Driving with Selvi is a Canadian documentary directed by Elisa Paloschi. The film premiered at the Raindance Film Festival last year and was selected to screen at the Reel Asian Film Festival last October.
Selvi, like so many girls living within India’s patriarchal culture, is forced to marry at a young age, only to find herself in a violent and abusive marriage. One day in deep despair, she chooses to escape, going to a highway with the intention of throwing herself under the wheels of a bus. Instead she gets on the bus, choosing to live… and goes on to become South India’s first female taxi driver.We first meet 18-year-old Selvi at a girls’ shelter in 2004 – timid, soft-spoken, a fresh runaway from a difficult life. Over a ten-year journey, we see a remarkable transformation as Selvi finds her voice and defies all expectations – learning to drive, starting her own taxi company, leading seminars to educate other women, and much more.
The film will be screening across the province in the coming weeks with showings in Hamilton, Toronto, Windsor, London, Kingston, and Ottawa. Paloschi is currently running an Indiegogo campaign to host screenings of Driving with Selvi for girls in India. Anyone interested in contributing can visit the campaign’s page here.