Auroville Film Institute announces 5 weeks Hands On – Documentary Film Workshop with Richa Hushing & Rrivu Laha.

The workshop will be in Rann of Kutch – in the vast salt marshes of the Great Rann in the Thar desert – one of the largest in the world; spanning the border between India and Pakistan. Alongside the Banni Grasslands of the Little Rann

A basic orientation of documentary filmmaking with a special focus on the ethnographic, experimental and observational film form; understanding the cinematics and improving command over narrative construction, a practice of videography and editing will be a part of the workshop, so as to enable the participant to make his/her own short film. However, filmmaking will be dealt with clearly as an application (of one’s understanding and experience of the land). The workshop will focus equally on exploring the landscape and developing an understanding of the cultural ecology of Rann of Kutch, connecting with its people, experiencing the space and time, and discovering their tangible and intangible heritage. 

Like most AVFI workshops, this one too is anchored in the principle of 3S : Self – Surrounding – Story. At the intersection of the self and surrounding, what are the emerging stories? We will work towards building up cinematic narratives that spring from an authentic interaction of the self with the surrounding.

Challenging questions like the purpose of filmmaking or the position of the filmmaker, for instance, being an insider or an outsider, the perks of the position, the point of entry or the line of enquiry, the field of access, the sensitivity or the dynamism while approaching the subject – will all be a part of the workshop. The workshop thus will have an approach of personal and reflective anthropology – while working out practical processes of filmmaking. 

Bhuj, Dholavira, Dhro, Lakhpat Border and adjoining areas will be explored for fieldwork for the workshop, while the village of Hodko will be our base camp. 

Richa Hushing and Rrivu Laha, both documentary filmmakers, will be the directors of the workshop – aided by scholars and subject experts joining the workshop for special lectures and field visits. 

The 35 day workshop (14 Nov to 18 Dec 2022) will be conducted broadly in 5 units.

  1. Introduction – 3 Days
  2. Landscape Orientation + Basic Film Orientation – 9 days 
  3. Developing Ideas + Forming groups + Pitching for films – 9 days 
  4. Production – 5 days
  5. Post Production – 9 days

Production of short films and ancillary media artifacts thematically bound will be the output – ready for exhibition at the culmination of the workshop.