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Shimla artist’s Himachali short film ‘Ram Bharose’ wins best film award at International Film Carnival 2016



Girish Harnot wins Award in Goa Festival

SHIMLA- Girish Harnot, another talented artist from Himachal Pradesh made the state proud by winning best movie award at International Goa film carnival for his short film Ram Bharose. The film was rated best in the ‘social awareness’ category. Shot in Mashobra, the theme of the movie is inspired for cleanliness campaign.

Also Read: Shimla filmmaker wins Best Film Award for “PAPA” at Kerala Short Film Festival

Three-day ‘International Short Film Carnival 2016’ in Panjim, Goa was organized by Goa Talkies from June 17 to 19 at the Entertainment society of Goa, Campal Panaji Goa. Festival featured 110 Short films in different languages with, local, national and international entries shortlisted from the received 128 short films.

Girish, who was born in Sunni region of Shimla, is an actor and has appeared in more than a dozen of mainstream TV serials like Betab India, Phulwa, Chotti Dulhan, Parwarish, Fear Files, Tun Dena Sath Mera, Crime Patrol, Haunted Nights etc. Girish has also appeared in many TV commercials like Maggi, Audi A6, ICICI Bbank, Reliance, Pepsi, Big Bazar, McDonalds etc.

Also Read: Shimla youth bags Dada Saheb Phalke award for documentary ‘Valley of Living Gods’

Short Film Ram Bharose

However, “Ram Bharose” was his first creation as a writer and director. Surprisingly, he did not have any professional background in acting, but still Girish has found respectable place in the industry. He is the son of famous fiction writer SR Harnot. He went to Dayanand Public School in Shimla, and then completed an undergraduate course in journalism from IGNOU. He was inclined toward acting since childhood which led him to explore a career in this industry. He moved to Mumbai 12 years ago to pursue his dreams and hasn’t looked back since then. After a long struggle, Girish had begun to make news in dailies recently.

Aaryan said that it is really encouraging to win this award when there was a stiff a stiff competition. Moreover, Ram Bharose is their first movie as a director.

Harnot in a TV Serial

Harnot in a TV Serial

This short film is a social satire which revolves around ignorant people who keep spitting, urinating and littering anywhere shamelessly. The film depicts the mindset of such people.

Co-directed by Manwar Rana, “Ram Bharose” is the protagonist in the film. He conceives a unique way to put some check on such nuisance. He uses poster of God to dissuade people from littering in open. Ram Bharose’s character is brilliantly played by Kedar Thakur, a theater actor from Shimla. Other than him, Mukesh Lakhta also appeared in a small but noticeable character in the film. Aaryan gave all credit for this success to his team consisting of Shimlaties. Kedar was also nominated for best actor and Ashish Rana for best cinematographer category.
International Goa film carnival

The Jury at the film carnival comprised of eminent personalities from the film industry including Dharmanand Vernekar a noted Director, Sharmad Raiturcar, a very popular cinematographer and Director at Grey & Gram Advertising, Swapnil Shetkar with many other prominent personalities.

In future, Aaryan is looking forward to roll out more movies on social issues. He believes that Himachal is full of immense talent, which is mostly hidden and requires to be highlighted for more exposure.

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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 7 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 world around him in his DSLR lens.

City Lifestyle

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.

Himachal's cutlural paintings

Courtesy: Surya Ranjan Shandil

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,

he said.

local himachali painting artist

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.

Surya Ranjan Shandil

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.


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City Lifestyle

Pahari short film ‘Pashi’ selected for Oscar qualifying ‘Rhode Island International Film Festival 2017’



Pahari short film pashi by sidharth chauhan

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.

Sidharth has been in news since 2014 and some of his other short-films like “PAPA” and “Boys Don’t Wear Nail Polish” have gathered awards and appreciation on the national and international level.

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)

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City Lifestyle

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.

teashop at narkanda

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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