SHIMLA- After Bollywood queen Kangana Ranaut’s grand success in Bollywood with her third national award, now 24-year-old Aman Sharma from Shimla is walking on the same path, as he has bagged the national award at the 6th Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival for his documentary ‘Valley of Living Gods’, which is nominated the best documentary among 800 others from across the globe.
Aman Sharma who hails from Kacchi Ghaati area of Shimla is now pursuing his final year from a fine arts college of Jalandhar. He completed his class 10 from Chapslee School of Shimla, and his class 12 from Senior Secondary Government School, Lal Pani, Shimla. He has picturized and directed his documentary on Lord Raghunath and more than 550 deities who make their presence every year in the International Dusshera Festival in Kullu.
Aman told that ‘Valley of Living Gods’ is a 15-minute documentary which took three months to complete with a zero budget. He said that along with deities and temples of Kullu, the documentary has also covered the pride of Kullu Nati, in which around 15,000 artists had performed and made an entry in the book ‘Guinness World Records’.
I was able to complete my documentary with the blessings of my parents Arun and Suman, Kullu’s administration, qand my partners Karanveer Singh and Giriraj Singh. This documentary was made possible with the cooperation of the locals of Kullu, who guided me with the rituals practised in the area, and helped me reach the unknown hidden areas of Kullu,
He said he wanted Himachal Pradesh’s unique culture to be known worldwide, and his next projects too would be based on the state itself.
I am overwhelmed to receive a national award, and my next documentary ‘Hidden Shivlings’ too will be coming soon. I hope I do well in my upcoming projects too. I had received this award on April 30 in Delhi, where 800 documentaries were nominated from all across the globe, and 245 were shortlisted officially. My documentary received the best documentary (student category) award. After this, my next targets are the film festivals of Sundance, Toronto, and the IDFA,
Self-taught local artist to exhibit ’17 Paintings’ oil painting works at Gaiety, Shimla
Shimla: For the art lovers and critics in Himachal Pradesh, a self-taught local artist will showcase his collection of oil paintings titled “17 Paintings” on a two-days exhibition at the historic Gaiety Theater, Shimla on December 9 and 10 from 11.00 AM to 6.00 PM.
Surya Ranjan Shandil (31), who hails from Solan district, works in Bengaluru as a computer programmer in the field of education technology. After his schooling from Shimla, he obtained a B.Tech Degree from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.
However, he did not ignore his love for the painting and continued it at evenings after college, work, on weekends, and Sundays.
Later, Ranjan realized he has a collection of his own. His first solo exhibition was held in November 2016 at the Gaiety Theater.
The appreciation he received at the first exhibition encouraged him to present his second collection of oil paintings that he painted during 2017.
He received his education upto Class 12 from Shimla’s St. Edwards and Dayanand Public School.
He is best known for his captivating genre paintings.
I started drawing at the age of 3-4 years. At that time, I used to sign the drawings with incorrect spellings of my name,
Ranjan told Himachal Watcher
His father, Dr R G Shandil, who is now retired, was a professor of mathematics at the H.P. University, Shimla. His mother Dr. Sandhya Shandil was a teacher at the St. Edward’s School, Shimla.
After graduating in 2010, I started with oil painting during the evenings and weekends. Gradually I built up a collection and in November 2016, I held my first solo exhibition of 29 oil paintings at gaiety,
Ranjan’s paintings reflect people. The upcoming exhibition opens with simple themes like the joy of shopping, local festivities, celebration, dance and music. Most works painted on these themes are in the context of Himachal.
Following these are mellow paintings ‘Seaside Nap’ and ‘Personal Sunrise’ – more subtle takes on human thought. The artist also takes a step towards satire in comically interesting works ‘Monkeys’ and ‘Chimpanzees’.
Slowly moving towards expressionism ‘Kayal’ takes the viewer to the realm of subjectless painting while in ‘Frenzy’ the artist dispenses with form.
Ending on a light hearted note, the paintings ‘Bonfire’ and ‘A Silent Conversation’ recreate the magic of Gabbar Singh and Rajesh Khanna on canvas.
About his love for painting, he said,
I believe art is a journey of constant improvisation.
It would be his second solo exhibition. Earlier, he has participated and won prizes in several painting competitions throughout his schooling and B.Tech.
Pahari short film ‘Pashi’ selected for Oscar qualifying ‘Rhode Island International Film Festival 2017’
Shimla – A short-film Pashi, from the budding short-film maker from Shimla, Sidharth Chauhan, has made into the prestigious Rhode Island International Film Festival to be held in the United States in August 2017. The festival is held every year since 1997.
The film is produced under the Secret Corridor Picture and it will be film’s first international premiere.
RIIFF is an official Oscar qualifying event. This year, PASHI is the only film selected from India. If Pashi manages to grab an award here, it will be directly nominated for the prestigious Academy Awards or the Oscars Awards.
PASHI means a trap in the regional Pahari dialect of Rohru (Nawar valley), especially around the villages like Tikkar, Pujarli, Dhanoti, and Khalawan. It is a very old traditional concept used by villagers and children to hunt birds and animals.
The film is inspired from Siddharth’s childhood memories in his native village Dhanoti (in Rohru).
Pashi, written, directed and produced by Siddharth, is a story of a young boy (Chetan), who learns about this technique of trapping birds from his old grandmother (Savitri Ji). He begins to practice it. His friend John encourages him to go for it while his mother is worried about his future.
The 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.
The production team is excited on receiving the news. “As an independent film production house based in Shimla, this is a dream come true and an unparalleled honor for all of us,” said the team.
Lead actors 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
- Camera: Yashwant Kumar Sharma from Shimla
- 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)
Shimla-based travel writer releases his new book “Tea Shop at Narkanda”
SHIMLA- Recently, Shimla-based travel writter, Sumit Raj Vashisht released his new book “Tea Shop at Narkanda”.
The book is a story from the hills. Through the life of Birju, the protagonist, the book talks about the victims of the natural calamities such as flash floods and cloud bursts. The over construction, the thinning of forests and increasing number of traffic in the hills are causing various destruction. The so called development is bringing unfortunate desolation. How miserable the life becomes due to the natural calamities in the hills is the flavour of the story. The traditions of the life in the hills, around which the life revolves are fading away, are also talked about in the book.The book is now available on Amazon.
Sumit was born at Shimla in 1967. His father, a railway engineer by profession also a well known Urdu poet under the pen name of Talat Irfani, was never interested in leaving Shimla. But because of his official transfers he had to move first to Rohtak and then to Delhi. Sumit’s phase of academic education was spread over these three towns because of which despite being a nature lover and a writer on nature based themes could not acquire the culture of big towns.
Hills, his first love, where he hails from, here he tells stories, conducts educational camps for school children, writes books on his travels, works as a Heritage Guide and a Tour Companion on Himalayan Valleys outings and helps those British who return to India looking for their family history. His innovative ideas of providing experiences to his traveler clients have made Shimla Walks, his company famous.
In his words,
it is impossible for me to live away from the mountains. Mountains travel like blood in my veins and when I inhale; they enter my mind and body.
Sumit has authored five books already but Tea Shop at Narkanda is his first novella.
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