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Field to Factory: Film and ethnography of industrialisation in Chhattisgarah, Central India

1999 – 2002 Jandarshan the training centre

Productions made or begun as part of the EU funded  Bhilai training project

The series ‘Bhilai Stories’ was completed with the help of a C-Sap grant after  EU funded project finished and Jandarshan moved to Raipur.


Heads and Tales – 22 mins. d. Ajay T.G. & Alpa Shah

A film about the relationship between tradition and politics. The ‘Parha Mela’, a festival in Jharkhand, was begun to symbolise tribal unity and system of  socio-political governance. From 1990 it became two separate events, each supported by a different party politician. Why?  The film is based on field research by Dr. Alpa Shah for her PhD from the London School of Economics.


Gammat – aprox 20 mins. d. Pankaj Sudheer Mishra (unfinished)

A fiction film on ‘Nacha’ and it’s performers. It sympathises with a ‘Nacha’ artist who witnesses that ‘Nacha’ is losing its attraction and identity.


Durga or Saraswati. Aprox 30 mins. d. Tejendra Tamrakar (unfinished)

A comparison between the work methods, leadership style and achievements of two women Sarpanch.


Bhilai Stories – a series of documentaries, mostly based on the trainees’ own families, about people living and working in and around Bhilai.

Screened at the Factories and Field Conference, Göttingen, 2001;

C-Sap workshops Manchester and London 2002. Some Individual films o screened in universities, festivals and events in India, Europe and USA.


1. Everyday Tales (Chhoti Chhoti Baatein)– 32 mins..

 d. Kamlesh Kumar Sahu.

The impact of the B.S.P. in the region is observed through  a study of the  filmmaker’s grandfather, a retired B.S.P. worker.   He remembers  people’s reactions and fears at the time the Bhilai Steel Plant was built and how some adapted and benefitted.


2. The Journey (Safar) – 16 mins..

d.s Ajay T.G. and Rita Chandel

Rita explores her own relationship with her father and talks with her two sisters about their experiences as daughters and their resistance to the discrimination which women experience..


3. Dear Daughters (Ladliyaan)– 12 mins.. d. Sarasvati Adhikari

The filmmaker’s tribute to her mother’s courage and to her determination to give her five daughters a good start in life and to bring them up to be self-reliant.


4. A Village (Ek Gaon Jara Sa) – 20 mins.. d. Devendra Shukla

The filmmaker’s view of his home village where his father, formerly the schoolteacher, is now elected Sarpanch.


5. Living Memory (Sambandham) - 35 mins.. d. Shobha Ajay

The Filmmaker reflects on her roots in an Andra Pradesh Christian community, on her marriage into a very different immigrant family from Kerala and grieves for her beloved father who died of cancer during the filming.


6. Letters and Learning (Ka Kha Ga) – aprox 35 mins.. d. Ajay T.G.

Explores attitudes to literacy through the experiences of a successful but illiterate retired BSP employee


7. Me, You, Us.   28 mins..  d. Raghvendra Chand Singh

About the film-maker’s father, a BSP employee and union leader, about the family’s migrations and their home in Uttar Pradesh.

Sponsored projects undertaken just before the end of  the EU funded Bhilai  training project

Famous Chhattisgarh personalities Eleven short films. - 11 x 3 mins.. (For Chhattisgarh Samvaad)
1. Shaheed Virnarayan Singh 2. Yatiyatan Lal 3. Gundadhur 4. Mini Mata 5. Guru Ghasidas 6. Pt. Ravishankar Shukla 7. Pt. Sundar Lal Sharma 8. Raja Chakradhar Singh 9. Dau Mandraji 10. Khubchand Baghel 11. Chandu Lal Chandrakar

Indradhanush Abhiyan.   2 x 30 secs. Two TV spots for Chhattisgarh Government's Rainbow Inoculation Campaign.



Victory (Jeet) – 17 mins..  d. Ajay T.G.

A short fiction for Malaria Prevention.


Triumph of Labour (Shramev Jayate) – 14 mins.

d. Raghvendra Chand Singh

A film on Prime Minister’s Shramweer Award winner Mr. J. S. William.

Screened at Sheffield International Film Festival, Octobeer 2001.


