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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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Art & Culture

Wah Re Corona: Himachali Folk Artist’s Lyrical Satire is Factual Rendition of India’s Agonizing Catastrophe

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wah re corona

Shimla-Otherwise blatantly vocal and distinctively mass-mobilizing government of India is suddenly in the most subdued self after its proclaimed victory over the deathly virus; participation in uncontrolled election rallies; and permitting maha melas. The stalwarts are in the hiding, while helpless citizens – who voted them into power not once but in landslide victories twice – are dying due to lack of oxygen, poor – unavailable – medical facilities, and the denial stance of the ignorant in the helm.

Drawing a comparison between the fatal coronavirus and the mismanagement of the entire situation by the appalling government; a Himachali folk artist has released a factually appropriate lyrical satire that will tickle your mind and leave you to imagine what has brought this catastrophe onto us. The song is written by Rameshwar Sharma and music by Lalit Sauta. 

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International Mandi Shivratri Fair Begins in Presence of 150 Local Dieties

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mandi maha shivratri 2021 pics

Mandi-International Shivratri Fair of Mandi district on the occasion of Mahashivratri began on March 12, 2020, at the historic Paddal ground. While Mahashivratri is celebrated for one day in most parts, the fair in Mandi goes on for seven days.

After Pagri and worship ceremony at Raj Madhav Rai Temple – abode of principal deity Madho Rai- begun the taditional Jaleb, Shobha Yatra. This yatra is held on every every year on the occasion of Mahashivratri. It starts from Raj Madhav Rai temple to conclude at the Paddal ground. This year, over 150 deities participated in the ‘Jaleb’, the traditional Shobha Yatra from almost all parts of the district. A total of over 200 deities have been invited this year.  

Mandi shivratri pictures 2021

Picture Courtesy: JairamThakur/Twitter

Thousands of people dressed in their traditional attire participated in the procession carrying their local deities dancing all the way upto Paddal ground.

Deputy Commissioner Mandi and Chairman International Shivratri Fair Organizing Committee Rugved Thakur informed this year as many as 216 deities were invited to participate in this fair.
He said that awareness Rath has also been included in the procession to drive in the theme of Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao. It was followed by the performances by pahari artists on the first night of the fair.

An increase of five percent in honorarium of Bajantries accompanying the deities was also announced.

Chief minister Jairam Thakur also participated in the Yatra and Puja (worship). The state government is celebrating the festival as Swarnim International Shivratri Fair to mark fifty years of Statehood.

Though the Chief Minister cautioned the people that the world hasn’t come out of corona pandemic and there is a need to be cautious, he himself participated in the fair without wearing a mask or taking any visible measures for social distancing. From the crowd, some people were also heard asking the Chief Minister where his mask was . 

CM Jairam Thakur not wearing mask

He said that fortunately, the number of covid-19 cases were declining constantly, which was a big sigh of relief. 

Chief Minister couldn’t resist taking the opportunity to speak about his government’s achievements on the this occasion. “Three years tenure of the State Government has been full of achievements and accomplishments,” he said.

“This year the Mandi Shivrati has gained more importance as it was being celebrated this year when the Nagar Parishad has been upgraded to Municipal Corporation,” Jai Ram Thakur said.

Further, various Departments, Boards and Corporation have set up exhibition at Paddal Ground.

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Amid Steep Rise in COVID-19 Cases, HP Govt to Open Temples/Religious Places from Sept 10

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Shimla- The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Himachal Pradesh had reached 6830 by September 4, 2020. Yesterday the State reported 215 new positive cases with two deaths. The COVID-19 death tally rose to 48 with these new casualties reported from Sirmaur and Kangra districts.

According to the yesterday’s COVID-19 bulletin released by the State Health Department, highest 37 cases were reported in Kangra district followed by Solan (35) Sirmaur (33), Chamba (33), Mandi (32), Una (20), Bilaspur (7), Hamirpur (7), Shimla (8), and Kullu (3). Till Friday evening, the number of active cases in the state was 1815 as 4920 persons had recovered.

HP Health Department’s COVID-19 Bulletin for August 4, 2020 ( 9 PM)

temples-opening-in-himachal-pradesh

Amid this steep rise in cases in Himachal, the State Government on Friday held a Cabinet meeting in which it decided to open temples and religious places from September 10.

 The Language, Art and Culture Department will prepare SOP in this regard.  Registration would be required for people entering the State till September 15. The quarantine requirement would be reduced from 14 days to 10 days. The District Administration would strictly enforce the use of masks and social distancing in the field, the government said.

The Cabinet decided to provide wheat flour and rice to the income tax payee APL Consumers under Public Distribution System as was being provided to them earlier on APL rates and provide them pulses, edible oil, salt and sugar on zero-subsidy on actual rates.

The State Cabinet decided to request the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India to sign Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) related to Affordable Rental Housing Complexes Scheme with the state government.

It decided to fill up 10 posts of class IV employees in Panchayati Raj Department.

It gave its approval to transfer Gram Panchayat Kot from Police Station Shimla East (Chhota Shimla) to Police Station West (Boileauganj)  in district Shimla to facilitate the people.

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