Author Archive for Aakaar Films

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April 11, 2012

Compromise & AdjustmentCOMPROMISE and ADJUSTMENT – The two most dis-empowering words

Life’s meandering paths at every “cross” bring forth two words within lengthy dominating statements – “You must compromise if peace is to be maintained”, or “You will need/must learn to adjust with people/family/circumstances…” (Do not miss the “You” – always pointed at the woman or those men who have a feminine or passive approach towards life.)

Of course, that is the only approach and semblance of sanity. Is it? Have we ever asked the “You” whose individuality is being sacrificed at the altar, thus developing a false personality? The “you” that is always burdened under the garb of these good looking words, hiding the ugliness of control and dependency; covering the causal dis-respect to self; inflating the false egos of male-ness existing in the society.

(P.S: “Males”, do not hurt yourself – this finger (whichever it is!) is not pointing to the physicality of your external gender, but to the internal psyche that maybe feminine or masculine).

Why do we so often use the two words “compromise” and “adjustment” as sacrosanct, when its reflection on the human psyche has only resulted in turmoil and regression? If we look within the walls of our emotional self, it is crumbling under the pressure of hypocritical masks that we “choose” to wear for fear of rejection.

The flowering of self empowerment happens when there are no walls, but an open sky – between “us” as a whole; between loving and being; between acceptance and surrender… that is the journey to BE.

100% Steps To Empowerment

April 4, 2012

100 percent

  • Share 100%. Bliss showers.
  • Be passionate 100%. Celibacy will follow.
  • Be angry 100%. Compassion is born.
  • Love the other intensely, totally and earnestly 100%. Ability to Let Go becomes easy.
  • Let the other BE 100%. Freedom will prevail in both.
  • Listen 100%. Communion of others will follow.
  • Cry 100%. Mirror of the soul will have a new shine.
  • The secret of 100% Laughter? Only IF you have cried 100%!!
  • There are only right actions. If you are aware 100%.
  • Give 100%. You will get it all back.
  • Be 100% ordinary. It is an extraordinary quality.
  • Relax 100% in Non-doing. Rightful doing will be born.
  • Meditate in silence 100%. Peace and Joy will be your beloved.


Case Study – Documentary Production

April 3, 2012

Ministry of External Affairs, Government of IndiaCLIENT: Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India

SERVICE: Film Production

An extensive documentary film shoot in India – 6 destinations, limited budget, time constraints – all inclusive with a high demand on quality! The AAKAAR FILMS team sat down and the strategy developed was – sponsorship on stay and air travel, government permissions to shoot heritage locations at no/minimal cost, all interviews – there were 12 interviews with top level actors, directors, academicians and critics spread across 6 destinations in India (North, South, East & West – well, we were asked by the client to show diversity!), all interviews to be fixed one after the other, in line with our travel schedule so that we utilize man hours and days without any break in the journey! Seems impossible? – well, AAKAAR FILMS did it and the film was sent for the film festival by the client for high quality production!

Watch the resulting films:

Video - India 2.0 Towards a Networked Nation – UID
India 2.0 Towards a Networked Nation – UID
Video - India 2.0 Towards a Networked Nation - e-Education
India 2.0 Towards a Networked Nation – e-Education
Video - India 2.0 Towards a Networked Nation - e-Health
India 2.0 Towards a Networked Nation – e-Health
Video - India 2.0 Towards a Networked Nation - e-Choupal
India 2.0 Towards a Networked Nation – e-Choupal

The Flag

March 25, 2012

Pride of a nation. A perfect symbol for an integrated country, one as vast and diverse as India.

India has its heartbeat in the grassroot as well as in the traditional modernity with a penchant for patriotism woven into each soul. This is what we caught on camera while creating a different kind of Anthem. Shot across the country, from Central India to extreme South; from the rural West to cultural East, Anthem weaves a story in vignettes of color and vibrancy amongst men and women; young and old; urban and rural.

As the AAKAAR team traversed the length and breadth of the country bearing the Indian Tricolour, the National Flag, we were left spellbound as each of the participants in the film came forward eagerly and held it with pride. Gathering and creating rows of men and women in villages; keeping them sitting or standing still in one position in the hot and sultry sun; directing them to “look into” the camera wherever it travelled – in track & trolley or on a crane; making the children run atop a steep hill slope and then back down again; the 360 degree revolution… it was a journey of thousand smiles that germinated from a small seed of an idea.

