From Wardboy to Independent Filmmaker


post originally published at : http://stagephod.org/filmmakers/santosh-padwal-from-wardboy-to-independent-filmmaker/ 

Santosh M Padwal is a storyteller, always in shorts and from Mumbai.  According to him, this is it and his introduction ends here. Well, he had also travelled 70,000 km in 13 months all over India doing photo/video documentation. He also knows a lot of cooperative games and has been associated with Shikshantar, Udaipur and was a Khoji in Swaraj university in the very first batch. Here are the excerpts of the talk we had with him:

Tell us about your life journey in brief?

I am basically from Mumbai, studied till 10th. Post that I spent 5 years working as sales executives in max york life insurance, airtel, vodafone etc. and then as a Wardboy. After that I got a chance to join Swaraj University (It follows a self designed learning philosophy with no degrees and no exams) which completely changed my life and my thought process.

What prompted you to start filmmaking?

Well, I didn’t have much interest in filmmaking initially but I had an inclination towards camera. Whenever I used to get a camera, I used to try clicking pictures from various angles etc. Slowly from photography, I learned filmmaking and then I learned editing on my own. At that time, I got my first opportunity as a filmmaker from Kisaan swaraj yatra which I took and thats how I became a filmmaker. Post that yatra, got another projects because of my work including projects from Jan Satyagraha. In the meantime, I also attended mentorship sessions form Abhivyakti – Nasik etc. After all these experiences, I realized that film making is a very strong tool to communicate stories and with youtube and other social networking sites, reach of a video/ film has increased. So, I decided to pursue it full time.

S padwal

What kind of films have you made?

I like to make documentary films. It helps me in telling stories of people who are doing real good work. In the process, I also come to know about the challenges people are facing, how they are overcoming them etc. I have made films on Jan Satyagraha, Om Creations, Cycle marathon initiatives etc. Somehow fiction films don’t give me that kind of kick. In future, if I get a chance to make a fictional film, it would be a docu-fiction only.

What is your dream/ vision?

My Vision is that documentary films should get the same (if not more) recognition like fiction or feature films. I would like to work in this regard on how to make documentary films more entertaining and interesting.

What difficulties you face as an independent filmmaker?

I can make good films with my simple camera also, but when you have to execute a project, there are many things you require and there is a project cost involved which many people don’t understand. You need equipments, there is a travelling cost involved, if you are shooting in a village you need lights so it becomes very difficult to manage project cost. Having said that, its all part of the game and thats how you grow as an individual and and as a filmmaker.

S m padwal

Any fun/ memorable incident?

Once we were travelling for shooting and we took a wrong turn and reached a place full of mines. Very big vehicles were looking so small there. So we thought of shooting that place. We hardly shot for 2-3 min and suddenly a group of 40-50 people came running towards us. We got so scared that we all sat in our car and drove as fast as we could. If they would have caught us, they must have broken our camera else our bones :)

What advice you’d like to give to someone who is interested/newbee in filmmaking?

I will not call it an advice but my belief is that when you are making a film, whether its a fiction, documentary or anything else, the audience should connect to it. They should have ‘some’ feeling after watching the film. Also, you must financially sustain yourself, and you must have a plan for it.

Aasvishkaar !! a learning space …


Recently came across the facebook  page of Aavishkaar which is a learning space for young minds to have fun with hands-on science, math, reading, writing and music in a curious and creative way and focus on shifting our educational system from teaching to learning. Working with various schools in the region of kandbari (himachal), AAVISHKAAR  team visits various school promoting practical learning with special emphasis on science and maths and even hosting science fairs or Vigyaan mela’s and are even open for volunteering opportunities.
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Started by a Amazing couple Sandhya and Sarit along with there home-schooled daughter Shyamli.Do check out there facebook page for amazing pics from there journey and any further information:
facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/AavishkaarPalampur
Or e-mail at – aavishkaar.palampur@gmail.com

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living stories- Story Telling Traditions of India


The film takes us on journey to different parts of India, to explore the different kinds of story telling arts in India- from Padvani, a story telling art in Chhattisgarh, to Kathakali, in Kerala. Exploring all these art forms by conversing with artists who perform these, the film presents the socio-cultural background of each of these forms of story telling. Using interviews of various contemporary story tellers of India, it discusses how this art has survived in the contemporary society. It also shows how local legends and myths in the collective popular consciousness have influenced the religious motifs.

