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Monday, August 21, 2017

For Russia, a Documentary with Love

A youth has done the city proud by becoming the only one from India to direct a Russian documentary film on the forthcoming FIFA World Cup 2018. He made the documentary as part of the 9th VGIK International Summer School held in Moscow last month.

Sagi Sree Hari Varma has directed ‘Go Mordovia’, a documentary showcasing the stadiums in Saransk city and as to how football is being promoted in Russia for the World Cup. While Mr. Varma has conceptualised and directed the documentary, the rest of the cast and crew of the film are Russians.

Only five of the 100 applicants from 40 countries who had applied for the 9th VGIK International Summer School held from July 3 to 21, 2017, were selected for the programme.

“We shot the film in Saransk city in Mordovia State for 20 days. My documentary has been selected for screening at the Moscow Film Festival to be held in November, 2017. We were asked to produce documentaries on different subjects and my topic was: ‘FIFA World Cup 2018’. If selected for an award, I will be invited to the festival,” Mr. Varma told The Hindu on his return from Russia. Varma had done his schooling at Sri Prakash Vidya Niketan in the city before moving to RIMC, Dehradun. He completed his B. Tech from VTU, Bengaluru, in June this year. His father SVSN Raju is a Deputy Executive Engineer in the Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA).

“When I was doing my engineering in Bengaluru, I worked was a volunteer for the People for Animals (PFA), an NGO. I made a short video clip on ‘animal welfare’ and sent it to animal rights activist and Union Minister Maneka Gandhi. She liked the clip and suggested that I make a full-length documentary,” he recalled.

“The 40-minute documentary, which also includes an interview of Ms. Maneka Gandhi, drew good response. Based on this documentary, I was selected for the 9th VGIK programme. The 25 days workshop expenses, making of the documentary and travel expenses, were fully funded by the Ministry of Culture, Government of Russia.

“I and my team (Russians involved in the FIFA documentary) are finalising our plans to send ‘Go Mordovia’ for screening at various international film festivals. I plan to apply to a film school abroad for my Masters in Direction. VGIK, Moscow, the world’s oldest film school, is my first choice,” Mr. Varma adds.

Source: The Hindu