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The World Before Her


The Miss India pageant is the ultimate glamour event in a country that has gone mad for beauty contests. Winning the coveted title means instant stardom, a lucrative career path and, for some girls, freedom from the constraints of a patriarchal society. As the beauty contestants move through beauty boot camp, Director Nicha Pahuja travels to another corner of India to visit a different camp for young girls, the women’s wing of the militant fundamentalist movement. Through lectures and physical combat training, these girls learn what it means to be good Hindu women and how to fight against Islam, Christianity and the onslaught of Western culture.


  • The New York Times
    A riveting documentary... explores the collision of two cultures in India. The film portrays both as straitjackets for women in a country that devalues them
    Stephen Holden
  • The Huffington Post
    A definite must watch; Shocking and eye opening for women all over the world
    E. Nina Rothe
  • Variety
    The contrasts in “The World Before Her” certainly work in its favor, and Pahuja’s balancing act is an accomplished one
    John Anderson
  • IndiWire
    Plenty of powerful moments that strengthen its depiction of the generational shift currently taking place for Indian women
    Eric Kohn
  • Financial Times
    Stark and thought provoking
    Avantika Chilkoti

Festival Participation

  • News & Documentary Emmy Awards - 2014
    Nominee Outstanding Coverage of a Current News Story
  • Warsaw International Film Festival - 2012
    Winner Best Documentary - Special Mention
  • San Diego Asian Film Festival - 2012
    Winner Special Jury Mention
  • Vancouver Film Critics Circle - 2013
    Winner VFCC Award, Best Screenplay - Canadian Film
  • Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival - 2012
    Winner Best Canadian Documentary
  • Tribeca Film Festival - 2012
    Winner Jury Award Best Documentary Feature
  • Zurich Film Festival - 2012
    Nominee Golden Eye, Best International Documentary Film
  • Edmonton International Film Festival - 2012
    Winner Grand Jury Award, Best Canadian Feature Documentary
  • Canadian Screen Awards, CA - 2013
    Nominee Canadian Screen Award, Best Feature Length Documentary
  • Traverse City Film Festival - 2012
    Winner Founders Prize, Best Foreign Film
  • Abu Dhabi Film Festival - 2012
    Nominee Black Pearl Award, Best Documentary Feature

Additional Materials

Distribution Company

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