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From photo to video, adocumentary maker's journey

From his father wanting him to become an engineer, which made him take up non-medical in high school, to him discovering his inclination towards journalism. Navleen Kaur Lakhi writes

chandigarh Updated: Jan 21, 2014 12:59 IST
Navleen Kaur Lakhi
Navleen Kaur Lakhi
Hindustan Times

From his father wanting him to become an engineer, which made him take up non-medical in high school, to him discovering his inclination towards journalism, followed by doing a diploma in English Journalism from IIMC — Rajat’s real journey with visuals started as a budding photographer.

After enrolling himself at IIMC, he wanted to accomplish a documentary project for which he started researching various aspects of society. So far, Rajat has made one short film and seven documentaries including Promises, Vichoda, Mrig Trishna, Sadak Ke Us Par, Sukhna: A Lake of Emotions and Your Turn.

Famous journalists and media personalities such as Ravish Kumar and Anand Pradhan were a part of Sadak Ke Us Par, which has been screened at various film festivals, universities and colleges of Delhi and Chandigarh. Mrig Trishna was even nominated and screened at Jaipur International Film Festival 2012.

About his latest documentary, Arwil to Orwell…and The Journey Continues, Rajat says, “Most of us are unaware of Orwell’s India connection. He was born in Motihari, Bihar, which is mainly known for Gandhi ji’s Satyagraha, but people are not ready to preserve Orwell’s birthplace just because he was British.

But, if the state government and the localities make efforts to preserve that house of Orwell, it would prove to be beneficial for intellectuals and would boost tourism as well. So, to highlight this issue, I made this documentary with the help of a local NGO.” Rajat’s upcoming projects also include a documentary named Band Baja Bebasi.
As told to Navleen Kaur Lakhi

Rajat Sain 23 Documentary filmmaker Chandigarh



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School/college I attended: Tribune Model School, Sector 29, Chandigarh/GGDSD College, Sector 32, Chandigarh and Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi

Documentary making happened… I was in second year of my undergraduate degree in journalism when I started my first documentary project on honour killings. Earlier, I was into photography, but was always concerned with issues plaguing the society

First project: Documentary on honourkillings titled Promises, which earned appreciation by winning the first prize at SOCH, the annual media festival at Panjab University

Claim to fame: Recently made a 22-minute documentary called ‘Arwil to Orwell…and The Journey Continues’ based on famous writer, novelist and journalist George Orwell. It will be released on January 21, Orwell’s death anniversary by cabinet minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary in Bihar.

Best part about being a documentary maker: You are free to work upon a story with a particular angle. It feels good to interact with people, highlight their problems and present their lifestyle

The cause you care for: The underprivileged children of the society. With just six months left to live, I would… I would be working on a documentary! OK, jokes apart, I would like to spend quality time with friends and family, besides spending an entire day with Indian TV anchor and journalist Ravish Kumar

My present state of mind: Like a duck, calm on the surface but paddling under the water

My motto: To be an illustrious filmmaker

My secret indulgence: A bent towards spirituality

Pet peeve: My growing impatience to complete a certain project

My hero in real life: Ravish Kumar, Arvind Kejriwal and Saurabh Dwivedi

Beer or wine: None

If you wake up one day and realise you’ve turned into a woman, you would: Join Gulabi Gang

Can’t do without: Friends and family

I appreciate most about my friends: They are my best critics

My biggest addiction: Definitely my camera

Suggestion for budding documentary filmmakers: Be calm while working and focus on improving your performance rather than gaining fame

First Published: Jan 21, 2014 12:27 IST