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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 9 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 the world around him in his DSLR lens.

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Himachal Academy Shikhar Samman 2017-18 Announced, These 4 Persons Would be Honored

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Himachal Academy Shikhar Samman 2017-18

Shimla– ‘Himachal Academy Shikhar Samman’ Award has been announced for the year 2017-18, informed the Secretary Academy Dr. Karam Singh on June 6, 2020.  

The recommendation of the jury the winners have been announced, he said, adding that four Shikhar Samman (awards) would be given in the field of language, culture and literature for two years and Rs. one lakh each would be given to each awardee.

He said that for the year 2017, Prof. Keshav Sharma would be honoured for contribution in Literature and special achievements. Folk Singer Mohan Rathour would be honoured with Language and Culture Shikar Samman.

For the year 2018, Dr. O.C. Handa would be honoured with Sahitya Shikhar Samman, whereas Dinesh Kumari of Kangra would be honoured in Art and Culture sector.

The ‘Shikhar Samman’ is given to the Himachali writers in the field of art and culture and to littérateurs from the country who worked for the promotion of Himachali language, traditions and culture.

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Video: Replica of Himachal’s Bhimakali Temple at International Surajkund Mela Becomes Centre of Attraction

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Bhimakali temple in Surajkund Mela 2020

Shimla- The replica of Bhimakali temple in the ongoing 34th International Surajkund Crafts Mela has become the main attraction. The real temple is located in Sarahan of Shimla district and dedicated to goddess Bhimakali.

Himachal is a theme state for this event. A large number of people are visiting to see the permanent structure of the Bhimakali temple, which has been built in traditional style.

Earlier, in the year 1996 also Himachal was the theme state and permanent replica of Maheshwar Devta temple was set up there. Surajkund Mela Authority and Haryana Tourism has organized the event in collaboration with the Union Ministries of Tourism, Textiles, Culture, and External Affairs from 1st to 16th February .

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Besides this, five temporary gates and one permanent gate made in traditional Himachali style have been set up in the Mela ground, giving a glimpse of the state. Two-storey Apna Ghar made in traditional Pahari style has also been set up and a family from district Chamba is starting in it this family is providing the tourists with an experience of rural culture and lifestyle of the state.

Himachal at surajkund mela 2020

The stalls of handicrafts and handlooms of the state are also being much liked by the tourists. Various cultural programmes reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the state are being presented during the Mela.  A large number of tourists are also visiting the information centre set up at the Mela ground.

 The government claims that in order to attract national and international tourists, the Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Himachal Pradesh is marketing and publicizing the tourism potential of the State.

The government claims such international level platform will help in the promotion of Tourism as well as rich cultural heritage, folk songs, handloom-handicrafts, cuisines of the state and these tourism-related products are the attraction for the tourists.

 

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Devdhun Played by 2200 Bajantris at Kullu Dussehra Enters ‘India Book of Records’, Fest Concludes

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Video Dev Dhun at kullu dussehra enters india book of records

Kullu-The international Kullu Dussehra concluded on Monday with great fanfare and enthusiasm. More than 281 deities from various parts of Kullu district participated in this cultural extravaganza.

Other than Mega Natti performed by 4000 women on October 12, over 2200 Bajantris (instrumentalists) congregated at the Atal Sadan ground on October 13 in the presence of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur to play ‘Devdhun’

Devdhun is the sound that resonates after playing different traditional instruments when deities move out of their temples to join local festivals. ‘Devdhun’ has been entered as a record in the India Book of Records with a record 2200 Bajantries playing the musical instruments simultaneously.

The Mega Natti performed in 2015 by nearly 10000 women at Kullu Dussehra has already entered into Guinness Book of World Records.

On Monday, Chief Minister presided over the concluding ceremony held at Lal Chand Prarthi Kala Kendra, Kullu. He announced to increase the nazrana (honorarium) of local deities participating in Kullu Dussehra festival by five per cent. He also announced an increase of 25 per cent in distance allowance (Duri Bhatta) given to the deities.

He announced 15 percent increase in remuneration of Bajantaris, who accompany the local deities to the festival besides increasing the amount for celebrating Haripur and Manikaran Dussehra from Rs 75,000 to Rs one lakh and for Vashisht Dussehra festival from existing Rs 50,000 to Rs. 75,000. He said that the ‘Gur’ of the Deities would be provided a separate amount of Rs 1000.

Kullu Dussehra provides a livelihood to the indigenous community as they provide them with a platform to display their products for a much wider audience. This festival was also contributing immensely in promoting tourism in the State with tourists visiting Kullu to watch this cultural extravaganza from the world over.

Jai Ram Thakur said that the State Government would ensure that this event not only become a regular event but also an added attraction of International Kullu Dussehra. He said that in the present era of cut-throat competition, our age-old culture and traditions were slowly vanishing and urged the people to come forward to conserve the same. He announced Rs. 5 lakh from his discretionary fund to the Bajantaries who performed during the event.

The Chief Minister also inaugurated the building of Press Club, Kullu for facilitating the journalists of Kullu district.

He distributed prizes to the winners of different events on the occasion and released Souvenir brought out by the Dussehra Organizing Committee. He also released a poster of documentary ‘Gallantry Saga-BRO, released a booklet published by State Language and Art Academy and a souvenir ‘Atal Samritian’ published by Kullu Sanskriti Vikas Manch.

Chief Minister was also presented with a book ‘Indigenous Building Practice System in Western Himalayas-A Comparative Study’ authored by a young author, Architect and expert in traditional Kathkuni house, Rahul Bhushan.

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