All things Bright and Beautiful (Sab Kuch Lage naya naya) - 22 mins.. .d.s Raghvendra Chand Singh and Tejendra Tamrakar

Film about a highly mechanised German farm.

Screened at Göttiingen International Ethnographic Film Festival May 2002.


Exercise in advertising technique: 11 x 30 second spots


Against Child Labour

d. Devendra Shukla


To promote saving Electricity

d. Vikas Shivanker


Against Dowry System

d. Anoop Sahu


On Jandarshan Audio-Visual Archive

d. Ajay T.G.


On Deshbandhu Newspaper

d. Shobha Ajay


Against Eve Teasing

d. Kamlesh Kumar Sahu


On Aiwa’s Walkman

d. Raghvendra Chand Singh


For pulse polio campaign

d. Pankaj Sudheer Mishra


Against Smoking

d. Ramesh Kurre


On Pearl Contraceptive

d. Sarasvati Adhikari


Mentally Retarded Children

d. Tejendra Tamrakar


Edited Library Sequences:

1. Aadarsh Vivah – 6 mins.

2. Census 2001 – 10 mins.

3. Jandarshan trainees at work – 4 mins.

4. Sirpur and Deobaloda Temples – 5 mins.

5. Jandarshan-Samvaad MOU Signing Event – 5 mins.

6. Construction of Durga Stage – 5 mins.

7. Deobaloda Mela – 5 mins.



Path is the destiny - 11 mins. d. Raghvendra Chand Singh

The filmmaker follows a family of itinerant acrobats (Nats) through a long day’s work in the industrial city of Bhilai.

Screened at Göttiingen International Ethnographic Film Festival May 2002.


Reflected Sound – 10 mins. d. Pankaj Sudheer Mishra

Hopes and fears are expressed as the new millennium dawns in Bhilai steel town.


The Last Shelter – 11 mins. d. Kamlesh Kumar Sahu

This study of an Indian old people's home reflects a widespread concern that families increasingly neglect their elderly.

Screened at the Royal Anthropological Institute film Festival, London December 2000.

Three short autobiographical productions:


1. Click…Click - 5 mins. d. Vikas Shivanker

A portrait of the filmmaker’s mother who works with her husband as a photographer.

Screened at Göttiingen International Ethnographic Film Festival May 2002.


2. Papa Says – 5 mins. d. Rita Chandel

The filmmaker presses her father to tell how he arrived in Bhilai, worked in a variety of jobs and eventually settled down as a ward attendant in Sector 9 Hospital.


3. Practice 5 mins. d. Shobha Ajay

The filmmaker’s younger brother is nurturing a career playing Tabla.



"Narbali" – as seen by Sunil Kumar – 30 mins. Concept Sunil Kumar

Current affairs documentary about the formation of the new state of Chhattisgarh.

.Concept and script by Sunil Kumar, editor of Deshbandhu.

Transmitted by Raipur Doordarshan 30/10/2000 and by two Raipur cable channels 31/10/2000.


5 commercials transmitted with the above programme.


Uttarheen - 12 mins. d. Margaret Dickinson

Short fiction based on a story by Prahalad Shrimali. A young woman is stranded at a small town bus stand at night.


Video Diary Part 2 –10 mins.

Diary of the course from October 1999 to June 2000.


Edited Library Sequences

1. Idd Mubaarak – 7 mins.

2. Construction of Durg Puja stage.

3. Idol Making – 4 mins.

3. Oath Taking Ceremony – 4 mins.


Jandarshan Trainees Shooting – 5 mins. d. Pankaj Sudheer Mishra

A student video crew at work filming preparations for Durga Puja




Hathaurewala - 5 mins. d. Ajay T.G.

A portrait of an 80-year-old lohar (ironsmith) who works in the shadow of the Bhilai Steel Plant.


Girls Becoming Self Reliant – 5 mins. d. Sarasvati Adhikari

A young girl's first experiences with the NCC (National Cadet Corps)


From Earth ….. to Stage - 5 mins. d. Devendra Shukla; concept Tejendra Tamrakar

The process that transforms a lump of earth into a musical instrument. (a Dagga)


Video Diary Part 1 - 11 mins.

A video diary of the first months of the training course, July to October 1999. We see the trainee’s first struggles with the camera and their first experience of field research.