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Thursday, July 07, 2022

Five Things: Short film on finding hope after loss, workshops on creative writing, fashion designing, and more

For the bookworm, a chance to take part in a reading Olympiad or explore diversity through free book resources online

Written by Paromita Chakrabarti | New Delhi |
June 22, 2022 5:50:33 pm
You can make this monsoon engaging for your kids with these activities (Source: Pixaby)

With the first showers breaking through the heat spell, catch some moments of respite with activities meant to exercise the grey cells


WHERE: Netflix
Appropriate for: All ages

A paintbrush moves over a canvas as a woman leans against a tree. But the painting never gets finished. Darkness descends out of nowhere, a machine beeps a warning tone insistently. When light returns, an old man awakens alone on his bed. In his yard, an easel stands, waiting forlornly. Even though he perks up a bit when his daughter and granddaughter come visiting, loneliness and grief remain the timbre of the wheelchair-bound old man’s life. Till, one day, his granddaughter discovers an unfinished painting in a hidden alcove and his life upends yet again.

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Filmmaker Frank E. Abney III, a Pixar animation veteran with Incredibles 2 and Coco to his credit, produced Canvas in late 2020. Now available on Netflix, Canvas is a nine-minute short film that explores themes of tragic loss and loneliness and how life can alter course without warning. Told entirely without words, it is an emotional tale that alternates between nostalgia and reality and speaks for holding on to one’s passions in the face of all odds. After all, what is life without hope and the comfort of warm memories?


The good folks at Pratham Books have come up with a series called Own Voices that celebrate diversity and inclusion in texts. Written and illustrated by underrepresented voices, these books offer a window into lives that often don’t make it to mainstream narratives. One of our favourites is Naga writer Canato Jimo and visual artist Ogin Nayam’s Asamo, Is That You? (2020), in which Yumum has to overcome her fear of darkness and ghosts to find Asamo. Set against a stark red-and-black background, this is a delightful entry point into the folklore of the Northeast. You can read the story here and more of Pratham Books’ stories, available for free online, here:


* Creative Writing Workshop

WHERE: Eureka Bookstore, M-Block Market, GK-II, New Delhi
WHEN: June 25, Saturday, 11 am-12.30 pm

The world is your oyster if story-writing is what you have in your mind. In this workshop conducted by author-translator Sutapa Basu, children will be encouraged to draw upon their creativity and learn how to put together a story by developing a narrative voice, character arcs and a plot that can hold its own over a 1.5 hour session.

* E-workshops on fashion, design, business and media

WHERE: Online
WHEN: June 22 and 23, 4-5 pm

Pearl Academy’s two-day bouquet of summer courses has various workshops such as flip-book animation, branding through storytelling, textile, fashion and interior design knowhow to choose from. Meant for slighter older adolescents, these workshops serve as an initiation into career options beyond the tried and tested ones.

* The 5th edition of GetLitt Reading Olympiad

WHERE: Online
WHEN: Between August 1 to 5
CHARGES: Between Rs 50 and Rs 600

This is a win-win for young readers because not only does the Reading Olympiad organised by Mumbai-based GetLitt introduce them to an eclectic range of literature by Indian and international writers, it also encourages them to engage deeper with the stories. The Olympiad that follows focuses on vocabulary, comprehension and fun trivia through multiple-choice questions. Winning or losing is immaterial. As readers will tell you, the thrill is in the chase.

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