India Heritage Walk Festival 2018 : Online film fest opens with Ray's Rabindranath Tagore

A scene from Satyajit Ray's documentary on Rabindranath Tagore.
A scene from Satyajit Ray's documentary on Rabindranath Tagore.
Biographies of timeless legends, the stories of forgotten men and women, vanishing traditions, and unseen vignettes of India captured through the lens of the wandering filmmaker feature in the line-up of documentaries that will be screened throughout February during the month-long Online Heritage Film Festival.
The film screenings are part of the India Heritage Walk Festival 2018, a multi-city event organized by Sahapedia, the online encyclopedia of Indian arts and culture, and Yes Culture, the cultural division of Yes Global Institute, a practising think tank of Yes Bank, to encourage people to explore the tangible and intangible heritage of their cities and towns.
A total of 25 films, including well-known classics as well as entries selected by a panel of eminent arts and culture practitioners, including renowned dancer and former Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) head Leela Samson, are in the line-up for the festival which opened on Thursday (February 1) with Satyajit Ray's award-winning 1961 Films Division documentary on Rabindranath Tagore.
Sahapedia will release one film nearly every day throughout the month on its YouTube page  at 10:00 am, and each is an exploration of a remarkable facet of the sub-continent’s heritage in the form of people, arts, traditions or architecture.
Weavers of Maheswar (2016) by Keya Vaswani and Nidhi Kamath tells the story of people who’ve worked hard to revive a vanishing handloom craft; The Sarangi- Story of a museum (2015) by Manoj Bhandare and Raju Hittalamani is a journey through Kathmandu's museum of music and musical instruments from Nepal and The Battle of Bhima Koregaon (2017) by Somnath Waghamare celebrates the valour of the forgotten Mahar (untouchable) soldiers who overthrew the Peshwa rule in Maharashtra.
The lives of legends like Kalamandalam Gopi (1999), the Dhrupad maestros of the Dagar family (Dagarvaani - 1993), and Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra (Bhavantarana – 1991) are documented in some of the classics, while other films introduce viewers to lesser-known gems like The Shillong Chamber Choir (2008) ; Mystique of Murshidabad (2014); Little Magazines of Voices (2014)and Hyderabadi tryst with Ittar (2017).
The screened films will be available for online viewing throughout the month.
The film festival is one among the many events scheduled for IHWF 2018 in February, 2018. The month-long, multi-city event features nearly 70 public engagement events, including heritage walks (themed, curated and guided tours conducted by experts), baithaks (talks), workshops and instameets in nearly 20 cities, focusing on diverse aspects such as architecture, food, heritage, crafts, nature, and art that make up the cultural fabric of our country. Details of IHWF 2018 are available here.
Vaibhav Chauhan, Festival Director (IHWF) and Secretary, Sahapedia, said, “When we made a film festival a part of India Heritage Walk Festival, it was an attempt to resonate with Sahapedia's vision of providing varied forms of content on our rich heritage and culture. While there is tremendous amount of multimedia content on Heritage, that deserves and requires promotion, there is much still to be documented in an authentic and comprehensive fashion. We hope to encourage this through the film festival, and highlight Sahapedia's role in providing a platform for creative work in this domain.”
Rana Kapoor, MD & CEO, Yes Bank and Chairman, Yes Global Institute, said, “India is blessed with a rich heritage and cultural history, which is abundantly manifested in monuments and architectural sites across our country. Civil society participation in our nation’s heritage, aided by activities such as heritage walks, is integral to the preservation and conservation of these sites. Such heritage tourism initiatives, with the whole hearted participation and involvement of local communities and citizens, has the potential to instill immense national pride and further the agenda of heritage development.”
Preeti Sinha, Glocal Convenor, Yes Global Institute and Senior President, Yes Bank, said, "As we move towards a ‘Digital India’, our vast and rich cultural heritage needs to leverage technology for the new digital age. Digital audio guides for heritage walks, videos and info-graphics for social media platforms and high quality images of arts and monuments on app based platforms are changing the way we consume and absorb India’s heritage. The online heritage film festival of India Heritage Walk Festival is one such initiative to document and promote the various facets of Indian civilization from some of the most enterprising film-makers. The IHWF is a free festival for the people of India. We hope our citizens use this opportunity to reconnect with their past and its rich creative history to build a new digital future."

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