For an inter-school competition, five students made a film on a man who most of us must have seen at the Jubilee Hills Checkpost

It took them just two minutes and forty seconds to tell the story of a man who most of us must have seen at Jubilee Hills Check Post signal. It is the story of Sriram a roadside vendor who sells dusting cloths. Physically challenged as a result of a childhood accident, Sriram has only one arm. Yet, instead of being dependent on others to fetch him food, he is on his own. An entrepreneur of sorts, Sriram sells dusting cloths to save enough, so that he can open a small shop. With whatever he earns he also takes care of his family — wife and two sons.

Titled Zindgani — a story untold, the film is what five students from the Annapurna International School of Film and Media made for the 48 hour Inter-school Filmmaking Competition.

The team of five consisted of Akula Nishant Shiv, Akshat Sharma, Saikat Chakravarty, Deven Ahire and Tanya Joshi.

The film bagged the Best Film award for most suitable depiction of the theme at the competition section — Apne Dum Par. It’s a story of a common man - who lives life on his own. ‘“The idea was to go beyond the heroes projected on the 70mm screen; beyond masks, flying gadgets and the like. For once maybe we can open our eyes, to look around us, communicate with those who are physically present in our surroundings, and pass them a smile whenever we can.’ This is what our teachers explained to us, so that we got the theme right,” says Nishant Akula. And 48 gave us another chance to deal with the theme. The guidelines of the competition mentioned that we had to make a short film (of not more than 3 min 30 sec) with the theme Apne Dum Par.

“Sriram is a common sight at the Jubilee Check post almost everyday. Often that sight would inspire us, and our conscience would say: “Here’s a story that people should know about...” explains Nishant.

Describing the experience, Nishant says, “it was challenging and exciting. Until we spoke to Sriramwe didn’t realise how difficult life is for him and his family. But Sriram isn’t someone who gives up hope. He is educating his two sons with the help of funds from an NGO and wants to provide them a good life. Also after being adjudged as the best film from the whole lot who we competed with, gives us a very good feeling.”