Bhubaneswar: Lipika Singh Darai, a woman from the tribal community Ho — from Odisha’s backward Mayurbhanj district — has won four National Film Awards in her seven years of career in filmmaking and direction, an enviable feat for her contemporary filmmakers and directors.
Of the four awards she has received since 2010, three are for her directorial ventures while fourth is for ‘Best Audiography’ (Rajat Kamal/non-feature section).
Lipika, who began her educational journey from a Odia language primary school in her village to the country’s prestigious Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune, bagged the Best Director Award in the recently held 64th National Film Award in the Best Educational Film category, for her documentary The Waterfall.
The Waterfall, made for school cinema in English and Hindi, has been selected to be screened in seven hundred schools across India and other countries.
“I am very happy that I have already a dedicated audience for the film. The film has been entirely shot around the Khandadhar waterfalls and in the nearby forests Odisha’s Sundergarh district over a period of seven days,” says Lipika.
Produced by Syed Sultan Ahmed, The Waterfall traces the evolution of a young city boy, Karun, to appreciate the value of the environment and think critically about climate change and development. On a trip to his ancestral home in the interiors of the state of Odisha in India, he reflects on the nature of his relationship with a beautiful landscape and its relationship in turn with his city life.
“The protagonist Karun also learns that the mysterious hills and forests that they were exploring are about to be taken over by a company. The community of people living in the forests under the leadership of an old man has been standing up to safeguard the forests which has taken billions of years to form,” adds Lipika.
Her previous film - Kankee O Saapo (dragonfly and snake), A Tree A Man A Sea and Gaarud - had also created waves for wonderfully capturing the essence of rustic life, the treasures of nature, environment protection efforts by local tribals and ethics and values of a society in rural areas....