of tribal communities in North East India who earn their livelihood by selling bamboo. The documentary inspired CCS to launch a very successful nation-wide campaign, resulting in the classification of bamboo as a grass by the Ministry of Health and Environment that will provide much needed relief to many relying on bamboo-based products for their living.

Organised annually since 2003, Jeevika awards trophy and prize money to:

  • Best feature documentary (professional category)
  • Best short documentary (professional category)
  • Best student documentary