Documentary Films in Chhattisgarh

Chola Maati Ke Ram : Nageen Tanvir – Live At Blue Frog

Posted on December 26, 2010. Filed under: Documentary Films in Chhattisgarh | Tags: , , , |

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A film on Verrier Elwin

Posted on February 12, 2010. Filed under: Documentary Films in Chhattisgarh | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Mumbai based filmmaker Biswajeet Bora have made a documentary film on British anthropologist Dr. Verrier
Elwin who came to India 20 yrs. before Independence and served the original inhabitants of this land with selfless dedication. Elwin dedicated his whole life to those people who were neglected by the national workers and
missionaries and exploited by the British Government.

The duration of the film is 45 Mins.

You may visit our website :

Filmmaker had worked with Internationally acclaimed filmmaker Jahnu Barua for six yrs.

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Farmer Suicides (low res version)

Posted on January 31, 2010. Filed under: Documentary Films in Chhattisgarh | Tags: , , , |

With changing rain patterns, introduction of GM seeds and rising costs of living, small farmers in India get forced into taking loans. Unable to repay the borrowed money, many such farmers give up and end their lives.

200,000 such suicides have been reported in the period between 1997 and 2007 alone.

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When the State Declares War on the People

Posted on January 31, 2010. Filed under: Documentary Films in Chhattisgarh | Tags: , , , , , , , |

When the State Declares War on the People

A 15 minute Trailer on the Human Rights Violations in Chhattisgarh resulting from Operation Green Hunt

Director: Gopal Menon

art 1

part 2


We have been hearing many stories about the human rights violations before and after Operation Green Hunt was announced. Allegations and counter-allegations have been going around. Fact-finding investigations have uncovered the atrocities security forces are committing in these areas, but now those very findings are being questioned.

At such a time it is crucial to present the reality and tear the veils obscuring the truth. When the State Declares War on the People is a 15-minute trailer by Gopal Menon based on his recent coverage of the ground reality in Chhattisgarh. This short film contains exclusive interviews with victims and their testimony including 1 ½ year old Suresh who had three fingers chopped off his left hand, an old man who was electrocuted and whose flesh was ripped off with knives, women raped by Special Police Officers and CRPF. The film also presents the views of Arundhati Roy and Mahesh Bhatt, two eminent citizens who have been closely following developments in Chhattisgarh. The clear intention of the State – to wipe out all resistance through terror in the name of fighting the Maoists – is demonstrated in this film.

About the Director

Gopal Menon is an activist-filmmaker focusing on caste, communalism and nationality. He was arrested twice while trying to go to Lalgarh and beaten with rifle butts and lathis. He was detained in Dantewada too. This is a trailer of a larger film on the Indian State’s war on the people.

Some of Menon’s earlier films are Naga Story: The Other Side of SilenceHey Ram!! Genocide in the Land of GandhiPAPA 2(about disappearances in Kashmir) and Resilient Rhythms (a rainbow overview of the Dalit situation) amongst others.

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Habib Tanvir

Posted on June 8, 2008. Filed under: Documentary Films in Chhattisgarh | Tags: , , , |

Director of the Naya Theatre Company, which he founded in 1959.


Bhopal Movie (2008) (pre-production)

The Rising: Ballad of Mangal Pandey (2005) (as Tanveer Habib) …. Bahadur Shah Zafar
… aka Mangal Pandey (India: Hindi title)
… aka Mangal Pandey: The Rising (India: English title)

Mehndi (1998) (as Habib Tanwar)

The Burning Season (1993) …. Raja Sahib

Prahaar: The Final Attack (1991)
… aka The Blow (International: English title)

Hero Hiralal (1988)

Yeh Woh Manzil To Nahin (1987) …. Akhtar Baig

Gandhi (1982) (as Habib Tanveer) …. Indian barrister
… aka Richard Attenborough’s Film: Gandhi (USA: complete title)

Staying On (1980) (TV) …. Dr Mitra
… aka Great Performances: Staying On (USA: series title)

Foot Path (1953)

Rahi (1953) …. Ramu
… aka The Wayfarer
… aka Two Leaves and a Bud

Charandas Chor (1975) (The Thief Charandas)

Direction Shyam Benegal; Screenplay Shama Zaidi Based on Habib Tanvir’s retelling of a famous Rajasthani folk tale. Songs were by Habib Tanvir and most of the dialogues were improvised by the folk artistes.

