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The objective through my workshops was to promote personal development among a diverse group of participants- it explored themes of identity and representation in film through a combination of storytelling and hands-on exercises. 


Participants learned how to construct a narrative structure and improve their storytelling skills. They were encouraged to reflect on their own unique qualities, such as nicknames, regional accents, gestures, and sounds, and incorporate them into their personal stories. 

The workshops also focused on the art of listening and the appreciation of sounds in our environment, both natural and man-made. The participants analyzed notable films, such as "Glass" and "Zoo" by Bert Haanstra, and independent works like "Supermen of Malegaon", to broaden their understanding of non-fiction filmmaking. The workshops also introduced them to various alternatives of documentary styles- like Poetic, Participatory, Reflexive, and Performative. 


One of the key themes of the workshops were to use storytelling and film to challenge and subvert social conventions. Group activities and discussions were designed to support this exploration and encourage participants to use the medium of film to connect with their own identities. 


Although there were some obstacles, such as limited participation from girls due to household responsibilities, and some participants holding gender stereotypes, the workshops were a rewarding experience for everyone involved. The collaborative approach focused on the story and the journey of self-expression, with an emphasis on the connection between how we see the world and how a camera can capture that vision. 

Overall, my intention with these workshops was to create a hybrid space where the participants could use the power of films to explore and connect with their true selves. It was a gradual process of discovery and self-expression. I am grateful for the chance to facilitate them. 

Abhijit Patro 


A Film by Abhijit Patro 

1 min 41 secs. 2022 

“Green + Red” is a short film that explores the daily life of workers in a small garment factory in Dharavi, Mumbai, India. It portrays the workers and the machines as one interconnected entity, seamlessly working together without discrimination or prejudice, despite societal norms and political hate speech. 

The film highlights the unity and harmony that exists in Dharavi, where people of different religions coexist and work together without bias. The film showcases the resilience and strength of the community in the face of adversity, emphasizing the importance of unity and cooperation in overcoming obstacles. 


A Film by Abhijit Patro 

1 min 38 secs. 2022 

Point Blank is a short film that is part of a series called Playtime. It depicts the influence of Bollywood and action films on the children of Dharavi, Mumbai, who play with toy Mauser guns and imitate scenes from these films. 

The film highlights the rise of these toy guns every time an action film is released and how the children use them to build a character for themselves. It's an interesting commentary on how the children in Dharavi are deviating from traditional street games and defying the conventional idea of what it means to be an "ideal boy." 


A Film by Lata (25) and Zara (14) 

1 min 21 secs.  2022 

Chidiya Udd is a short film, that captures the essence of the popular childhood folk game of the same name. The game challenges the players to demonstrate their quick reflexes and observation skills by quickly raising their finger to signify whether a living or non-living object can fly, or keeping their finger still to show it doesn't. 

The film, an immersive and collaborative effort by the children at Compound 13 in Dharavi, aims to raise their understanding of their surroundings, identity, and sense of belonging by encouraging them to actively observe and document things that fly. 


A Film by Abhijit Patro 

1 min 38 secs.  2022 

Lachi Candy is a short film that explores the popular street-side sugar candy of the same name in India. The film captures the reactions and emotions of children as they watch the candy being made in the backdrop of Dharavi. 

The film documents the timeless love that the children have for the candy and provides a glimpse into their sweet tooth desires. The film highlights the significance of small joys and the impact of such treats on the lives of children living in less privileged circumstances. 


A Film by Abhijit Patro 

2 min 7 secs. 2022 

Showstopper is a short film that captures the acrobatic street performances of children in public spaces. Despite the financial disparity between Mumbai and Dharavi, the children have found ways to make the best of their situation and deal with their disadvantaged status quo. 

The film features the children using "jugaad" to create a cushioned landing pad from scraps of clothes found in a dump yard, ensuring a safe landing for their acrobatics. The film highlights the resourcefulness and ingenuity of the children despite their challenging circumstances. 


A Film by Munni (16) 

1 minute. 2022 

“Ek Din Kasai Ki Dukaan” is a short film inspired by the editing style of the chicken chase scene from the film "City of God." The film, shot and edited by Munni, features fast-paced editing that adds energy and tension to the scene, creating a sense of danger and excitement. 

The film reflects the fast-paced lifestyle of the people living in Dharavi. This specific style of editing was chosen to serve as a metaphor for the fast-paced and intense environment of life in Dharavi, capturing the excitement and danger that comes with it. Moreover, the background music was performed by the children of Dharavi Rocks. 

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