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Shimla’s budding artist wins Satyajit Ray Award at London India Film Festival for his short-film



himachali film papa by sidharth at london film festial

SHIMLA-Short-film “PAPA”, produced under the banner of Secret Corridor Pictures, has bagged another award. This time, it grabbed the Satyajit Ray Award for best short-film at the London India Film Festival 2017 held from June 22 to 29. The film is written, produced and directed by 26-year-old Shimla based budding film maker, Sidharath Chauhan. PAPA was one of the only three films to have made it to the finalists from a Director based in India, the other films being from UK, USA and Switzerland. Organized by Bagri Foundation London, Indian Film Festival is an European Indian film festival.

After winning this award, perhaps, PAPA has become the first film from Himachal Pradesh to have won widespread appreciation in the short-film industry.

It was an honor to be a part of this competition and it is an even greater honor to win this Award,

said Sidharth after claiming the award.

Surprisingly, Sidharth does not claim any sort of professional training in film-making. Despite that, he completed the film in just six days without much professional and financial help. Most of the film is shot in at Young Women Christian Association (YWCA), Shimla.

I didn’t have a single penny, not a single professional’s assistance when I decided to make this film but with a strong resolve and with the support of my friends (Yashwant, Mridul, Aastha, Vibha, Ankit ) in Shimla, we begged, borrowed and did everything we could to make this film in the best possible way. It wasn’t easy for us but I guess all the effort was worth it,

said Sidharth after winning the award.

PAPA was first screened in Kerala at the International Documentary and Short Film Festival where it was judged as the Best Film for its “Innovation in narrative gesture and dark humor.

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.

Making of Papa short film

Behind the Scenes

Lead actors that includes Mohit Singh Parmar (Palampur, Sushma Kaul (Shimla),and Nandita Aron (Bareily) are also excited after receiving the news and expressed gratitude to Sidharth for this opportunity. Other crew members were Tanmaya Das (sound), Yashwant Kumar Sharma (Cameraman), Mridul Surbhi (1st Assistant Director), Aastha Sen (2nd Assistant Director), and Vibha Sharma (Production Controller).

Actor Mohit Singh Parmar with Siddharth Chauhan

Actor Mohit Singh Parmar with Siddharth Chauhan
Photo: Deccan Chronicle

Siddharth lives in Shimla (Jakhu). He founded Secret Corridor Pictures in 2012-13 with the aim of working with the local talent in his home town. The Corridor Pictures are known for their art house, content driven independent films like the Boys don’t Wear Nailpolish (2013) and Infinite Space (2014).

All of Siddharth’s films have been based in Shimla and have taken the local culture, talent and scenic beauty to places like Sarajevo, England, USA, Belarus, Italy, Durham, Indonesia, Canada, London, Paris and New Zealand.

Sidharth is earning the reputation of an Independent Filmmaker from Himachal who has taken locally produced films on International platforms.


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HPTDC’s Online Service for Ordering Food for Takeaway and Home Delivery Launched



HPTDC Online Food Order Service

Shimla-An online facility to place orders of food was launched by the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation on July 21, 2020. It was informed by the HPTDC, Managing Director Kumud Singh. She said the Corporation has introduced a facility to place an online order of food for takeaway and home delivery at its selected properties.

“The public can place orders for a variety of tasty, hygienic and healthy cuisines at their homes by placing online orders,”

she said.

Consumers can place online food orders at these properties by visiting its website ( Currently, the orders can be placed from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The HPTDC staff has been imparted special training to take all necessary steps for prevention of COVID-19, she said. The food is prepared by trained Chefs of the Corporation in safe and hygiene environment, she added.

She informed that this service has initially been started at Hotel Peterhof Shimla, Goofa Ashiana Restaurant Shimla, Hotel Kunzam Manali, Cafe Monal Kullu, Cafe Raviview Chamba and Cafe Satluj Rampur. She said that this service will be extended to other properties in a phased manner.

Photo: Himachal Watcher

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Fursat Se- Shimla Based Cultural Community to Plant 550 Trees on 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji



Shimla-On the occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji, Fursat Se, a cultural community based in Shimla plans to plant 550 trees. The founder of Fursat Se, Amrita Bhasin, is working towards creating safe spaces for promotion of art, literature and open dialogue through the medium of events.

