Film seeks solutions to the struggle of Varanasi weavers: Satyaprakash Upadhyay
Perception about Nagaland changed a lot after the film: Akashaditya Lama
The 6th day of the 49th International Film Festival (IFFI) in Goa saw varied subjects like Varanasi handicrafts, Varanasi funeral ghats, and Naga bravery get interwoven with each other at a ‘Meet the Directors’ event at the Media Centre this morning. Three non-feature films ‘Bunkar: The Last of the Varanasi Weavers’, ‘Nani Teri Morni’ and ‘Burning’ were the topics of discussion.
In India, every family thinks it as a matter of great pride to have at least one Banarasi silk in their homes. Yet, those persons who weave these world-famous Banarasi silks continue to toil in poverty. Satyaprakash Upadhyay, Director of ‘Bunkar: The Last of the Varanasi Weavers’ said that his film seeks answers to the question as to why the Banarasi sari weavers are struggling despite the popularity of the valuable product of their hands. “While doing research on the topic, it was revealed to us that most of the people are buying power-loom woven saris mistaking them as hand-woven. .The common man doesn’t have any idea about the difference between hand-loom woven and power-loom products”, he said. A lot of topics including the history of Banarasi silk, time taken to make one handloom product, GI marks, etc are covered in the film. Unless common man gets sufficiently informed, he can’t contribute to the cause of handloom weavers, he further added.
Producer of the film, Ms Sapna Sharma, said if we don’t support handloom weavers by buying genuine Banarasi silk, the art will become extinct one day.
Akashaditya Lama, Director of ‘Nani Teri Morni’ described his journey to Nagaland to explore the story of a seven-year-old child who swam across a river to save a drowning grandmother. “The stories from our ancestors form the bedrock of our, thoughts, and they, in turn, create the persons we become. The main character in this film Mhonbeni Ezung who became the youngest recipient of National Bravery award for children in 2015, was also inspired by such a story told by her grandmother which prompted her act of bravery”, he said. He added that his perception about Nagaland changed a lot while shooting the film there.
Journalist turned filmmaker Sanoj V. S., Director of ‘Burning’ said it is his obsession towards the holy city of Varanasi that prompted him to create such a film. The story shown from the perspective of two mothers depicts how women are subjected to social forces like patriarchy, religion and caste, he said.
- BUNKAR: THE LAST OF THE VARANASI WEAVERS
The film by Satyaprakash Upadhyay presents the history of Bunkar -the artisan handloom weavers of Varanasi in India. Through interviews with craftsmen, the film conveys the details of the ancient craft and also how mechanization has brought hard times to the craftsmen.
Shri Upadhyay is Founder & Director of ‘Narrative Pictures’ which includes a team of expert storytellers from the media, TV and film industry.
- NANI TERI MORNI
The film directed by Akashaditya Lama is based on Mhonbeni Ezung who is the youngest recipient of the National Bravery award for children in 2015. She saved her grandmother from drowning overcoming her fear. The tale is set in a far-flung eastern corner of India, in the village of Tsungiki in the Wokha district of the State of Nagaland. Nani Teri Morni is said to be the first film to be entirely shot in the picturesque mountains of Nagaland by a crew entirely from Mumbai. He shot in Nagaland in order to make the film as real as possible.Akshaditya’s forefathers are originally from Arunachal Pradesh. The film is produced by Children’s Film Society of India.
A short film ‘BURNING’ directed by Sanoj V.S. is about a conversation between two young mothers brought together by strange and cruel social realities at a funeral ghat in Varanasi.Mr. Sanoj, a native of Kerala has been working in the UP plains since 2014. He visited Varanasi at least eight times before embarking on the movie.