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.

Why you should take your kids out of school !!


THEY DISAPPEAR FOR HOURS. WHEN THEY RETURN, THEIR BASKETS ARE HEAVY WITH SMALL TREASURES OF THE WORLD AND THEIR HEADS ARE FULL OF SMALL STORIES OF THEIR WANDERING: THE MOOSE TRACKS THEY SAW, THE FORKED MAPLE THEY SAT BENEATH TO EAT SNACKS.

This phrase above mentioned in the article made me remember my childhood days.

As it further mentions:

It is already obvious that unschooling is radically different from institutionalized classroom learning, but how does it differ from more common homeschooling? Perhaps the best way to explain it is that all unschooling is homeschooling, but not all homeschooling is unschooling. While most homeschooled children follow a structured curriculum.

 

The first incidence of compulsory schooling came in 1852, when Massachusetts required communities to offer free public education and demanded that every child between the ages of 8 and 14 attend school for at least 12 weeks per year. Over the next seven decades, the remaining states adopted similar laws, and by 1918, the transition to mandated public education was complete and from there on it spread to world.

With recent rise in awareness about compulsory education, several movements and people have risen up to the challenge to provide better model of education for our people, making industrial model obsolete.

To know more about alternative learning spaces in India scroll down a bit in our Alternative spaces section .

To read this beautiful article about the homeschooling adventures of Fin and Rye “WE DON’T NEED NO EDUCATION”  click here.

The Aloe Vera Cookbook


Aloe Vera is really quite an incredible plant. It is a succulent plant and part of the lily family (Liliaceae), the same family that garlic and onions belong to.
Different parts of the plant are used for different effects on the body and Aloe Vera has both internal and external applications.

Aloe Vera contains over 200 active components including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, polysaccharide, and fatty acids- no wonder it’s used for such a wide range of remedies. The bulk of the Aloe Vera leaf is filled with a clear gel-like substance, which is approximately 99% water.

Man has used aloe therapeutically for over 5000 years, and many traditional methods for using it has been developed.

    download (1) download     download (2) 

Here is one book in which we have collected some cooking recipes using this amazing plant —
  http://www.swaraj.org/shikshantar/aloeverabookfinal.pdf

Swapathgami magzine – WALKOUTS/WALKONS NETWORK


For those who have taken the bold and bright decision to walk out of schools, colleges, or other institutions of thought-control — and walk in to taking their learning and their lives back into their own hands…

for more info visit – http://www.swaraj.org/shikshantar/walkoutsnetwork.htm

Swaraj university, udaipur


Swaraj University was designed and birthed in 2010 as a two year learning programme for youth. The focus of the programme is on self-designed learning and on green entrepreneurship, including exploration of basic business skills within the context of ecological sustainability and social justice. Each person’s learning programme and curriculum is individualized according to his/her specific talents, questions and dreams. There is ample scope for learners to develop a multidisciplinary curriculum. We have developed and tested various learning materials and activities for self-designed learning. There is a strong focus on apprenticeship learning, leadership development and community living. In the area of community living, learners explore healthy and sustainable personal lifestyle choices, gift culture, co-creation and democratic decision-making. Decisions regarding day-to-day functioning is done through the form of consensus, with a space for each person in the Swaraj community, be that learner or facilitator, to express his/her voice.

http://www.swarajuniversity.org/