Article published in The New Indian Express

The quality of films produced during its workshops and the recognition these student films are receiving in film festivals across India and abroad are an indicator.

Four short films made by students of the Auroville Film Institute (AFI)  over the year 2021 have received accolades in film festivals.  

Swanand Kottewar’s ‘Haalat’ was selected in the 23rd Madurai International Documentary and Short Film Festival; while Soham Kundu’s ‘Aalo’ and Janet Juvan’s ‘Rajeshwari’  were selected in Port Blair International Film Festival in December 2021. 

Vipul Srivastava’s ‘Soul Continuum’ was selected in the Colorado International Scifi and Fantasy Film Festival in November 2021; These films were produced during the online filmmaking workshops under the mentorship of experimental maverick filmmaker, Kamal Swaroop. Another participant Girish Chandran, who developed his concept through the online workshop series won a film production grant from Filmocracy Foundation

It is no mean achievement for AFI which was started two and half years back in August 2019. AFI is a project of Timelines Auroville, registered under the Auroville Arts Service which is mapping innovative and imaginative cinema-centric learning journeys for its students and participants.

The quality of films produced during its workshops and the recognition these student films are receiving in film festivals across India and abroad are an indicator. 

So far the film institute has designed and offered more than 30 short courses and garnered more than 800 participants, said Richa Hushing, one of the co-directors and curriculum designers of AFI.

“The tools of filmmaking are not out of commoners’ reach anymore. People may not have pens in their pockets, but they have cameras… So everybody has access to the tools, best of the tools, however, how to access the consciousness with which we can operate these tools?” asked Richa Hushing.

“We try to design workshops that truly work towards the transformation of consciousness, that’s where the purpose of our cinema-centric learning journeys concur with the purpose of Auroville, which is transformation of consciousness” she added.

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