Nupur Verma, Payal Bisht; Himani Mattu; Pragati Thankur; KEEKLI Interns – St Thomas School Students, 14th October, 2019, Shimla

A film making workshop was organized by Keekli Charitable Trust in Loreto Convent Tara Hall School, Shimla, with Vivek Mohan as the key resource person. He is a national award winning film maker from Shimla based in Mumbai, as well as a creative consultant in advertising, who has been the National Jury Member in IFFI (Goa) in 2010 & 2014. The workshop was attended by students of Class VIII and above, who were eager to learn about the various concepts of film making. Vivek introduced the students to the history of movie making in which he spoke about the ‘SILENT ERA’ in which the actors used gestures to express their dialogues.

During the workshop, two of his short documantries were showcased — “SOS: Shivaji park Of Shimla” and “The Bus Stop”. Both these film were inspired from real life events. As he introduced the students about the documentary of film making, he further added that BBC is a defined documentary and a creative representation of reality.

The first docudrama, SOS: Shivaji park Of Shimla, portrayed Shimla City children who are trying to play cricket and football on the Ridge, but were not allowed to play and were being ill-treated by the policemen and other higher authorities. Despite the fact that Ridge is a host to a number of social and religious events such as music festivals, blood donation camps, food stalls, political rallis, social awareness camps, etc., but the only restriction is that children are not allowed to play.

After the movie, an interactive session was held about its filming. Vivek explained that it took him six months to complete this film, because he usually went to shoot on Sunday mornings when children could be seen playing freely. Another factor to account for was the weather conditions, which led to further delays. The social impact of this documentary was that he collaborated with KEEKLI to organize an Inter-School Declamation & Slogan Writing Competition highlighting the missing parks and playgrounds in Shimla. The idea was to propagate and propose to develop parks in the City.

The students present asked him various questions such as expenses incurred, earnings, inspiration for the film, and Vivek obliged them all with witty and frank answers. He further delved that he used an IPhone to shoot this film therefore emphasizing on the fact that if you have the right idea and concept you don’t need a big budget or bulky equipments to pursue your passion.

The second short film shown was “The Bus Stop”, which basically revolved around one location and one character, depicting a story of an old woman who lives in Shahpur, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh. She used to go every morning near the gate of her house to keep a folded piece of paper. Vivek Mohan, playing the character of an office goer, observes the old women frequently but is hesitant to ask her what she did every morning. One day when he visited the same place, the lady is not there, he picks up the paper that she folded every morning and reads it, “I am a widow and the day I don’t not come to pick this slip up, consider me dead”.

While discussing about the movie Vivek enlightened that students that the administration was moved by the story and people were sent to help the old lady. Further talking about film making Vivek said, “That every story begins with an idea and has a beginning, a middle and an end, though they may not be in that order. The three important stages are pre-production, production and post-production.”

The session concluded as Vivek spoke about various carrier opportunities in film making such as advertising, television and films, as the students sought answers to few pertinent questions about film making.

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