Charandas Chor

Charandas Chor

Directed by

Shyam Benegal

Produced by

Children’s Film Society of India

Written by

Vijaydan Detha (org. story)
Shyam Benegal & Shama Zaidi (Screen Adaptation)


Smita Patil, Lalu Ram, Sunder

Music by

Nand Kishore Mittal

Release date(s)


Running time

156 min





Charandas Chor (Charandas the Thief) is 1975 children’s film made by noted director Shyam Benegal, based of the famous play by Habib Tanvir, which itself was an adaptation of a classical Rajasthani folktale by Vijaydan Detha. Lyrics of the film were also by Habib Tanvir.

The film starred, Smita Patil, Lalu Ram, Madanlal and Habib Tanvir.


The film is derived from a classic folk tale, originally narrated by Vijaydan Detha, and interpreted as folk play by Habib Tanvir. The film charts the tumultuous life of a petty thief, Charandas (Lalu Ram), who makes four vows to his Guru, that he would never to eat in a gold plate, never to lead a procession that is in his honour, never to become a king and never to marry a princess, thinking all of them are far out possibilities for him. Later, his guru adds a fifth one – never to tell a lie and sets him of on his life’s journey which leads him to a kingdom, where the turn of events make him famous, and eventually he is offered the seat of political power which he has to refuse. Later, the local princess (Smita Patil) gets enchanted by him, and proposes to marry him. This is when his refusal costs him his life. As he is put to death, he illustrates the inherent paradox in human existence, where truthful existence becomes an impossiblilty, for the truthful and the accidentally truthfuls, alike.

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Posted on June 8, 2008. Filed under: Documentary Films in Chhattisgarh | Tags: , , , , , , , , |


Her films on Chhattisgarh:

1. EKTAAL OF METAL & CALY probing on the ancient lost –wax process of metal casting of jhara community of Chattisgarh. Telecast on DD NETWORK AND BHOPAL DOORDARSHAN

2. RAIGARH LAND AND PEOPLE A District tribal and cultural profile of RAIGARH CHHATTISGARH focusing on the marginal people of this region.

3. ANUKAMPAN DOCUMENTARY 65 MINTS on mingling of kathak tradition of Chhattisgarh with local folk forms of Madhya Pradesh and exploitation of tribals here






4. AN ODE TO DEAR SUNITA, a docu-feature FUNDED BY JAN VRIJMAN FUND, IDFA, AMSTERDAM on little girl performers in migrant entertainment groups in chattisgarh who are sold by their parents


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Vanishing Giants

Posted on January 3, 2008. Filed under: Documentary Films in Chhattisgarh | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Vanishing Giants

Winner of the Panda or Green Oscar Award at Wildscreen 2004.

The brutal capture, torture and subsequent death of a young tusker in a capture operation authorized by the government prompted Mike Pandey to stop filming his documentary on ‘Elephants in Crisis’ and turn it into a news feature.

This news feature exposes the cruel and archaic methods of capture being used with no concern for the animal, a protected and endangered species.

The news feature is a protest and demand for immediate cessation of capture of elephants in this brutal way and a call for policy changes if elephants are to be protected.

Within 3 days of the release of this news feature the Government of India suspended all capture of wild elephants. Individuals in charge of the botched capture operation were suspended.

The news created international outrage International news agencies picked it and activists from all over the world joined in triggering a global signature campaign.

In India changes in policies and rules were made at a national level ensuring that all future captures take place with modern facilities and in the presence of experts to avoid trauma and cruelty after capture. Elephant welfare became top priority.

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The Last Migration – Wild Elephant Capture In Sarguja

Posted on January 3, 2008. Filed under: Documentary Films in Chhattisgarh | Tags: , , , , , , , |

The Last Migration – Wild Elephant Capture In Sarguja

This film was the first Asian film to win the world’s most prestigious award – The Green Oscar – Panda Award at the Wildscreen, 1994. It subsequently went on to win seven other international awards.

The Last Migration depicts a 42-day wild elephant capture operation in Madhya Pradesh, India.

Driven out of their home range in Bihar, due to excessive deforestation; a herd of wild elephants migrated to eastern Madhya Pradesh 300 kms away; where the sterile teak plantations, devoid of diversity, could not sustain the herd. Desperate for sustenance they went on a rampage and created havoc amidst the terrified tribals of the remote district of Sarguja – where elephants in the wild have been unheard of, for more than a century. Since 1988, 45 people had been killed by the herd and unabated devastation of their fields and homes left the villages bereft of their livelihood. The herd was finally captured in 1993.

