That films are an integral part of our life is no hyperbole. Cinema, because of its wider reach and accessibility, is no less than a mirror which helps us reflect on a host of issues that the society comes across.
The likes of social media platforms such as YouTube have allowed amateur filmmakers and students to come forward and voice their concerns regarding anything and everything under the sun. From blood donation to physical disability to the ever-growing problem of child abuse, countless videos are being churned out by students in with an intent to mobilise public opinion and bring about a desirable change.
Here are a few notable mentions I came across on YouTube this weekend:
1. Disability is Only a State of Mind(Made by students of IP University (BJMC), Batch 2012-2015)
Developed and Produced by a bunch of journalism students. The seven-minute film throws ample light on how a student with a physical disability is looked down upon by his own classmates. Furthermore, the film also brings to light the stigma associated with the disability. The protagonist is repeatedly tormented by his own batchmates before proving his mettle in the most unusual manner.
Despite some crude camerawork, the message conveyed within the film is quite loud and clear. Also, the background music (given by Swiss musician Adrian Von Ziegler) complements the melancholic atmosphere created within the film.
2. The Saviours( Made by students of Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies)
Directed by Shivraj Singh, a student of VIPS in Delhi’s Pitampura area, the film sheds ample light on the positives surrounding blood donation. Despite being shot on a shoestring budget, the camerawork and background score are pretty much top notch. The men behind the camera have done a commendable job.
The film begins with a dramatized representation of an accident. The 5-minute long sequence featuring the accident is quite impactful and makes the viewer feel moved. Within five minutes, the documentary angle takes over and Dr. N.K. Bhatia, the Medical Director of the MJJ Blood Bank.
Made in collaboration with The Saviours Foundation, an NGO focusing on providing blood to accident victims and other patients, the short film beautifully portrays the need to inculcate a sense of sensitivity towards accident victims and all those in need of blood.
3. Juju: An Incredible Life in CIMR ( by Chandy Nanar, North Eastern Hill University, Shillong)
It is the longest film on the list. Juju: An incredible Life by Chandy Nanar Yogyaveedu brings the viewer closer to Joy Mathew, a lad man suffering from mental ailments. The short film, produced in collaboration with the Central Institute for Mental Retardation (CIMR) shows us the inspiring journey of Mr. Joy Mathew.
Joy Mathew, the documentary’s heart and soul, overcame not just mental ailments but also the stigma associated with them on his way to becoming a mature and confident individual. The documentary features interviews with his mother (who happens to be a doctor) and father (who is an advocate).
4. Young India( By Green Emerald Productions, Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies 2015)
Once again, Shivraj Singh dons the director’s hat and brings us this six-minute masterpiece. Shot in a moving bus, the short film attempts to instill a sense of responsibility within the hearts of the urban youth.
The film begins with two friends (a boy and a girl) talking while waiting for the bus to arrive. After the bus arrives and both our protagonists board it, some unwelcoming frowns and stares by their co-passengers can be seen greeting them.
The fact that India is a country of paradoxes is portrayed beautifully within the film. A couple of women can be seen muttering words of wisdom but their words are as fragile as their actions.
The overall background of the short happens to be quite bright and vivid. Also, Shivraj Singh Talwar is the star of the show, behind the camera as well as in front of it.