Showcasing India's soft power
Capturing myriad colours of India, India is a web based initiative of the Public Diplomacy Division of the Ministry of External Affairs, released five short films produced by Anurag Kashyap, Monday evening. The five films that represent the essence of 21st century India through its youth will be available on Youtube alongwith the other films curated from all over the world. Portraying India’s love for cricket, Hidden Cricket by Shlok Sharma, was screened amidst an august gathering comprising, the Minister of External Affairs, Salman Khurshid; the renowned filmmaker, Anurag Kashyap, and other dignitaries.
Democratising the idea of film-making, this online platform seeks to represent the virtues, culture and the spirit of India, to engage a global audience. In its two years long run, it invited amateur and professional artistes from all over the world to describe the idea of India. The Public Diplomacy Division’s campaign has been a call for imagination to complete the thought, ‘India is’, to share one’s vision of India.
From a manhole to the window panes of buildings, how a cricket ball takes over an entire cityscape makes for a crisp and entertaining experience in Hidden Cricket. It encapsulates the idea of a cricket crazy nation by ending bang on with the note: ‘That’s how we play’. The other four films are : Geek Out by Vasan Bala, Moi Murjani by Anubhati Kashyap, Epiphany by Neeraj and Chai by Geetanjali Rao. With an underlying idea of India, the four delve into various subjects: Geek out dwells on the existence of our alter ego in the age of internet; Moi Murjani brings you a slice of life of a spirited independent mother from Patiala; Epiphany is a journey of a separated couple with a twist, and Chai is a riveting montage of different people making tea while sharing a part of their history.
Speaking on the occasion, Kashyap said, ‘All I had to do was, round up all these creative people in my office and ask them to go back to where they came from.’ He commended the young filmmakers who came across as five different personalities celebrating the diversity of India through their work.
‘This wave of digital cinema and internet has changed the way things worked. With no pressure of recovering money from this venture, their creative energies have got a huge backing’, added Kashyap in a note of thanks to the ministry and its partners. He cited the example of Geetanjali Rao, who had won three critics’ week award at Cannes for her film Printed Rainbow back in 2006, to emphasise how important it is to give an impetus to such directors.
‘We are at a cusp of change as we are moving towards a demographically young India. Through democratic efforts, we can try and find the best answers to the conflicts faced by our nation,’ said Salman Khurshid, while awarding the winners of ‘India is’- global video challenge 2012 at the ceremony. In his closing remarks, he applauded the celebration of Indian youth by saying, ‘ India is, is a wonderful way of saying that India is and nothing more needs to be added to it’.