Ajay Kumar Oraon and Aamna Raffat Jahan who received the IDPA Excellence Award (students category) for their 15-minute documentary Qurbaan. Telegraph picture
The heart-warming story of two child scavengers put on film by two alumni of St Xavier’s College, Ranchi, picked up an award on Tuesday evening from Indian Documentary Producers’ Association (IDPA), Mumbai.
Filmmakers Ajay Kumar Oraon of Palamau and Aamna Raffat Jahan of Dubai, who studied mass communication and video production between 2009-12, received the IDPA Excellence Award (students category) for their 15-minute film Qurbaan (2011).
Human, hard-hitting and steering clear of stereotypes, it shows slum children who scavenge in garbage for bits of plastic, metal and glass, attend school sporadically and are wise beyond their years.
“We made Qurbaan as part of our college assignment. The documentary raises the issue of urban child labour and two children tell their untold stories on their own,” Ajay told The Telegraph.
Now, Ajay aspires to join Film and Television Institute of Indian (FTII), Pune. Aamna is back in Dubai, pursuing a postgraduate course in film-making there at University of Wollongong, a branch of the Australian varsity.
Qurbaan picked up three other awards, beginning with best documentary at St Xavier’s College itself in 2012 at Cynosure, a campus film festival. The film went on to bag an award at Cinematique 2012, a docu film festival hosted by Xavier Film Academy, Calcutta. The same year, the film bagged a special mention award at the First National Student Film Awards, FTII, Pune.
Qurbaan was also screened at a students’ film festival at TISS-Mumbai the same year.
“This is the first time students of St Xavier’s College were awarded by the IPDA. The film made by Ajay and Aamna brings out the inside story of urban child labourers. It touches a raw nerve,” said film-maker Meghnath, also the duo’s teacher.
“I love the words lights, roll camera and action. Catching images is my passion. I want to pursue a three-year post-graduation diploma in cinematography at FTII,” Ajay said.
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