Mon, 19 Aug, 2019

Marching towards a higher goal!

Four documentaries shot by young female directors from Goa which were submitted for ‘Bhovati Bhagirath’ competition in ‘Parikrama Celebrate Ideas’, have been selected in competition category at Women’s International Short-Film Festival of India (Goa)

17th May 2019, 03:39 Hrs

BHARATI PAWASKAR

For Nikita Mahesh Shirgaonkar, it was a tough competition, as she had just three minutes to squeeze in whatever she shot over a couple of hours but this whole exercise was very exciting. Searching for the Dhangar communities in Goa from remote villages, interacting with them, making them share their past, present and future aspirations in their language was indeed, an insightful experience for her. An instructor at the Government ITI, teaching print and media to students, Nikita managed to penetrate the hinterlands at Amthane and Bicholim to hunt for their small settlements at each of these places. 

A BSc student in Media Graphics & Animation at Annamalai University, Nikita has earlier worked as a graphic designer and 3D modeller and her excellence in the field has earned her 24FPS International Animation Award for Digital Painting in the event hosted by MAAC Animation Institute. Proving herself on this unique platform for film-making using the medium of 3D Animation, Live Action and Visual Effects in this yearly event she won this award that’s open to students, professionals and studios from across the world. 

“I documented the life of Dhangars with common surnames Phale and Gavli in my documentary ‘Goyacho Dhangar Samaj’ which is one among the four selected in the competition category at Women’s International Short-Film Festival of India, (Goa) along with the documentaries of three other female directors from Goa - Mansa Zambaulikar, Gayatri Patil and Supriya Kankonkar,” shares a proud Nikita.

A second year engineering student at Don Bosco College of Engineering, Mansa Zambaulikar’s documentary titled ‘Makadmare?’ is on Wanarmare/Makadmare tribe. She deliberates, “Our shooting was captured within two days at two places - Nirankal Shiroda and at Codli in Dharbandora. I noticed that since the Makadmares live in Goa for over a decade, they are familiar to Konkani but their mother tongue is Katkari. Engaged in cutting sugarcane from the fields during harvest season, they don’t easily communicate with the locals. I was unaware of their presence, but thanks to Parikrama 0.2 that we were prompted to document them.”

Gayatri Patil’s documentary, ‘Mhalchi Pandhar’ is selected too. A student at Government College Khandola Marcel who is answering TYBA exam, Gayatri had a unique experience while doing this project, “I was lucky to complete my shoot within four hours, however most of the credit goes to Saurabh Karkhanis. The groundwork actually took 8-10 days, including editing. My team is thankful to various locals from Bhuipal - Sattari who expressed themselves very boldly. They shared their past, present and tentative future as Dhangar community of Goa. As per the theme we focused on living, culture and tradition of Dhangars of Bhuipal Sattari, considering their language, rituals and livelihood.” 

Gayatri’s documentary has a simple but important message - In today’s techno savvy world, one must look at our environment, ecology and the communities living around us. With time, things get lost and forgotten but documented history remains forever. “Documenting the changing life of Dhangar Community in Goa was an experience for a person like me who did not know about them,” admits Gayatri . 

A student of GVM’s Dada Vaidya College of Education, Supriya Kankonkar’s documentary on Dhangars, ‘Boli Dongara Palsanatali’ was shot with the help of her team - Diptej Vernekar, Vallabh Barve, Sankalp Mahale, Purva Vasta and Pruthvi Naik. “Dislocated from their original place of dwelling at Kurdi (which went under water with the dam construction), these Dhangars live at Gavaliwada at Vade village in Sanguem now in around 20 houses. Cherishing memories of their green past, they are compelled to live a displaced life,” briefs Supriya.

“These documentaries submitted for ‘Bhovati Bhagirath’ (Educational Documentary) Competition in ‘Parikrama Celebrate Ideas’ have been selected in competition category at Women’s International Short-Film Festival of India, (Goa),” admits Rohit Khandekar, treasurer, Parikrama Knowledge Terminus.

“The official selection for entering the festival is a long process. Once selected the product is shared on various platforms. There are many short film competitions in Goa, but technical documentary competitions are very few or none. These four entries are of that level,” claims Rohit. There were two topics given by Parikrama to make documentaries in the past two years - the Dialect of Konkani Language in 2018 and any Geographical Community from Goa with its Dialect and Lifestyle in 2019.

Out of the total 24 documentaries submitted during last year and this year, nine had female directors. Out of these nine, four were selected as entries in the competition category at Women’s International Short-Film Festival of India, (Goa). “This festival was held last year too, but we came to know about it at the last minute, so we are including last year’s work too in this year’s entries,” maintains Rohit. 

Festivals keep happening and Parikrama motivates the participants, to create their product and showcase so that some body of work remains on each student’s name. It can help them individually in their personal life and also motivate them to choose this field as a profession. The focus of the competition is on authentic, original, crude and raw. Topics have to be researched and then documented. The exposure offers them a platform to make films and documentaries of world standard. 

Parikrama is involved in many events and competitions. The team stresses on the fact that these programmes should offer learning experiences. Whatever is created or presented should have a lasting impact and an academic value. “The documentaries on dialects of Konkani, or the local tribal communities would carry research reference value in the future,” concludes Rohit, wishing luck to the female directors.  

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