Kathalaya


Once upon a time, not so long ago, in June 1998, it rained heavily.
Three teachers hurried to take shelter under a grand old banyan tree. The rain didn’t seem to stop.
At first it was a casual chat about the weather and childhood memories of the rain.
And later the conversation drifted towards the concerns relating to education.
Why is teaching a monotonous exercise? What really makes the child interested in a subject?
Do we have a role to play? There was a pause. Why not storytelling?
Can we as teachers make a difference to evolve a more exciting curriculum, through stories?
Can we extend it to the underprivileged children, in the same manner?
The rain had stopped and the questions seemed endless.
The banyan tree stood witness to a new thought process evolving under its shade.
And that was just the beginning of a long journey…
Over the next few months, the group met more frequently to crystallize their thoughts into action.
They called themselves ‘Kathalaya ~ The House of Stories’.

to know more – http://kathalaya.org/
also – http://www.indianstorytellingnetwork.org/

facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kathalaya/239489306087919
read there blog at – http://kathalaya.org/about-us/blog/

E.L.F Project – Nitin das


E.L.F.Project is an initiative of One Earth Environment Foundation – a non-profit created to raise awareness and action for the environment. We hope to highlight problems and spread solutions for environmental challenges facing our world in an engaging, entertaining way.

Our aim is to use these fables to reach out to at-least 10 million people around the world. To build a community of like minded people who wish to make our Earth a greener, more peaceful place.

To know more – http://enchantedlands.wordpress.com
a
nd – http://www.elfproject.org/

facebook – https://www.facebook.com/elfproject


kathashala


Kathashala has been conceptualized as a storytelling institute, specializing in use of performing arts. It is committed to building the capacities of professionals in education, counsellors, therapists, trainers, executives and parents in the art of storytelling. The institute is the culmination of nearly two decades of experience in working with both children and adults.

Kathashala’s mandate is to generate awareness and appreciation for storytelling as a powerful method of understanding and learning. It aims to promote storytelling as a tool for parenting, learning aid to be used by educators to impart knowledge, values and life skills; therapists and counsellors to use it to understand their subjects better, build trust and help them to open up; for the corporate world to use it as a tool for problem solving, decision making, team building. Kathashala also aims at training individuals from all walks of life in the art of storytelling.

to know more – http://kathashala.wordpress.com

facebook           – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kathashala/177991298904651

Katha- translating stories, transforming lives


Katha, a nonprofit organization working with and in story and storytelling for 22 years now, has more than 300 published titles, including quality translations of fiction for adults and children; 21 Indian languages in the voices of over 600 writers and translators.
By seamlessly connecting grassroots work in education and urban resurgence, Katha brings children living in poverty into reading and quality education. To date, through its many programmes, Katha has brought schooling to 162,500 childrentrained 17,000 of them in IT, taught 90,000 women in income-generation and social activism skills, and brought the joy of reading to more than 6,000,000 children.

read more at – http://www.katha.org
or at                 – http://www.ilovereading.in/
facebook        – https://www.facebook.com/kathaorg

The kahani project


THE KAHANI PROJECT  is a not for profit organization that has one simple aim – to make stories more accessible to children across the world irrespective of their disabilities or socio-economic status. All there storytellers and team members are volunteers who contribute hours after work to achieve this simple aim.
Read more on the website —http://thekahaniproject.org/

connect to facebook page — https://www.facebook.com/TheKahaniProject

blog – http://thekahaniproject.org/category/the-kahani-blog/


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