Srinagar: Acclaimed Ladakhi short film “Sekool” was screened at the inaugural edition of the Himalayan Film Festival in Ladakh union territory on Sunday.
The short, which was part of the official selection line-up at various international and national film festivals including the Clermont Ferrand International Short Film Festival and the Short Shorts (Film Festival & Asia 2020), was presented at PictureTime’s inflatable theatre in Ladakh.
Written and directed by Stenzin Tankong, the film received a great response upon its screening from the audience in the jam-packed cinema hall.
A film about the people of Changthang, a Nomadic tribe of southeastern Ladakh, “Sekool” is set in a remote region of the Himalayas.
Tankong, who is also the editor of the short, described “Sekool” as the story of a child from one of the nomadic tribes who is excited about going to school, until he learns that it would mean leaving behind everything he has ever known or loved.
“I hope I have done justice in capturing the essence of these people and what they stand for. This film is my effort on portraying the simplicity of the wants of every human being, despite their diverse social, cultural, economic and geographical backgrounds,” the director said at the film’s screening.
The short was shot entirely in Ladakh, but the post-production work was completed in Mumbai because of the lack of technical equipment available in the union territory, he further said.
“Sekool” had an all-Ladakhi crew and cast, Tankong said, adding the actors were untrained and did an amazing job despite facing the camera for the first time.
“The film has travelled all over the world but today the film is being screened here at the Himalayan Film Festival which gives me great pride and joy to have it here amongst my own audience for whom I played this film, it’s a great pleasure for me,” he added.
“Sekool” was also shortlisted by the jury out of 33 Ladakhi film entries for the special competition section for short films and documentaries at the ongoing festival to recognise talented filmmakers in the Himalayan region of the country. The results are awaited.
Other Ladakhi films such as “20 Years”, directed by T Wangdus Lonpo and D Wangchuk Mogol, and “Walking with the Wind”, directed by Praveen Morchhale, are also set to be screened at the movie gala.
Sidharth Malhotra’s latest release “Shershaah”, a biopic on Kargil war hero Captain Vikram Batra, was screened at the opening ceremony of the festival on September 24, while “The Shepherdess of Glacier” will bring the curtains down on September 28.
The five-day festival is part of the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebrations.