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INDIA: Don Bosco Film Festival Awards Prizes to Youth-Created Short Films

(MissionNewswire) In March, the Salesian Rector Major Father Ángel Fernández Artime presented awards to the winners of the National Festival of Short Films: Don Bosco Youth Film Festival of India. The short film “Saavat” by Swapnil Rajashekar, was chosen as the best film among the 24 participants selected for the competition. The film festival gave budding filmmakers a unique opportunity to showcase their talents and highlight the challenges and struggles for youth through their short films.

“It was a wonderful opportunity for everyone in the organizing committee to express our love and gratitude towards our father and founder Don Bosco,” says Sabrina Alathi, coordinator of the film festival. “We received 248 short films from 24 states across India. The preliminary jury committee selected 24 short films for screening. Every film portrayed the idea of celebrating life, youth and the spirit of patriotism. The final jury panel then selected the best three films and also chose 10 short films under various categories. It was truly an extraordinary experience influencing youth across India.”

Film is a powerful medium that can communicate, educate, elevate and inspire viewers. The theme of the film festival was the celebration of youth in a positive and inspiring way, narrating stories of young people who face challenges and struggles in life with courage, determination and faith to emerge as inspiring individuals. The Don Bosco Youth Film Festival was organized by the Salesian Provincial Conference of South Asia together with Don Bosco Communications, South Asia.

The film festival was shown in 100 venues across 19 Indian states and was viewed by thousands of youth. Most of the participants in the festival were youth in Salesian programs, as well as alumni and film lovers within the community.

The winners of the film festival included the best picture “Saavat,” which was a 24-minute production based in rural India. The film spoke to the vulnerability of a female child and the uphill battle that she faced to be literate. It also touched on the impact of rape on the psyche of victims. “Paywat,” directed by Mithunchandra Choudhari, won the runner-up award. Like “Saavat,” the film focused on the plight of a young girl and revolved around the protagonist “Mayidi,” the daughter of a landless laborer who focused on education despite severe financial hardships.

“Backbone,” a film by Karunakaran C, finished in third place. The 21-minute long story focused on an aged farmer who was forced to sell his land to clear his debt. Poverty forced him to move to a larger town in search of a job where he encounters several hardships. Ramachandra Gaonkar’s “Selfie” won the award for the best story. The plot revolved around daily incidents faced by common man and revealed the perceptions of others based on appearance and clothes. In addition, the film “Kutub” won the award for best cinematography.

The Don Bosco Film Festival also gave awards for best actor and actress. Poo Ramu from “Backbone” won the award for best actor while Tanuja Kadam won the best actress award for “Baluta.”  In the best male child artist category, Chandra Kiran claimed top honors for his performance in “I Did It,” while Vaishnavi Tangade won the award for best female child artist for her performance in “Paywat.”

Salesian programs across India focus on education and workforce development programs to help youth gain an education and connect to long-term employment. Events like the Don Bosco Film Festival help youth to develop their skills and their talents while preparing them for the future.



ANS – India – The cinema: a powerful tool for the Salesian mission in South Asia