Shimla- Two of Himachal’s short film makers are in news these days for making into 9th International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala (Anthardeshiya chalachitrolsavam keralam) – a film festival held annually in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, organised by Chalchitra Academy of Govt of Kerala in the month of June.
A Documentary Film “No Woman’s Land” directed by Kullu-based Dr. Devkanya Lotheta and a short film “Papa” directed by Sidharth Chauhan (26), an independent short-film maker from Shimla, were selected to be screened at the festival, and also compete for award with hundreds of other short-films and documentaries from all parts of India.
“No Woman’s Land” is based on the unsung fight of Himachal’s tribal women seeking share in ancestral property.
While “Papa” film is about a son who lost his father and how he and his mother miss his father.
The festival, which began in 1996, is India’s leading event and a prestigious platform for independent film-makers. These films will be representing Himachal at national, even international level, which means a lot for the state. Sidhartha Chauhan is among very few names in Himachal Pradesh whose short films have won laurels on the national stage.
“No Woman’s Land” will compete with 18 other films by established directors, while short film “Papa” will be in competition with 30 other short films from around the country.
It’s not the first time that these movies are representing Himachal talent and culture at national level. “No Woman’s Land” has already received various awards in various film festivals and related events.
So far, the film has following honors to its name:
Special Festival Mention Award and Certificate of Excellence in 5th Dada Saheb Phalke International Film Festival, New Delhi, India (30th April 2015)
Special Jury Award in International Film Festival Prayag, Allahabad, India (Jan 2015)
Documentary Film in Ideal Film Lovers Forum, Trivandrum, Kerrala, India (Feb 2015)
Official Selection in Khajuraho Film Festival, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh , India ((25-28th April 2015)
Audience Choice Award in International Film Festival of Shimla-2015 (Oct 2015)
Official Selection in Kolkata International Film Festival, (15Nov-21N0v 2015)
Official selection in 8th Jaipur International Film Festival 2016 (Jan 2016)
DevKanya is working on her next short film project titled “Laal HotaDarakht”, which is based on the short story of SR Harnot. The film is scheduled to be release in the month of October 2016.
Sidharth Sharma’s other short-film “Boys Don’t Wear Nailpolish “ has also received appreciation at national level events and the film was awarded at:
International film festival of Kerala (2014)
Delhi International film festival (2013)
International Documentary and short film festival VIBGYOR (2014)
Official selection in International Film Festival of Shimla (2015).
Young filmmaker Sidharth Chauhan is now ready to release his next short film very soon.
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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