Sony Pictures Networks India announced the three India winners including the 2 runners-up of the Picture This Festival for the Planet, a global short-film competition for emerging filmmakers, everyday storytellers and change makers worldwide, to showcase the positive future they see for our planet. The winner for the India region is Vinamra Pancharia, while Shashank Bhosale and Maulik Sisodia are the first and second runners-up, respectively. Winner Vinamra Pancharia will represent India as a regional finalist at the Picture This Festival for the Planet event in Los Angeles on July 31, where his 5.15-minute film ‘Tubelight’, will be screened alongside films of the seven other regional finalists.
The Winning Entry – Tubelight, is an inspiring story of a homeless child who dreams of going to school but doesn’t have the means to study. He is steadfast in his efforts and sits outside a classroom window to learn everything he can. The film showcases how he never loses his enthusiasm to pursue his dream of education, by practicing what he learns daily under the street lights. Eventually, his dream sees the light of day.
The first runner-up – The Birdman of Chorao, by Shashank Bhosale, depicts the story of a boatman Uday Tukaram Mandrekar, who lives on the island of Chorao in Goa, India. Intrigued by the influx of tourists who visit his island, he took to learning and guiding birdwatchers in his canoe. The film showcases his journey in protecting the various species of birds, their habitat, learning their migration patterns and engaging fellow villagers to help him in the conservation of the mangrove ecosystem.
The second runner-up – Resurgence, by Maulik Sisodia, is a story that encapsulates the survival spirit of Indians. It takes on the issue of climate change and how villagers in Rajasthan are dealing with water shortage and drought. The film highlights the journey and efforts taken by visionaries and organisations to educate and engage youth from villages to combat water problems in India.
In India, submissions were evaluated by a jury comprising Nitin Nadkarni, Chief Financial Officer, Sony Pictures Networks India; Neeraj Vyas, Business Head – SAB, PAL, Hindi Movies and Music, Sony Pictures Networks India and Tushar Shah, Business Head – English Cluster, Sony BBC Earth and AATH.