National Literacy Mission

March 24, 2012

The jingle for creating awareness of Adult Education amongst women was commissioned by the Department of Adult Education (Ministry of Human Resource & Development, Government of India).

Ministry of External Affairs (Public Diplomacy), Government of India

March 24, 2012

Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India

AAKAAR FILMS has worked extensively with the Ministry of External Affairs (Public Diplomacy), Government of India to direct numerous documentaries over the years. Some of the documentary films that were commissioned to us by the MEA are:

1. AIFS-II (Africa-India Forum Summit – II) Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, 2011
(i) Blending Borders (view film)
(ii) Tapestries of Change (view film)
(iii) Expressions in Harmony (view film)

2. Connecting Hearts and Minds – India’s Pan Africa e-Network Story (view film)

3. India 2.0: Towards a Networked Nation (India’s National e-Governance Plan for empowerment at the grassroots in four areas)
(i) UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) (view film)
(ii) e-Choupal (view film)
(iii) e-Health (view film)
(iv) e-Education (view film)

Read the Case Study here.

Road Less Travelled: The Pathbreakers

March 24, 2012

The great intangible is the way you make people think in a different way. This is what we experienced while filming our favourite documentary “The Pathbreakers”, a film that talks of the power of an individual to change the lives of many by uplifting the community through sheer grit, determination and commitment. One face from among a crowd of billion people in the country has succeeded in reversing the insurmountable problems and shaken society from its apathy. These are individuals that stand out as an example of all that is possible.

There is Chandralekha, who broke an age-old tradition of her village, where it was customary for every daughter to follow in her mother’s footsteps and join the oldest profession in the world of being a sex worker. There is Ladakh’s Glacier man, Chewang Norphel, who makes artificial glaciers in winter so that villagers can get water in summer for their fields.
Your soul is touched when you meet Shamshad Khan, the man who spearheaded the movement to rid the carpet weaving industry of child labor and welcomed the children into the world of literacy.

The journey to film such documentaries drains the heart out and numbs the mind. But it also humbles us in many ways, reminding us of the gifts that we have been privileged with.

Showcased in New Delhi (India) and London’s prestigious Nehru Centre, The Pathbreakers is now a series made every year by the Public Diplomacy Division of  the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.

Child Labour in India

March 23, 2012

A developing nation like India has been on focus at the international forums for its growth and policies. Child Labour has always been a question that still raises eyebrows on these platforms. This is a film that sheds light on how Indian Government has been making persistent efforts to eradicate child labour and replace it with Education, leading to empowerment. This film was commissioned by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.

Discover Sikkim

March 23, 2012

This documentary was commissioned by the Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation to promote the picturesque North-Eastern Indian state  of Sikkim.

World Health Organization (W.H.O)

March 23, 2012

World Health Organization

For the World Health Organisation, we coordinated the event “Lives in The Balance”, a High-Level Meeting (HLM) in order to mobilise new commitment matched with action for improving Maternal, Newborn and Child health among countries, international agencies, development partners and other stakeholders. Organised with the Government of India, for Partnership for Safe Motherhood and Newborn Health (PSMNH), Geneva & the Healthy Newborn Partnership and the newly established Child Survival Partnership.

Read the Case Study here.

CBA (Commonwealth Broadcasting Association), London

March 23, 2012

Commonwealth Broadcasting Association

AAKAAR FILMS was responsible for coordination of CBA General Conference with the theme “Making a Difference in a Multi-Platform World” 2006 held at New Delhi. It was one of the key broadcasting events of the year and an important forum for chief and senior executives of broadcasting organisations in the Commonwealth. Anu Radha’s job involved coordination of the event which included lobbying & sponsorship in partnership with Prasar Bhartii, Govt. of India. Since the conference is also an opportunity to showcase the work of broadcasting organisations and exhibit broadcast technology, my responsibility lay in the technical coordination of production and lobbying with senior government leaders, for participation and smooth progress of work.

Read the Case Study here.

