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Shimla’s Historic Gaiety Theater falling victim to mismanagement

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Careless attitude of Gaiety Theater management is discouraging the culture of theater and theater artists in Himachal

Shimla-On the second evening of the Folk Culture festival organized by the art and culture group Platform at the Historic Gaiety Theatre’s amphitheatre, the Mall in association with the Ministry of Culture, New Delhi and Department of Language Art and Culture Himachal Pradesh due to certain the scheduled Horingfo show on March 2, got cancelled leaving many spectators disheartened.

However on the venue same day another poster was displayed saying “Platform Sanstha ke sahyog se Abhinay Darpan ke prastuti Puran Bhagat” at 5.00 P.M. (as can be seen in photograph) though it was few minutes passed five few spectators came and sat on the seats but when no performance they all walked away. On the other hand the Nanda the director of so called play and president of Abhinay Darpan; mentioned on poster was seen talking in harsh tone to his team member when they refused to perform considering the drunk condition of the fellow and was later pulled away from the spot by the teams members of Platform group. Nandan on the same day was refused the green room keys too considering his condition by the Gaiety Management.

The entire incident left the sentiments of many theatre related people in bad taste as Kedar Thakur, one of the well know name in Shimla theatre says, “What happened was not something acceptable. We try our best to make young kids develop interest in this filed as people usually do not let their children choose this profession and with such examples how can we expect to preserve and promote this filed. I think some serious action should be taken by the concerned department as this will bring bad name to entire profession. We need to look at the bigger picture.”

Whereas S.N. Joshi member of G.D.S. (Gaiety Dramatic Society) while commenting on the issue said, “I feel that action should be taken against the person who is at fault. I do consider that though Platform was doing good work but still they were too at fault to have invited someone to perform on that day as it was a folk festival and the team or play was not fit to be performed at that time. Last years even Mohan Joshi (who happens to be his brother) too was blacklisted for the very same reason and same should be done to preserve the decorum.”

When Ajay Sharma, the president of the group was asked about the whole incident he said, “I had given in written to the Gaiety office that my event has been cancelled and from my side venue is free. Whatever happened was not right and if the management wants to black list the person I will stand by their decision.”

While commenting on the issue and action taken, Director LAC. D.K. Gupta, first said, “It was an open function where if anyone came drunk what can be done.”

Later when situation was explained to him, he said, “If the person will regret then he will be forgiven, and if he is a member of G.D.S., then the free facilities provided to him too will be forfeited, and his behavior will be monitored. If he continues on same line then strict actions might be taken again him too.”

On one hand people of city are feeling proud over Gaiety to be included in the list of world heritage and on the other we have such condition were over simple violation of rules actions depends upon ifs and buts. It took almost 4 days to get to this version and still the air of uncertainty surrounds the situation.

The irony of situation is that the person heading the department himself is not aware about the situation. Why would any spectator ask for green room keys and to how many spectators its available is not a million dollar question.

Another interrogate question is why only Abhinay Darpan placed their banner on the venue which was booked in the name of Platform Group and why not any other group from Shimla. Was it the managements consent or the Platform’s that Nandan took the initiative?

It is really heartbreaking to say who is more careless out of the two parties involved- Platform or the Management as someone puts the name of a former on a poster without their knowledge and consent or the Gaiety Management who is busy sleeping unaware that someone comes and pins up the poster on their property.

How much progress can our culture do when such type of management is seen and whose fault is it anyways if the youngsters do not step up and participate in this field?

Art & Culture

Shimla’s emerging filmmaker grabs 3 more awards for short-film “Papa”

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Papa Short Film by Siddharth wins awards

Shimla: Shimla-based emerging short-film maker Sidharth Chauhan (27) has grabbed more awards for his work “Papa.”  His short-film Papa has received three awards at the Vintage International Film Festival, 2018.

As per the results announced on March 20, 2018, the movie won Sidharth the best short-film award in the National category. The film also won the best director award for Siddhartha and best cinematography award for Yashwant Kumar Sharma.

The film is written, produced, and directed by Sidharath.

Papa is the same film that was first screened at the International Documentary and Short Film Festival in Kerala in 2016 where it claimed its first award (best film).

Later, Papa made its first international premiere at the London Indian Film Festival in 2017 where the short film won the Satyajit Ray award. 

It was a mature storytelling which balanced a realistic sense of frustration and claustrophobia, with a finely nuanced thread of subtle and deadpan humour,

said the jury.

The film is a story of a paralyzed mother, Sushma and her young son, Rajiv, who are living a tough life post an accident, which left their lives scarred forever.

You can read more about the film, its crew, location etc. in one of our previous posts.

Other than Papa, Sidharth’s short-film Pashi has also fetched appreciation and awards for Sidharth.