“We invite 550 people (&more) to pledge and plant one tree each and help us initiate a Green Movement by the people and for the people,”

She said.

Anyone interested in this, can pick a local tree sapling and plant it in allowed areas of the neighborhood and pledge to take care of it, and send the information on the same with a picture and hashtag #TreeTalesIndia to Fursat Se. For pledging, volunteering and becoming a part of this initiative you can contact them, and Fursat Se will share the pictures from their social media handles.

The initiative is organized by Fursat Se- A Cultural Community in association with- Swach Himalayas, a Himachal based NGO started by Savitoj Singh, that works towards spreading awareness about various environmental issues, undertakes initiatives like regular visits to old-age homes, orphanages through numerous community driven events and Unbox Himachal valley- a Himachal based start-up by Shivee Sirmauri, working towards empowerment of rural women by providing employment opportunities and reviving old cultural handicrafts.

Fursat Se- 550 trees plantation

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Himachal’s fitness enthusiast shines at Indian TV Reality Show




Himachal's Fitness enthusiast sachin sharma of Shimla

Shimla: Sachin Sharma, a handsome man of 26, is currently a person who stands in contrast to Himachal Pradesh’s ill-famed youth struggling with drug and substance abuse – a crucial issue that has sounded an alarm in the State. Sachin is the one who joined a gym at the age of 19 – an age at which teenagers are struggling to escape from the jaws of drug/substance abuse, especially Heroin (Chitta).

Sachin, born in a middle-class family of Deha village, Theog, Shimla district, recently appeared in what could be called India’s first fitness reality show “Indian Fitness League.” It wasn’t a bodybuilding show, but the challenge was to undertake tasks designed to check who is the fittest. Sachin was the only one from Himachal to have made through the auditions. He was selected as one of the 40 fittest people of India. He earned the special attention of the hosts of the show as well as among other competitors.

The next episode of the TV show would be telecasted on October 6 on Discovery Sports at 4 PM.

To know more about him, Himachal Watcher interviewed him (Watch Video). We found that his story is inspirational in its own way:

Far from ill and unhealthy habits, he doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink or take anything that would toy with his physical and mental fitness. He definitely doesn’t take steroids. Since last seven years, he has followed a strict discipline in diet and habits. He didn’t compromise with his studies either. He completed his schooling from Dayanand Public School in Shimla.

In 2018 he completed his post graduation in Masters of Business (MBA) from Himachal Pradesh University and had procured a placement for himself too.

He wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth so placement did matter for him. His father Mohan Lal Sharma and mother Subhadra Sharma are both serving with the Crime Investigation Department (CID), HP, as Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) and Head Constable respectively. It wasn’t easy to manage an additional expenditure of Rs. 15,000 – 20, 000 on his protein diet for seven years.

At this point, his decision-making ability was put to test. He had to choose one of the two: job placement and passion for fitness. He listened to himself and decided to seek a career in the fitness industry.

Though Sachin’s body is in good shape, he isn’t actually a bodybuilder. He is a fitness enthusiast, who has trained without a professional trainer or a mentor. He made ample use of YouTube to learn. He didn’t take up fitness as his passion because he was inspired by someone. He was his own inspiration.

He first received an opportunity to get on a stage at annual Mr. Himachal competition. Later he won the Maruti Suzuki Devils Circuit held in Chandigarh.

Now, after his tremendous performance at the IFL, Sachin has received sponsorships and was inducted in the TG Athlete group. Opportunities in the fitness industry have begun to appear before him. He believes that someday, he would extend support and guidance to other fitness enthusiasts of the state, which he could hardly receive for himself.

He is an idol for the youth of Himachal, especially because fitness is an antonym to drug/substance abuse and indiscipline. In the majority of cases filed under the Narcotics, Drugs & Psychoactive Substances (ND&PS) Act, the accused are reported to be between 20-25 years. A couple of days back Shimla Police arrested a 22-years-old local boy with a packet of Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) stamps. 

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