Government of India – various ministries

March 23, 2012

AAKAAR FILMS has empanelled, produced and directed several documentaries, audio-visuals and radio programs for several ministries of the government of India. Some of the projects are listed below:

  • GTZ (German Bilateral), Himachal Pradesh: Documentary films on NREGS (Mahatama Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) project in Himachal Pradesh for empowering the grassroot: Social Audit & Gram Sabha
  • Department of Adult Education (Ministry of HRD): 12 radio programs, audio-video spots (view films)
  • Ministry of Environment: Environment-focussed television spots (view film: Himalayas – Abode of Snow)
  • Indian Airlines Ltd. (Govt. of India): National AV spot
  • Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation (STDC), Government of Sikkim: Tourism promotion documentary (view film)
  • Ministry of Textiles (Government of India): Documentary (view film: The Hand Knotted Splendour)

Telling Women’s Stories (Mail Today, New Delhi)

March 23, 2012

Telling Women's StoriesTelling Women's Stories

BBC World Service Trust (New Delhi)

March 23, 2012

BBC World Service Trust

The NGO arm of BBC World has been effectively doing media campaigns on social issues in India. Focusing on HIV-AIDS and awareness, Anu Radha have been involved as a Consultant for production of their television spots for Northern India. It also involved marketing, sponsorship and networking with Government broadcasters and agencies of Government of India, as well as the State Government bodies involved in policy decisions.

AAKAAR FILMS has also coordinated the event & press at the launch of a new series “Jasoos Vijay” for BBC World Service Trust’s project on HIV/AIDS awareness(2005), for which we liaised with high level officials in the Indian Government, Doordarshan & Media. We also handled the coordination of the Press Conference & coverage of Spot Campaigning on HIV-AIDS for BBC World Service Trust in Rajasthan (2003).

The Hand Knotted Splendour

March 23, 2012

This documentary on the traditional craft of weaving carpets was commissioned by the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India.

Blending Borders

March 22, 2012

The 2nd Africa India Forum Summit, held in May 2011 in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, paved the way for a new and strengthened relationship between India and Africa. The summit was focussed on building a relationship based on the principles of mutual cooperation which would be beneficial to both countries. ‘Blending Borders’ highlights the key initiatives outlined in the summit along with the people-to-people connect that happened at a socio-cultural level.

Expressions in Harmony

March 22, 2012

India and Africa have a shared history and vibrant cultures. The 2nd Africa India Forum Summit held in May 2011 in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, celebrated the cultures of India and Africa through dance performances, film festivals and symposiums showcasing the traditions of both. ‘Expressions in Harmony’ displays the many cultural events that took place alongside the summit, creating everlasting bonds and ties between the people of both countries.

Tapestries of Change

March 22, 2012

Women are the backbone of every society and empowering them is essential. The 2nd Africa India Forum Summit held in May 2011 in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, opened a platform to enable knowledge exchange between women of Africa and India for a sustainable livelihood through handicrafts. ‘Tapestries of Change: An Indo-African Story of Empowerment’ takes the viewer on a journey through the trials and tribulations in the lives of the craftswomen as well as their achievements. Watch these women weave together a colorful tapestry of hope.

Connecting Hearts – India’s Pan Africa e-Network Story

March 22, 2012

The Pan Africa e-Network Project was conceived by former Indian President APJ Kalam and started in 2007. The initiative won the 2010 Hermes Proze for innovation. Though still in its infancy, it plans to provides tele-medicine and tele-education services to 53 countries in Africa for years to come.

PSI (Population Services International), India

March 22, 2012

Population Services International

Population Services International (PSI) is an Indian non-profit and non-governmental organization established in 1988 with a mandate to assist the Government of India in the fields of reproductive health, HIV/AIDS prevention, and maternal and child health.

As a Communications Specialist for the Bill and Melinda Gates IAI (India AIDS Initiative) funded Avahan project, encompassing National Highways # 1-9 and the states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, Anu Radha was involved in conceptualizing and coordinating for the creative and methodical Behaviour Change Communication (BCC) campaign and brand development as well as execution of production. The work involved liaising with the State AIDS Control Society, Government of India and networking with other media related and government agencies.

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