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STF stages two major theatrical productions at Gaiety Theater Shimla

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Chakravyuh2

Chakravyuh2

Shimla:Theater lovers of the city got a great opportunity to experience the magic Nitish Bharadwaj, live as Lord Krishna after 25 years, in an epic play Chakravyuh, during two days long play festival organized by The Films and Theatre Society, Delhi at historic Gaiety Theater, Shimla early this week.

While sharing his experience Nitish Said, “If was for the first time that I have perfumed in Shimla. It was my best show considering the audiences response. My forefathers also belonged to Himachal so naturally I have love and affection for this place. I feel that we all face problems and God resides in us all and there is only need to awaken him and rest everything falls in places.”

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During the two days fest two plays were staged that is Wo Lahore and Chakravyuh both plays were written and directed by Atul SatyaKoushik a well know name in the theater fraternity. Having an experience of over 12 years in theatre at various levels, his relation with the art form dates back to 2001. He formed ‘The Films and Theatre Society’ in September 2009 which is now a team of over 60 actors trained in the art of acting and play production by Atul. He has written 15 full length plays so far and has directed and staged more than 100 shows in the past few years. Each of his plays is different from the other in content as well as treatment.

Wo Lahore

Atul belongs to the new age of playwrights, trying to fill the vacuum of good original Hindi plays which is being felt by theatre practitioners in India. His plays ‘ArjunKa Beta’, ‘Draupadi’, ‘Wo Lahore’ and ‘Bade Sheharke log’ are some of his promising contributions to original play-writing in India. He has also come up with some remarkable adaptations of classic Indian and foreign literature in the form of ‘KoobaraurKaaki’, ‘KaaliShalwar’, ‘Saudagar’ and ‘Animal Farm’.

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He has trained over 300 actors so far and has provided them coveted platforms to showcase their talent. He has been associated with many government, educational, corporate and social bodies and provided his expert services in the field of training and theatre workshops at, including Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), Central University of Bihar, Birla Institute of Management Technology (BIMTECH), Competition Commission of India. Hehas trained nearly 2,500 professionals so far.

Wo Lahore, a mucial drama, is set in the middle of twentieth century’s India which has been the most written, most performed and most talked about part of Indian history. This is a story of an ordinary woman, a mother of three sons, who tries to keep her family intact amongst everything that is happening around. This play shows the internal conflicts and turmoil prevailing in an ordinary Indian family with the struggle for freedom, social beliefs of those times and the then partition in the backdrop. Beleaguered in different convictions, values and aspirations of her sons and husband, Jamuna, the protagonist of the play, is a representative of quintessential Indian women and mother. The play which is full of Indian music is a ride into various emotions and dramatic elements such as love, betrayal, hope, patriotism, comedy, poetry etc.

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Whereas Chakravyuh is an attempt to present the chapter of Chakravyuh from the great epic of Mahabharata in a new manner where hidden meanings, interpretation and learning from the philosophy of the Chakravyuh take the front seat, yet keeping all the action, glory, bravado and valor related to the incident equally important. Krishna as the protagonist in the play begins by establishing the importance keeping the learning from the mythology in our minds even though we forget the incidents of events that actually happened in them. When many questions emerge after the war of Chakravyuh Krishna appears and settles all questions, myths and misunderstanding of every one present. He passes on the eternal messages of Karma by telling no one has ever been able to come out of their respective Chakravyuhs as this whole life is a nothing but a Chakravyuh.

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Both the shows touched the heart of theater lovers and can be called show for classes. After a very long time plays of such great stature were staged that forced many old heartbroken theater lovers to enter the venue inspite of the pathetic condition of theater in the city.

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Images:HimachalWatcher

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.

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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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