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Gyaan staged at Gaiety

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Gaiety-play-3

Gaiety-play-3

Pooja Rani made a debut as a female director in Shimla Theater where mostly males dominate the productions. Though the theme was strong however it failed to connect as experimenting with young children did not meet the expectations of spectators and mostly were confused as per appreciate the efforts of kids or complain about the below average standard of production.

Shimla- Gyaan a short play organized by the Sankalp Group in association with Language Art and Culture Department was staged at the historic Gaiety Theatre, Shimla on April 3. The play was written and directed by Pooja Rani one of the member of the Group.

While informing about the play Pooja said, “It was debut as a director. Prior to it I have been associated with the group from past 5 years and have worked as assistant director as well as managed costumes for other productions.”

The story of the play revolved around a young child and his school where majority of school teachers exhibit the traits of ignorance and are only concerned with their income. The English teacher instead of teaching in class proposes him to join his tuition class after school to clarify his doubts which due to financial problem he could not. His other sir playing an ideal teacher comes for his rescue and helps him pass the exam.

As the time passes he goes for a job interview, where again he has to face challenges as other contenders by cheating and foul means had numerous degrees.

The production had its moments which made audiences smile like when English teaches while teaching makes his students mug up the wrong idiom “Where there is a well, there is a way” and when one of the student asked for the meaning he says “Matlab ke tune achaar daalana hai?”.

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Another moment was when his fellow students having sack full of degrees came for job interview and it actually depicted the present youth whose profile has endless list of degrees attached with it.

For all the students it was a debut as they for the first time stepped on the stage and for them it was a satisfactory experience.

However the production left the regular theater audiences dumbstruck as considering the young actors they could not express their feelings on one hand for it might discourage them on the other seeing such a production coming from a Group which is a well know name when it comes to quality production.

The standards previously set by the group gave a sharp contrast to this production. Considering the direction, the claimed experience of five years, being associated with such a name was no where was to be seen. The music and synchronization between the actions on stage was meant to be taken care of by director and so was shifting of stage properties; the little kid could have carried the heavy sewing machine on stage by on her own. She came and sat on her position but the stage property was missing and the background music lost its sync.

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The blackboard blocked the vision of the teacher while sitting on chair which of course should have been taken care of. The dialogues at places sounded incomplete sentence; giving confused meaning; for instance while declaration of results boys tells the main boy that he scored 65 percent , u even do not take tuitions,; was it good, bad or an exclamation heaven knows and hearing it no doubt audiences did smile.

Kids always do a wonderful job and it is pointless to comment on it however the group has previously too played with young kids during TREAT and gave better productions. Everyone felt that Midas touch missing this time though the concept was good.

The Mecca of Theater does deserve and demand something more promising rather than an annual day presentations if we want to preserve it dignity.

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.

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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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