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Gate-crashing into shangri-la


Well, thats what we (me, soumik, R-kay, Kashan) did recently. and ended up spending 4 blissful days in Sonapani. Its a small village in the hills near Nainital. The place was secluded with only a few hotels and houses a little distance further away. Sonapani film festival; that's what got us here. I had little idea about it apart from what R-kay and soumik had told me earlier when we had met at Kunzum cafe in Hauz Khas.
It was a splendid affair - amazing hosts Ashish and Gurpal, brilliant filmmakers Amlan, Saba and Sanjay and a very intimate group of festival attendees who knew each other well. I tried to put together the footage i shot in those 4 days here and the result is this video.
For me the biggest insight in the 4 days was in way these brave film makers lead their lives. They had to fight apathy, financial crunch and a host of other problems and yet they carried on and went on to make some of the most amazing documentaries I have ever seen. Saba felt strongly about gender politics and it reflected in each of her frame in her films. Amlan's film and his life have intertwined and his fight is as much about his films as for his life. To witness an intelligent movie and then to understand the circumstance of the film making itself was a huge revelation. Every single of his movies has a sharply located human condition being questioned in a poetical manner. Each of his movies can spark a rebellion or two, they are that powerful.
It was a great honor to be in company with such passionate and talented people.

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