The Telegraph
Friday , May 27 , 2016

Living in tents, talking forests, films & pani

- National award winner Sriram Dalton conducts unique workshop in Latehar district

The workshop on water in progress in Netarhat on Wednesday. Telegraph picture

Ranchi, May 26: We all know how important water is for our survival. And when the message on the need for its conservation is spread through film, everyone sits up and notices.

That's what Netarhat Film Institute is aiming to do. The brainchild of national film award winner Sriram Dalton, who is from Palamau district but works in Mumbai, the institute is holding a 12-day film workshop with pani as its central theme in the jungles of Netarhat in Laterhar district.

"Over 50 participants were present yesterday, which was the first day of the workshop. More people are expected to join within a day or two," Sriram told The Telegraph over telephone phone from the campsite at Netarhat today, noting that many local residents, otherwise unconnected to films, were also taking part.

The workshop would be covering all important aspects of filmmaking, like screenplay writing, shooting, direction and editing, he said when asked about the nature of activities being held there.

"Those conducting various sessions at the workshop have been asked to narrate their ideas about water crisis and possible solutions," Sriram said. Later, 10 of the best ides would be chosen as themes for short films.

A graduate in fine arts from Banaras Hindu University (BHU), 36-year-old Sriram took to filmmaking and ended up wining the national award for a 10-minute short film, The Lost Bahrupiya, at the 61st National Film Awards of 2013.

He won a Rajat Kamal for the film that was described as the "best art/cultural film" with a "near surreal depiction of the dying art form of bahrupiya (nomadic performing artistes who masquerade as mythological characters, tigers and the like) in a globalised society".

Sriram said the enthusiasm at the workshop was palpable. "Participants are sleeping in tents and eating Spartan food," he said, adding that various people and organisations helped out with the workshop.

Apart from the state information and public relations department, the local administration, police and forest authorities supported the event. Cultural organisations like the Daltonganj branch of IPTA and film organisations like and Salpani and film star Manoj Bajpayee also helped.

"Even local people did so... there was one person who donated a bag of potatoes," Sriram added.

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