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Award boosted my spirits: Srishti

Arun Naithani

Ek Tha Gaon, a one-hour long non-feature film that chronicles the plight of mountain people who are facing catastrophic exodus due to climate change and employment crisis, grabbed headlines by bagging the Golden Lotus at the recent National Film Awards. Srishti Lakheda, the conceptualizer, producer and director of the film, is elated to receive this honour. He is elated that not only has he been recognized at the national level, but his work has also been recognised. Even the Film Division Department of Uttarakhand has contacted him and promised cooperation for future films. There was a time when Srishti tried to contact all the departments while making the film, but did not get any success even after contacting.

This is how interest arose in direction and production

Dr. K.N., a doctor in Rishikesh in Uttarakhand. When Lakheda’s daughter Srishti completed her primary education and went to Delhi University to study, she had no knowledge about film production. He was attracted towards journalism and mass communication, but he never thought that he would make a film. Then during his studies, he saw his classmates making documentary films and got a chance to act with them. But Srishti felt that behind the scenes the world of direction and production was more interesting. After that, while studying in Delhi, he did many street plays, short films and theatre.

feeling for the village

Then Srishti, associated with the concerns of the mountain, made a film on the story of a village facing the pain of migration, where only an eighty-year-old woman and a teenager are left in the village. It was shot during the Corona period. Srishti tells that she didn’t have resources, somehow made this film by taking some house help and collecting money from people. Regarding the selection of this subject, Srishti tells that this was his native village, he later settled in Rishikesh, but the association with the village remained constant. I deeply felt the pain of that lonely old woman and the ever-emptying village.

Will now show the struggle of the women of the mountain

Srishti is still working on such films which reflect the social and cultural crises in the areas of Shivalik mountain range. She is doing such a fifty minute film for a Singapore channel. It depicts the crisis of human life and their struggle in the Himalayan region. Srishti is very excited about the arrival of this film ‘The Last Defender’ on the international platform. This film talks about the struggle of women for issues related to common life. Actually, this film depicts the struggle of a Mahila Mangal Dal from Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, who has been agitating for the last one year for the basic rights of life. Whose existence of water, land and forests seems to be in danger due to big industries and water projects. This film, in fifty minutes, paints a vivid picture of the struggle and difficulties of life of these women. Srishti says that in future she will be associated with film production on issues highlighting the social and cultural crisis of this area. Currently, Srishti is trying to give shape to her future plans in Mumbai.

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