Saturday, June 8, 2013

There is a thin line between an activist and a documentarian: Dheeraj Sarthak

“There is a thin line between an activist and a documentary filmmaker” opined Dheeraj Sarthak in reply to a question in the first ‘Face 2 Face’, an interaction session with the directors of the competition films held at the Kairali porch today.
Dheeraj Sarthak who directed the documentary ‘Between the Trees’ along with Ashish Kumar Singh said that their film was about the fifty thousand forest dwellers in India, who holds no citizenship or a permanent shelter. The struggles of these people and the sense of alienation they feel when they get out of touch with Nature is the main theme of the film.
‘Dev Rai’ directed by Richa Hushing is also about the forest dwellers, but this one specifically deals with certain protected forests in India, and the people who are deeply in association with it. Sam Thomas Valiakala of Mar Ivanios College and Ajith Raj of M. G. College talked about the social relevance of their film “Between Friends… Beyond Limits”. The film is an inner journey into the unique inner life of eight people, a subject that the public usually tends to avoid looking upon, especially if any of them have any physical disabilities. After being asked how the director himself could connect with the inner life of different people for the making of this documentary, Sam replied that he got inspiration for this film while he stayed with different kinds of people at NSS Camp at his college.
There were two animation filmmakers in the session. The short animation movie directed by E. R. Anilkumar talked that his film ‘The Escape’ deals with the evils existing in the society, in an artistically abstract manner. Whereas K. D. Shybu’s animation film ‘Romeo Spikes’ deals with the life of Curt Kobain, the lead artist of the world famous band ‘Nirvana’, who committed suicide at the peak of his success, and the mysteries surrounding his life.
Sohil Vaidya’s film ‘Diaries of Unknown’ is a documentary about the marginalized people in our globalized country, especially people living on footpaths, whom the director jokingly said ‘has no aadhar card’. Vaideshi Chitre’s ‘Bottle Masala In Moile’ deals with the group of people, mainly including fishermen, toddy tappers, and farmers of inland Bombay, who were once associated with the East India Company. Aromal T’s ‘Bleeding’ is a group effort which is inspired from Irving Stone’s novel ‘Lust for Life’. The film deals with the kind of mental ‘illness’ an artist ggoes through during his work.
A distinctive factor of today’s ‘Face 2 Face’ was that almost all the films deals with the people who are somehow challenged, either physically, economically or mentally. The programme was hosted by Mammad Montage.
 Those who participated in the session were Sohil Vaidya (‘Diaries of Unknown’), Richa Hushing (‘Dev Rai’), Vaidesi Chitre (‘Bottle Masala in Moile’), Anilkumar E. R. (‘The Escape’), K. D. Shybu (‘Romeo Spikes’), Dheeraj Sarthak (‘Between The Trees’), Ashishkumar Singh (‘Between The Trees’), Sam Thomas Valiakala (‘Between Friends.. Beyond Limits’), Ajith Raj (‘Between Friends.. Beyond Limits’) and Aromal T. (‘Bleeding’).

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