Documenting craft

When the World Crafts Council tried to introduce craft education to schools, the first thing the teachers asked was: Do you have films we can show them?

“We didn't have any archive of films on Indian crafts. Nothing that would capture the attention of children. So why not have a film contest, we thought,” says Gayatri Srikanth, project coordinator for the International Crafts Film Contest, organised by EXIM Bank and the World Crafts Council as part of Kaivalam, the world crafts summit.

“We wanted to get films from around the world,” says Usha Krishna, president of WCC. “So that students can see for themselves and understand what a basket looks like in Panama, in Ecuador and in India... We don't expect students to become craftspersons after watching these films, but we expect them to support crafts because they would know the effort that has gone behind creating it and also understand the value of it,” she explains.

Ever since the WCC announced the contest in May and reached out to colleges and universities around the world through social media platforms and its other regions, about 70 students from 26 different countries registered for it online. The students were asked to pick any one of the three topics — ‘Crafts — a fight for survival’, ‘Crafts — the magic of creation’, and ‘Crafts — a signpost of culture’.

The contestants were told to come up with documentaries that were less than 10 minutes long and submit a link online. “We mentioned that it could be of any craft indigenous to their country or about a living legend or craftsman who was the last of his kind or just a documentation of the process,” adds Gayatri.

Out of the 70 entries, 14 were short-listed and screened for the jury comprising Anne Le Clercq (Belgium),advisor to the Board of WCC; Raja Fuziah (Malaysia), batik expert; Surapee Rojanavongsee, regional president of WCC for Asia Pacific (Thailand); Dr.Ghada Hijjawi, vice-president of WCC for Asia Pacific (Kuwait); Latha Menon (Chennai), ad filmmaker; B.Kailasam (Chennai), documentary filmmaker; and Bharat Bala (Mumbai),filmmaker.

The winners will be announced during the inauguration of the summit. The films will be screened at select venues during the summit and the top three winners will be awarded with a citation and a cash award – Rs. 5 lakh for the first, Rs. 2.5 lakh for the second and Rs. 1.5 lakh for the third.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 12:50:47 PM |

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