Indigo is not just a colour, it never was… it was wealth, it was mystique, it was colonialism, tyranny and protest. It made history, but itself fell prey to the events and processes of time, until one day it seemed to disappear.
As the world begins to demand natural dyes once again, it is back in the spot light. The stubborn dreamers who refused to forget their craft feel vindicated, but the world that once nurtured this difficult and capricious colour is no more.
Traversing between the verdant monsoon of Tamil Nadu, the earthy expanses of springtime Telangana and the wintry desert of Kachchh, Neeli Raag is an attempt to tell the story of indigo as it is practiced in India today. Interwoven with the narratives of the indigo craftsmen is the colour itself in its many moods textures and forms. How does a green leaf yield blue colour? How do the different shades emerge? What is the chemistry that makes this possible? The processes of indigo are almost magical to behold, as murky solutions transform into a vibrant blue, bit by bit. This is a blue that deepens, mesmerises, stains, and seeps into the skin and nails, indeed the lives of those who craft it.
Directed By: Swathi Dandekar
As a poet and screenwriter the evolution of human life alongside nature intrigues me most and the poetry behind the frames pens my screens. Growing up in Calcutta and being raised in here always felt like milieus of dreams, as in everywhere we place our eyes, it is scenic. The fascinating hunger for life, thriving and yet struggling human lives followed by the development of silent alliance between us and the nature are eclectic here.
While thinking of rivers and womanhood together, I found an extremely well practiced tie-up between them and it seemed like they steered each other in the journey of life.
Directed By: Anirban Dutta
Vaikhari, which in sanskrit means intelligent and articulate utterances, primarily focusses on “padhant” which is the art of recitation of mnemonic syllables used in Hindusthani Classical Music and Dance. The film incorporates different artistic streams in allusion to padhant thereby aiming at a profound aesthetic experience of rhythmic utterances in its multiple manifestations. Kalidasa’s immortal Meghdootam serves a template for narrative development while creating a realm of different temporal designs fabricated by various rhythmic elements (percussion, dance) where padhant lies at the nucleus of contemplation and subsequent artistic expansion.
Directed By: Lubdhak Chatterjee