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Himachal’s traditional ‘Mandi Shivratri’ fair begins today

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Mandi shivratri 2018 pictures

Mandi: The traditional Shivratri Mela of Mandi district, which is a week-long international fair, began today as the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Jai Ram Thakur, formally announced the opening at the historical Paddal ground at Mandi. 

This year’s celebrations are special for the people of Mandi as it is the native place of the Chief Minister. Also, Bhartiya Janata Party has captured all 10 seats in the district including the support of the one independent candidate.  

I am happy to see all nine MLAs including an Independent who have gathered here for celebrating the festival with traditional fervour,

he said.

Earlier, after paying obeisance at the famous Madho Rai temple, the Chief Minister participated in the traditional ‘Jaleb’ (Shobha Yatra) of Shivratri fair, which began from DC office to end at the Paddal ground.

Mandi shivratri 2018

Local deities along with the Chief deity Madho Rai led the procession.

The locals draped in their colourful attire thronged the procession carrying along the palanquins of the local deities and marched towards the Paddal Mela ground. A little less than two hundred Devtas participated in the ‘Jaleb’, the traditional Shobha Yatra, from almost all corners of the district.

The life of the people of the state revolves around the local Gods and Goddesses, and the local deities are an inseparable part of the people. The Shivratri festival gives a glimpse of ‘Dev and Manav Milan’ (the meeting of humans with deities), he said.

The Chief Minister announced a hike of 20 percent in ‘nazarana’ of the local deities, 20 percent hike in ration quota, and two times increase in honorarium of ‘Bajantris’ – the musicians who accompany the deities.

As compared to Rs. 3,64,000 in 2017, with two times rise in honorarium of Bajantris, the expenditure the expenditure will be Rs. 7,31,000  in 2018.   

The Chief Minister has assured that the government will register the left-out deities in a phase-wise manner.

 ‘Sarv Devta Committee’ will formulate the guidelines, examine each case, will pass a resolution in the house unanimously, and the committee will forward the case to the district administration for necessary action. 

 The Chief Minister also released a souvenir of the festival on the occasion. 

He said the government would soon come up with parking places to decongest traffic.  

The Chief Minister said Mandi will be connected with air services under UDAN scheme, (a regional connectivity scheme of Government of India). A helipad will be constructed in Mandi, he said. 

The state government will take up the issue with the Union government along with the demand for direct flights from Chandigarh to Kullu, Kangra, Shimla and for tribal areas,  the Chief Minister assured. 

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Pahari short-film Pashi wins best Cinematography award at Marietta Film Festival in Georgia

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Siddharth Chauhan’s Himachali short-film Pashi has won the best Cinematography award at Marietta International Film Festival in Georgia,  Europe in the short-film category.

Earlier, Pashi had also made it to an Oscar qualifying ‘Rhode Island International Film Festival’held in USA in August 2017. It was the first international premiere for the film. Like Rhode Island, at Marietta too, Pashi was the only entry from India, said Sidharth.

Siddharth was the Director of photography while Yashwant Kumar Sharma was his cameraman.

Watch Trailer

The film is inspired from Siddharth’s childhood memories in his village Dhanoti, Rohru of Shimla district and produced under the Secret Corridor Picture.

In the regional Pahari spoken in Rohru, Pashi means a trap – an ancient concept used by villagers & children for hunting birds and animals.

pashi film shooting locationThe film was primarily shot in Sunta Lodge, a beautiful wooden mansion of village Khalwan. Some of the parts were also filmed in Village Dhanoti neat Tikker (Rohru).

Pashi will be showcased at Shanghai International Film Festival in Shanghai on the September 17. On February 2, 2018, the film will be showcased at the World Music and Independent Film Festival in Washington where it already has five nominations – Best Director, Best Screenplay Writer, Best Cinematography, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actor.

Siddharth has emerged as a talented filmmaker from the Hill state where the film industry is still in infancy. Luckily, the parents of Siddharth, Mr. Balwan Singh Chauhan and Mrs. Bimla Chauhan offered a thorough support to him in his endevour.

Lead actors of the film include Chetan Kanwar, a Class XII student at the Chapslee School, Shimla, John Negi, a model/actor from Rampur, Kamayani Bisht, an English Professor at the Government College Theog, Savitri Devi Sunta, the oldest family member of the Sunta family in Khawalan.

Supporting case includes Dewansh Kanwar (Chapslee School), Aditi Sunta ( Rohru), and Dev Ranta (Rohru).

Other crew members are as followed.

  • Assistant Directors: Mridul Surbhi, Shefali Chauhan & Ankit Rathore
  • Music: Prabir Sekhri from Canada
  • Sound: Tanmaya Das from Mumbai
  • Visual Effects: Himanshu Hirwani from Pune
  • Story/Direction: Siddharth Chauhan from Shimla
  • Associate Producers: Swati Chauhan & Ankit Rathore (from Delhi)

 

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