Dharamshala: Two young filmmakers from Himachal Pradesh, one each from Assam, Manipur and Meghalaya have been picked for a fellowship program by Dharamshala International Film Festival to held in November.
The young fellows picked for the year are Siddharth Chauhan, an inedependent filmmake from Shimla, Piyush Kanga, an actor, director from Bilaspur, Sazzad Hussain, a filmmaker from Guwahati, Assam, Renuka Saraisam, a filmmaker from Imphal, Manipur and Jenifer Datta from Tura, Meghalaya.
Siddharth Chauhan is an independent filmmaker from Shimla. He started his journey in 2013 with Secret Corridor Pictures, a production that aims to make films with local talent in Shimla. He has to his credit a few short films – Boys Don’t Wear Nailpolish!, The Infinite Space, Papa, Pashi – which have travelled across the world as far as Sarajevo, England, USA, Belarus, Indonesia, New Zealand, China, Italy, Canada & France. Siddharth is currently writing his first feature screenplay.
Sazzad Hussain is filmmaker from Guwahati, Assam. His passion for photography began as a child when he discovered his father’s old camera and went on to study film in the SRM film school, Thane. He also trained as an actor at Anupam Kher Actor Prepares in Mumbai, and enjoys participating in street plays and theatre. He has made a number of short films of which his film, Choice, won him the Media Blitz prize in 2017.
Renuka Soraisam is a filmmaker from Imphal, Manipur, who also works as a graphic designer and event manager. A graduate in advertising from the Sophia College for women in Mumbai, she pursued her masters in mass communication at Manipur University. She is also associated with the Nachom Art Foundation, which she believes has given her a better understanding of contemporary expression.
Jenifer Datta, born in Tura, Meghalaya, has been making films since 2014. She has written, directed, edited four short films – Open/End, Where I’m Calling From and Little Things. Her latest short titled Thank You For Watching is currently competing at festivals. She is now penning her first feature length film.
Piyush Kanga is an actor / director from Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh. He is currently based in Shimla and has written and directed a number of short films, such as Stuck-ed and Dost. Dost was also screened as part of the community outreach programme at DIFF in 2016.
After announcing the young fellows for 2017, organisers of the festival Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam said:
As part of DIFF’s vision to promote independent cinema in the mountains, the fellowship program is targeted at young up-and-coming filmmakers from the Indian Himalayan region. The five selected film fellows are provided the opportunity to attend DIFF 2017 and participate in its various events, including screenings of the best of contemporary independent cinema, masterclasses and workshops held by visiting filmmakers and industry professionals. The selected participants will also have the opportunity to engage in special one-on-one mentor-ship sessions with two accomplished and recognized filmmaker. The fellowship program has been made possible this year with the support of the National Film Development Corporation of India.
Launched in 2012 by Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam, DIFF in 5 years has become one of India’s leading independent film festivals that draws audiences from across the world. DIFF 2017 is scheduled to be held from 2nd to 5th November.