NEW DELHI – A premier production house of the Kashmir University recently bagged a national award at a prestigious film festival at the Indian capital New Delhi. According to the University spokesperson, the film ‘SECMOL – The School for Norphel’ won the best film award in education category at the second Woodpecker Film Festival and Forum organized at the India Habitat Centre on December 13 here.
The film is produced and directed by Dr. Shahid Rasool and Shafqat Habib at the EMMRC, University of Kashmir. This renowned centre aims at producing quality educational programs. The centre was established twenty-two years back and has produced over thousand educational films by date. Nine of its films have won awards earlier.
“The award carries citation, trophy and a cash prize,” the University spokesperson said. According to him, over hundred entries, from across the country, were received out of which 64 were short listed and screened during the three day film festival.
The film tells the story of Students Educational and Cultural Movement, which was founded by Sonam Wangchuk and some other young Ladakhis in 1988. This movement was launched to bring about reforms in the educational system and to bring down the percentage of failures in Ladakh.
“The film (SECMOL) was shot at Ladakh. It revolves around a Nobra boy, Norphel, who had failed in 10th grade. Norphel’s story is that of courage and the right environment provided by his School, the SECMOL. It is an alternate school at Leh which enrolls only 10th grade failures. It shapes and boosts their personality besides helping them pass the exams,” he said.
“The documentary film demonstrates how our educational system fails even the brightest and calls for relook on the curriculum, the course material and the techniques of teaching and learning. At Norphel’s school, the stress is more on learning then on scoring the marks,” he stated.
University’s Vice Chancellor – Prof Khurshid Iqbal Andrabi – while congratulating the EMMRC team termed it as “a moment of pride for all at KU”. Dean. Academic Affairs, Prof M A Wani and Registrar, Prof Zaffar A. Reshi congratulated the team for bringing laurels to the institution.
EMMRC, it may be added, has produced over 1000 ETV programmes, documentaries during the last two decades and has won 9 National level awards. Pertinently film “Global Warming -the catastrophe in making” produced and directed by Dr Shahid and Shafqat had won Best film award in 2010.
Woodpecker Film Festival and Forum is India’s premier competitive film festival focusing on documentaries and short films. The first edition of the festival was organized in 2013 in the backdrop of the completion of 100 years of India Cinema. The forum aims to showcase this rich mélange of visual creativity in the country and also to promote films, documentaries and advertisements focusing on socially pertinent themes like environment and wildlife, livelihoods, health, gender, education and children through this film festival.