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Shimla-based young filmmaker’s short film selected for Paris Film Festival 2015

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SHIMLA- Siddharth Chauhan, an independent filmmaker from Shimla, has once again made Himachal Pradesh proud by taking his thought provoking and award winning short film to theatres.

His film ‘Boys Don’t Wear Nailpolish’ had first made news in February 2014 when it had won the Best Film Award at the International Short Film Festival of Kerala, which was just the beginning.

Impressed with his short film, Carolina Theatre Group, Unites States had invited it for a special screening in October, 2015. The film has won the ‘Gold Halo Award’ at the SCRIPT International Short Film Festival-2014. It was also screened at Delhi International Film Festival-2013, Phoenix Film Festival in Kolkata, and International Documentary and Short Film Festival VIBGYOR-2014.

Now, this low budget film that was made in 2013 for an Indian film Festival has been selected for screening at the Paris Film Festival on 1st December 2015.

Siddharth has become the first independent filmmaker from Himachal Pradesh to have taken his locally produced films outside India. He has made some other short films as well and all of them are shot in Shimla. With it, Siddharth has taken Himachal’s local culture, talent and scenic beauty to the world screen.

Surprisingly, Sidharth has not received any professional training in this field, but still his films have been screened across countries like Sarajevo, England, USA, Belarus, Durham, Indonesia, New Zealand, Italy and now Paris; a monumental victory for the untrained 25 year old Shimla based filmmaker.

His film, ‘Boys Don’t Wear Nail Polish’ is set in the backdrop of the traditional Indian mindset and is a poignant, eloquent and stirring statement on a society where gender is reinforced in the mind of children from right from their birth.

Shimla-based young filmmaker’s short film selected for Paris Film Festival 2015

The film portrays a battle against gender-stereotyping in which a mother is fighting to protect her child’s individuality in the society.

The Film stars Ms. Kamayani Bisht, Assistant Professor of English at the Centre of Excellence Govt. College Sanjauli, Manan Thakur, and a class-2 student at St. Edwards School in Shimla. Film is completely made with the help of a local cast and crew.

About Sidharth Chauhan

Born in Renuka in 1990, Siddharth has never undergone any professional training in this field. He has studied Computer Applications and gained his degree in masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla.

Siddharth’s experimentation with films had started during his graduation, which continued in the coming years.

There after he made ‘The Infinite Space’, a fictional story of a Buddhist monk who dares to believe in the impossible, once again with local actors, crew and real life Buddhist monks. The film was selected by The University of Manchester, UK, for their film curation scheme in 2015 where the Selection Jury reviewed it as a film that “maintains the peace and serenity of Buddhism – there is a dramatic tension, but it doesn’t lose sight of the rhythms of the Buddhist day and nor does it veer into (Western) cinematic melodrama and sensationalism.” and called it a piece of “Excellent cinematic storytelling, Well Shot with some striking images”.

Siddharth is currently working on a few more scripts and readying for the release of his next film titled ‘PAPA’, starring Mohit Singh Parmar, an actor from Palampur, who has appeared in a Himachali film ‘Nath Bhajj’ and Sushma Kaul, H.O.D. Department of English at Bishop Cotton School, Shimla. The film is based on the complicated relationship of a disabled mother and her only son, who are adjusting to their lives after a terrible accident.

Madan has studied English Literature and Journalism from HP University and lives in Shimla. He is an amateur photographer and has been writing on topics ranging from environmental, socio-economic, development programs, education, eco-tourism, eco-friendly lifestyle and to green technologies for over 7 years now. He has an inclination for all things green, wonderful and loves to live in solitude. When not writing, he can be seen wandering, trying to capture world around him in his DSLR lens.

Art & Culture

Incentives to Himachali films under State’s own Film Policy: Govt

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Film policy of Himachal Pradesh

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh Government today announced that it would form its own film-policy and will encourage local films and artists in various ways.

A meeting regarding formulating the film policy of the State was held here today under the chairmanship of Additional Chief Secretary Dr. Shrikant Baldi.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Baldi said the state had the advantage of adventurous, heritage, spiritual, seasonal and unexplored destinations and the efforts would be made to attract the filmmakers for film production in the state.

He said that the cultural, mythological, historical heritage and glorious traditions of the state would also be publicized in a big way to attract investment in the film sector in the state.

The government would endeavour to provide an opportunity to the talents in the field of acting and other related fields besides generating employment opportunities to the youth of the state.

Dr. Baldi said that production of regional films based on Himachali dialects would be especially encouraged, for which the government would provide various incentives to the producers.

Various other important issues like establishing required infrastructure and to make available desired facilities to the filmmakers and providing them attractive financial incentives were also discussed in the meeting.

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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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Art & Culture

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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