Reel war on teen suicide

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By ANTARA BOSE
  • Published 28.12.11
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Loyola School is banking on the screen to spread awareness about teenage suicide.

Students and teachers of the school have come up with a film on the issue, Partly Right, and are now trying their best to get certification for the same so that it can be shown in film festivals across the country. They are selling DVDs of the movie to raise the processing fee for certification that will be awarded by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) under the Union ministry of information and broadcasting.

Of the 1,000 DVDs of Partly Right, which deals with the pressures a student faces that ultimately drive him to suicide, 300 have already been sold. The film was made at a budget of around Rs 5 lakh with technical expertise from Calcutta.

“The cost of the DVDs is very nominal. We are taking a meagre Rs 100, that too because we need the money to pay the charges for the certification process. This film was made with an aim to help the society, especially to check the suicide rate. As we want to send the film for screening at various film festivals in India, certification is necessary,” said director of Partly Right Harsh Vaibhav, a Class XII student of Loyola School.

Bollywood director Prawaal Raman released the 57-minute film at Tata auditorium in August this year. A two-and-a-half minute promotional was also made to draw audiences across schools.

The story revolves around a student, Manav Mishra, who wants to follow his dreams, but faces many obstacles in the form of objections from his parents and societal pressure. It is also the story of Manav’s friend, Avantika who is allowed to pursue her aspirations but at a cost.

The film, thanks to various organisations and institutes, has already been screened in six cities — Jamshedpur, Dhanbad, Calcutta, New Delhi, Chennai and Ahmedabad. Several copies have been distributed at city cradles as well as Jesuit schools of India. A private screening was also arranged in New York last month.

Many, including Raman, had only words of praises after watching the movie.

“I have spoken to the officials of CBFC, who promised to help us with the certification process but first we want to get over with the pre-board and board examinations. After the exams, I am going to only concentrate on this job,” said Shaon Mitra, teacher-director of Partly Right.

Principal Father Victor Misquith is also upbeat about the prospect of the movie being screened at film festivals across the country. “This film is not meant for entertainment, it sends a strong message about one of the most serious problems of the society. The children have taken this initiative very seriously. If they really want to do something good, I will always support them,” he added.