Four short films from Auroville Film Institute awarded at film festivals – The New Indian Express

PUDUCHERRY: Four short films made by students from the Auroville Film Institute (AFI) in 2021 won awards at film festivals.

“Haalat” by Swanand Kottewar was selected for the 23rd Madurai International Documentary and Short Film Festival; while Soham Kundu’s ‘Aalo’ and Janet Juvan’s ‘Rajeshwari’ were selected at the Port Blair International Film Festival in December 2021.

Soul Continuum by Vipul Srivastava was selected for the Colorado International Scifi and Fantasy Film Festival in November 2021; These films were produced during the online filmmaking workshops under the mentorship of maverick experimental filmmaker, Kamal Swaroop. Another participant, Girish Chandran, who developed his concept through the online workshop series, won a film production grant from the Filmocracy Foundation.

This is no small feat for AFI which was launched two and a half years ago in August 2019. AFI is a project of Timelines Auroville, registered with the Auroville Arts Department, which maps learning pathways innovative and imaginative film-centric programs for its students and participants.

The quality of the films produced during its workshops and the recognition that these student films receive at film festivals across India and abroad is an indicator of this.

So far, the film institute has designed and delivered more than 30 short courses and attracted more than 800 participants, said Richa Hushing, one of AFI’s co-directors and program designers.

“The tools of cinema are no longer beyond the reach of commoners. People may not have pens in their pockets, but they have cameras… So everyone has access to tools, the best of tools, however, how do we access consciousness with which we can use those tools? Richa Hushing asked.

“We try to design workshops that really work towards the transformation of consciousness, which is where the goal of our film-centered learning journeys dovetails with the goal of Auroville, which is transformation of consciousness” , she added.

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