The film portrays the man-animal conflict and its repercussions; the tussle between the ancient pachyderm and the tribals of the forest, which is a manifestation of a deeper and more vicious cycle; the disruption of the balance in Nature, on which rests the harmony of existence – the devastation of this critical framework, by mankind’s relentless and unsustainable obsession with power and development.

Last Migration led to the establishment of Elephant Foundation-India

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Maoists unleash publicity war

Posted on January 3, 2008. Filed under: Documentary Films in Chhattisgarh |

K. Srinivas Reddy

Propaganda war: A video grab from the documentary released by the Maoists shows rebels training at an obstacle course in Bastar district of Chhattisgarh. HYDERABAD: The Maoists seem to be adopting the latest technology in their bid to strengthen their armed struggle. They have now launched a publicity blitzkrieg to enlist youth into their fold by circulating a one-hour documentary on their “military successes” in the Bastar district of Chhattisgarh.VCDs containing the documentary are in circulation in Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and other States. The documentary is primarily intended to encourage youth to join the ranks of the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), the military wing of the Communist Party of India (Maoist).The documentary urges viewers to support the cause of the Maoists and join the PLGA in protecting the “rights of the adivasis” in Bastar “being ruthlessly exploited by successive governments.” Intelligence officials are worried about the propaganda war, for which there is neither an answer from the Government nor a counter-strategy from the security forces.The documentary, a copy of which is available with The Hindu, not only shows the preparations of the PLGA fighters but also live footage of the raid on the Murkinagar police outpost in Bijapur district on April 16, 2006. During the raid, seven policemen and 10 Special Police Officers were killed, and 49 weapons, including a light machine gun and thousands of bullets, were seized by the Maoists. The footage shows the ease with which the PLGA fighters mounted the attack and overran the police camp amid gunfire and the crackle of wireless sets used by them to coordinate the movement of their assault teams. Explosion of hand grenades, rapid fire from an LMG, orders being shouted for advancing towards the camp and firing …, the documentary captures every detail, just like the war movies.The documentary also dwells on the endurance and fitness modules, and weapons and combat training of the PGLA men.“The documentary would certainly appeal to the youth as it projects an extremely positive image of the Maoist rebels. It seeks to drive home the message that the Maoists are in no way inferior to the security forces,” a top officer said.

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IRON IS HOT (Loha garam hai)

Posted on December 7, 2007. Filed under: Documentary Films in Chhattisgarh | Tags: , , , , |

IRON IS HOT ( Loha garam hai) Is a story of how people survive with India‘s fastest polluting� Sponge Iron Industry

This industry is relatively new. Staring with 3 plants in 1985, it has rapidly multiplied to 206 plants in 2005 and very soon the number will be 430, unofficial this figure is still higher.
These industries are mostly in Orissa , Chatisgarh , Jharkhand and W.Bengal and in small numbers in Goa, Maharastra and Karnataka.

The major problem is in the production process. While in the rest of the world it is manufactured using gas base plant which is cleaner and most resource efficient technology, In India 80% of the sponge iron is produce with coal base plants which is extremely polluting and are graded in �Red category� industry and can cause serious health hazards.

A 100 TPD plant produces 250 tones of garbage every day. No pollution control board keeps any account where this garbage is disposed. They are dumped near agriculture field, by the side of highway or at the bank of rivers which then ultimately flows in the stream.
The plants emit poisonous gas and heavy metals like cadmium, nickel, manganese which are harmful for human being.

Due to soil and water pollution agricultural activities within the 5 km radius of sponge iron plants is seriously effect and there is drastic reduction of the agricultural yield.

Cattle are eating the grasses and leaves cover with black dust get ill and die, and there is reduction in the milk production.

The film captures how governmental machinery is tilted towards the industry. The administration organizes �Public hearing� where although over wellbeing majority oppose the construction of the plant, the government report shows �people have agreed�.

There are some rays of hope. Peoples protest in Chouranga village near Raipur (Chhattisgarh ) has successfully stopped production in a plant, same is the story of Malampuzha sponge iron company in Palakad district of Kerala where a local panchayat objects and the Kerala government stood up with the panchayat Goa High Court in November 2006 passes stay order for some sponge iron plants.
The film documents the people effort to save their land and livelihood.
Sastri Nagar(2nd lane)
Kanke Road
Ranchi 834008
India 0651-2231693
email akhra@rediffmail. com

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