The United States Consulate General Mumbai recently held a short film contest in collaboration with Women in Film and Television India on the theme Women’s Safety and Empowerment to mark a global campaign titled "16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence".

Sixty entries were submitted, and three films won awards. The winners explore themes of public safety, gender discrimination and marital violence.

Top prize: How Far Should A Woman Go

This simple and effective film has been produced by students of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences’ School of Cultural and Media Studies. A young woman, whose face is not revealed, returns home and unpacks her large handbag. Its contents tell us everything we need to know about how safe women feel in public spaces.

Second prize and People’s Choice Award: The Lives of Others

In Actionaid’s slickly produced film, a montage of images of working-class and rural women and graphics remind us that it is very tough to belong to the female gender in India.

Third prize: Women’s Safety Begins at Home

Harsh Dedhia’s film explores the all-too-pervasive incidence of spousal abuse. A dinner party becomes a platform to spill out an ugly family secret.

All films courtesy the US Consulate General Mumbai.