Mahatma and the short service messagehttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/mahatma-and-the-short-service-message/

Mahatma and the short service message

The Gandhi Film Script Writing Contest aims to attract fresh ideas on Gandhian principles

The Gandhi Film Script Writing Contest aims to attract

fresh ideas on Gandhian principles

As a public service film producing company,Indian Infotainment Media Corporation (iiMC) has explored subjects like no-smoking,water,traffic rules and the National Anthem in the past. These socially-relevant short films have made it to hundreds of cinema halls spread across the country. Now iiMC has come up with a unique initiative—the Gandhi Film Script Contest 2012—a first of its kind in the country. As the name suggests,the contest urges participants to prepare a very short script for a two-minute public service film on ‘Gandhiji’ or ‘Gandhian Principles’.

Elaborating the project,Devendra Khandelwal,the founder of iiMC,cites an example of ‘Lage Raho Munnabhai’,a commercial film that had strong shades of Gandhian values . “The film portrayed his principles in a non-conventional method and was a hit with the audience across the nation. Most people have a sound idea about what the Mahatma stood for and we want them to share their stories that offer a new take on Gandhian ideologies and turn them into films,” says Khandelwal. Though the company had organised ‘Gandhi Panorama’ in 2010,which showcased films on Gandhi,it is the first time iiMC is holding film script contest on him.

Khandelwal himself has shot 18 documentaries on the life of the Mahatma. Prominent amongst those are the films Vinobha Ashram,Seva Gram mein Charkha,Wardha,From Mohan to Mahatma,Bapu,Gandhi Exhibition and Gandhi Yatri Niwas. He has been on the jury of the National Awards twice and the Screen Film Awards.

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“Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals are very important in a world struggling to come to terms with the various problems it faces. While we could always shoot documentaries on themes like non-violence,peace,humanity and caste discrimination,it would not reach out to audiences because there needs to be fresh thought. The scripts that we will get through the contest might be completely different but that is exactly what we are looking for. Something different drives the point home much better than the same run- off-the-mill ways,” says Khandelwal.

Contestants from any age group can send their single-page script. The top ten ideas will be made into short films,with each winner getting a prize of Rs 1000 and the top hundred entries will get a mention and a certificate of commendation from the iiMC.

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