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Missing fairyland magic in fairytales staged at Shimla Gaiety Theater

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SHIMLA- Department of Language Art and Culture had been organizing winter hobby classes from past one month that is from Dec 15, 2015 onwards and students of theater workshop staged their production at the historic Gaiety Theater, Shimla.

During the event more than 70 students participated and staged different short plays including Cinderella, Snow White, The lottery, Umeed ke Kiran, Chari di kul and Thangi ka Puraskar all directed by Anita Thakur, teacher for the classes.

Based on the fairytale Cinderella whose original story was of a girl who got ill treated by her stepmother and sisters and in end gets married to a prince. This play also tried to project the same but unfortunately the fairyland magic was missing. The dearth creativity on part execution of the story was visible and there was no use of music that could have made little ones little more comfortable on the stage.

Fairytales turns into nightmare play-shimla

Other fairytale that was attempted by the director was Snow White – a German fairy tale known across much of Europe and is today one of the most famous fairy tales worldwide. The fairy tale features such elements as the magic mirror, the poisoned apple, the glass coffin, matricide and filicide many of which were missing in execution.

Envious queen tries various attempts to kill Snow white including disguising as an old peddler, a comb seller and finally as a farmer’s wife who offers her poisonous apple. Here in execution only single attempt made without any element of envy, horror or another to name that can actually make the spectators connect and get transported to the Fairland as one is when they read a book. Story concluded with Snow White waking up and no moral message was passed as in original story where the evil mother meets a tragic end.

Fairytales turns into nightmare -play

Another attempt was based on a short story – The lottery by Anton Chekov. It is a story about a man whose wife believes she has won the lottery after her husband, Ivan Dmitritch, reads her the series, which is correct, but not the number, which is incorrect. After Ivan reads her the series, she becomes ecstatic and can’t believe that she just won the lottery. Ivan tells her not to worry about the number, which is incorrect. Ivan and his wife begin to daydream and fantasize about the life they will have once they win the lottery money.

The director played way too much with the original story and while giving her personal touch. The poor family all of sudden had a servant to serve and other than that not even a single dialogue was audible.

Umeed dealt with the theme of a girl who refuses to get married to a man who comes drunk with his entire family and friends on the wedding day. She shows courage and finally refuses to get married to him and is even supported by her family. Here too the voice was not audible.

Fairytales turns into nightmare gai-Gaiety Theater

Chari based on the famous folklore in Himachal depicts story of a royal family who sacrifice their daughter in law’s life at alter of their Kul devi for rain. Here the essence of the story was totally lost. The story was portrayed too flat and one who was not versed with the story could not make out head or tail from the presentation.

Being such a sensitive tale spectators could not empathies with the woman and children didn’t even delivered any speech that could reflect the grimness associated with main character.

Thagi which can be called the best production of the day showed how people are robbed and fooled by babas. It was a satire on the current situation prevailing in the society and here for a change students were seen playing their characters in a playful manner.

Fairytales turns into nightmare

Throughout the staging of plays actors did not face the audiences. Most of the dialogues were hit against the backdrop of stage. the lack of creativity on part of director was visible as not even a single show had music which could have easily justified the situation and help not only students but spectators as well to create feeling of empathy, compassion or any other emotion to name.

Fairytales-turns-into-nightmare

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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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.

Watch Trailer

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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