After the immense response that UDAAN 2016 got, UDAAN has come back with a new version UDAAN 2017. This time though it has been planned big and touches many verticals. If UDAAN 2016 was about NUKKAD NATAK, then UDAAN 2017 has Film Festival, Photography and Positive Journalism, Graffiti, Cartoon Making, One Act Play, Poster Making & Sculpture. UDAAN plans to have the next generation of Directors, Actors etc. all to emerge from its stage. If one takes into consideration the prizes handed out by UDAAN 2016, we can expect bigger things from UDAAN 2017.
UDAAN 2017 would get plenty of support for all verticals but adding Film Festival is a brave decision which not many can take. It is a risk which might hamper the Brand’s name. Yet the organisers seem to worry little about and are confident about the same. The pattern for UDAAN 2017 is also somehow different from the earlier version. This time around they have planned to conduct a workshop beforehand and then go with the event. The workshop which takes place between December 16, 2016 to December 18, 2016 concentrates on Film Making. This would include everything ranging from things happening in front of camera to that which happens at the back. When I reached out to one of the Coordinators asking him about the change in format, he said that the Film Screening would include the best creations and for the same they need to polish the existing talents. He believes that with the quality of training being imparted to students through UDAAN they would be able to deliver something big.
Who are the Trainers
Like UDAAN 2016, this year also we find leading celebs from the world of Cinema lending their support and guidance to the participants of UDAAN. When inquired upon I was astonished to find the celebrity mentors being part of workshop. These included big names from the Cinema world like Jimmy Shergill (popular Hindi and Punjabi film industry actor), Yashpal Sharma (from Lagaan and Gangajal fame). Apart from them, Sudipto Sen (Director: The Last Monk), Advaita Kala (Script writer: Anjana Anjani and Kahaani), Prashantanu Mohapatra (President Silver Lotus winner: Anukampan), Abhijeet Deshpande (Dadasahab Phalke Award winner). It would not take a guess for anyone to conclude that UDAAN has brought accomplished experts in their own fields for teaching the students. This is summed up by one of the captions for UDAAN which was like this “Getting the best to train the best”. No one needs any introduction about the fact that Delhi University has produced the biggest stars in Indian cinema. UDAAN as one can observe also works with the same talent pool. Remember, this is the same pool which gave the like of Amitabh Bachhan, Shahrukh Khan etc. I would not be surprised to know years down the line that the next biggest star of Indian cinema comes from UDAAN’s stage. Some people may find this to be an exaggeration but this holds true.
While speaking to Shri Sudipto Sen about UDAAN, he was very optimistic about the same. He said, speaking of the previous experience he had with DU, “Delhi University has a lot of promising talent”. True indeed, we can take note of two candidates Ms Diksha and Ms Ayushi who have been given free scholarship from Anupam Kher’s institute and they have reached there through the platform provided by UDAAN. A list of people who have had an opening through UDAAN goes on and would only continue to grow. In future UDAAN may well turn out to be the feeder for Indian Cinema and Arts.
UDAAN’s worshop on Film Making is set for December 16, 2016 and runs till December 18, 2016. The location for the workshop is AAFT (Asian Academy of Film & Television), Film City, Noida owned by Shri Sandeep Marwah. The studio has been very generous to UDAAN and has provided the students an opportunity to work in real time environment. This would enhance their ability to relate to the real reel life.
If one looks at the planning and does some background work, one would surely come to conclude that UDAAN has made life hard for itself by not choosing the right time for workshop. Why I say it might not be the right time is because December is exam time for Delhi University students. When exams are going on, students would only concentrate on exams. When I spoke to the organizers about the apprehensions, they were quick to cast these doubts I had and went on saying that UDAAN has a huge mass popularity and has received a good number of entries already. One must also reserve some appreciation for the ground team of UDAAN which has worked incessantly in understanding the mindset of the Delhi University and conveying it to the organisers. The next question that came to my mind was, anyone can provide an entry and come in for workshop since meeting the celebs is also tempestuous. To this I was introduced to the online entry system and the criteria for selection. UDAAN has been using technology very diligently and we can make it out from the Registration form. This is no ordinary form, herein, you are to only mention your personal details but for refinement of work you are also to submit a video resume as well. This video resume would be a short video of 30-60 seconds and gives a precursor to the talent a student has. The video would be a mirror reflection of the hard work a student has put in. The video resume could be shared through a YouTube link or via Google Drive. Apart from this, they have also provided a WhatsApp number on which you can send the video. I was thinking about the people who would not be able to send it through Drive & YouTube and they were ready with a solution. One can easily find that UDAAN encourages a holistic approach which makes them easy to reach and approach. A large number of volunteers has also been associated with UDAAN who are working round the clock and helping the participants. One can just go through the Facebook page of UDAAN to see these developments.
For any brand to be successful it needs goodwill, authenticity, hardworking people and talent to show for it. UDAAN definitely has all these ingredients. Had it not been so, then the stars would have refused the plea of UDAAN. But, they haven’t, and continue to encourage it. The future of UDAAN is bright and it has the world to conquer. The only demerit that I found in UDAAN is its confinement to just Delhi-NCR. The reach of UDAAN is the entire
country. I would not be surprised if in future UDAAN would act as a springboard for talent from across the country. Given the popularity and credibility UDAAN has it would draw a huge number and I have firm confidence that the team is ready for such an endeavor.
(The writer is a blogger)