Shivaâ€™s Abode â€“ Shirikhand Mahadev, a documentary film by a Shimla based filmmaker depicting pilgrims making an annual arduous journey to pay obeisance to their overbearing god at the peak, has been shortlisted for the Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival â€“ 2011 award.
The film festival is held to mark the birth anniversary of Dada Saheb Phalke, considered to be the father of Indian Cinema that falls on 30th April.
Speaking about the 30 minute film, filmmaker Mayank Ranjan Gupta says, “hill legends hold that the 18,500 feet high Shrikhand peak in Satluj valley is a sacred spot for Lord Shiva – one of the presiding deities in Hindu pantheon, is said to reside and meditate there.
He adds, the film tries to capture the essence of a pilgrimâ€™s progress as he makes his way through dense forests, gushing waters streams, sacred meadows and sometimes treacherous footpaths on the 70 kilometer two way journey to pay obeisance to the residing God in the mountain.
Mayank to his credit has made 15 documentary films, starting with getting a unique opportunity to showcase Apple, Pride of Himachal at the International short film and video festival at Oberhusain â€“ Germany in 2000. “There has been no looking back after that,” says the filmmaker.
Having worked as an assistant director on The Sacred Thread, a Hollywood production, Manyak’s other widely acclaimed documentary films include Image behind the Image and New Frontiers.
He has also documented on film of what used to be a tribal custom about human sacrifice â€“ In The Name of God â€˜Bhundaâ€™, that symbolically is still conducted in some hill valleys from time to time.
Along with Shivaâ€™s Abode, other films shortlisted in the professional category for the award include The Holy Wives by Delhi based filmmaker Ritesh Sharma, Closer by Mumbai based filmmaker Meghna Gulzar with a Prtish Nandy Communications production banner, Nilamadhaba by Films Division filmmaker Dalip Patnaik, Melting Paradise by filmmakers Ajay Bedi and Vijay Bedi from the famed Delhi based Bedi Films studios and Where the streets have no name by Shanghai (China) based filmmaker Vijay Kumar Mirchanani.