Five final year M.Tech students of BIT-Mesra have come up with a documentary on the life of an idol maker, hoping to use it to draw attention to the plight of Kumhars.
Shashikant Shukla, Siva Kishore, Arin Mishra, Tulya Ranjan Gogoi and Ajinkya Shewale have, in The making of an Idol, trained the lens on the process of making idols of goddess Saraswati and used the subject to throw light on financial difficulties of those who give shape to gods.
Shukla said their team, which works under the banner Klimax Films, started making the 10-minute-long documentary a few months back. “It depicts the life of artisan Ramesh Prajapati and how he ekes out a living by making idols during Saraswati and Durga Puja,” he told The Telegraph.
Prajapati, who runs a grocery shop to supplement his income, lives in Getlatu, a non-descript village near Jumar pool (bridge), Booty, where the film was shot.
The DVD of The making of an Idol, released on the occasion of Saraswati Puja earlier this month, costs Rs 100 each.
“The proceeds will go to Prajapati’s family members. So far, we have sold several DVDs,” Shukla said, adding that it was available online on eBay and Amazon.
“We have also uploaded the documentary on YouTube,” he added.
Shukla said they had dedicated the film to idol makers. “We youngsters must work towards reviving age-old art forms like making idols. We worked hard to finish the documentary under the constraints of time and money,” he said.
The M.Tech student said the film was shot on a shoestring budget of Rs 100.
Speaking of future plans, he said: “Our next project is a short film titled, Pramad, a science thriller. Work is almost over, the film is in post-production stage and will be launched in March. We are also making a documentary film on women’s empowerment,” he added.