Yesterday we went for a screening to Jyoti Sangh, not too far from Gandhi Ashram, a wonderful place with a courtyard in the middle , trees everywhere and a four storied building surrounding it. We were told our target audience is about 50 girls between the age of 13-25. They looked ambitious and the type to really come forward and make a film.
We started with the routine, speaking of different films, screening a few that were entered into the previous I am the Change competitions and a couple of others like ‘hostel holi’ and so on. Then we spoke about how to make a film, how its as simple as making a cup of tea. You first start with an idea, a want to make tea, or a film. Then you need all your ingredients, you get your production in place , then you make the tea, the production and then you finally strain the tea, the editing and post production phase. What a great process-oriented way of teaching filmmaking. For someone who thinks filmmaking is confusing and hi-fi and needs a lot of technical skill, this simple method of teaching makes everyone believe that filmmaking really isn’t that difficult, it is just as simple as making tea. If you have a mobile phone, a camera, a video recorder, a professional camera or anything else, you can make a film and it is such a powerful tool to spread a message, and what better than to spread one of love and development and growth starting out at the grassroot level with your local heroes, people who inspire you on a daily basis, and give you hope to go forward with small acts of kindness, no matter how small and insignificant they may seem to you, but every drop in the ocean counts.
So at the end of the session the girls were asked to come up and write on the whiteboard any one thing they do that makes them feel like they are the change.
Apprehensive initially, none of the girls came up, but after a lot of pursuing one girl called me to the side and asked shyly if she could write something, anything. I told her not to worry and that anything she writes is fine. It took a while but slowly the girls started coming up, one by one writing in Hindi English and Gujarati. By the end, every single person in the hall had written on the whiteboards, some together, ‘Yes, we are the change’. I thought that was beautiful, that there was a ‘we’ for the first time amongst the ‘I’s.
When we were finally leaving, one girl spoke of how a while back completing school beyond class 10 was a dream for her because of the situation at home, but because she is still studying and not only following but also living her dream, making a film is also a possibility and she thanked us for helping her realize the impact such social media can create on people’s lives.
So many others also wrote what they will do, not what they already do. It was nice to know that so many young girls were inspired by the films we screened and decided to take the initiative to bring about change in their lives.
Contributed by: Megha Bhaduri
Megha is currently volunteering with MAM Movies for the Summer. She is a second year design student , specializing in Digital Video Production at Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore. She enjoys creating videos, exploring google maps, reading on history, geography and diaspora issues. Her interest is in understanding how something is done and her work centers around random themes about which she feels strongly.