film festivals

A travelling film festival has been serving up cinema as well as conversation

The filmmaking collective Chalti Tasveerein has been touring parts of India over the past few weeks.

It was difficult at first to make out if the scene projected on the cloth screen was an animated movie or real footage. Two square cartoonish houses appeared beside each other out of thin air, parallel, symmetrical and identical in every respect. Next, two lounge chairs appeared on the lawn, dragged themselves to the foreground, and propped themselves up. In the next instant, the occupants appeared. Dressed in full-sleeved shirts and trousers, and with black pipes clenched between their teeth, the two men leaned back on the chairs smoking away. They both had newspapers in their hands with big bold headlines that mirrored each other. One said, “War certain with no Peace” while the other said “Peace certain with no War.”

The anti-war short film Neighbours (1952), made by Canadian director Norman McLaren during the Korean War, was among the titles screened by the Chalti Tasveerein collective during its travelling festival through India. Setting out from Delhi on February 14, Chalti Tasveerein journeyed to Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, setting up screenings of movies, documentaries and short films in villages, small towns and cities.

“The idea behind Chalti Tasveerein is to provide access of cinema to a wider set of audience in small towns, rural areas and settlements in cities who rarely have the opportunity to watch inventive works across genres, styles, intent and content,” the group says on its official page.

The festival has been put together by a network of individuals and organisations, such as Chal Chitra Abhiyan, VIBGYOR Film Collective, Magic Lantern Movies, Marupakkam and Kirti Film Club. Its organising team comprises 61 members, and the advisory committee includes documentary filmmakers Sanjay Kak, Nakul Singh Sawhney, Rahul Roy and Amudhan RP.

They have screened films in slums, schools, colleges and village fairs and on the streets and beaches. They have shown cinema in urban and rural spaces, in colonies of Dalits, Muslims, children of people dispossessed by the Narmada dam, women’s collectives and fishing communities. In its second leg, Chalti Tasveerein travelled to Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab. A final screening has been planned in Delhi for a group of Anganwadi workers on April 19.

A Chalti Tasveerein screening.
A Chalti Tasveerein screening.

The McLaren film was screened on day 24 at Tanda in Ambedkar Nagar, eastern Uttar Pradesh. The screening took place under a white shamiana in a green clearing, in the midst of rows of small houses. Fifteen minutes earlier, the neighbourhood had been buzzing in the dying daylight with the sound of hundreds of power looms packed into the small houses and work-spaces.

Locals say that weavers have lived in Tanda since the reign of Oudh ruler Shuja-ud-Daula in the eighteenth century. The Muslim weavers who now live in Tanda have never experienced the winds of war, but they have felt the waves of hatred at close quarters. Tanda is less than a two-hour ride from Ayodhya, and residents still remember the fear durign the days leading up to the Babri Masjid demolition on December 6, 1992. “There was a sense of fear in our hearts,” said Amir Jalal, a weaver from Tanda who had turned up to catch the movie. “Rumours were spread by word of mouth.”

On the screen, a flower suddenly appeared in the middle of the lawn. The two men ran over to it, started soaking in its smell, and then pranced around with surreal body movements. Each man pointed at the flower, and then to himself. The meaning was clear to the audience: whose flower is it? As the disagreement escalated, the two neighbours built a fence between their two houses. The film got progressively darker as the two characters pummelled each other, tearing clothes and raining blows, and finally killing each other’s families. The film ended with “Love your neighbour” messages in many languages, including Hindi and Urdu.

Afaq, the local coordinator of Chalti Tasveerein, asked the audience about the message. A young boy quipped: “Aapas mein ladne se koi fayda nahin hai.” Afaq continued, “Would anyone want to ban such a movie?” “No,” came the loud response. Afaq said, “The American government had banned it [during the Vietnam War].” A man at the back got up and said sombrely, “Yeh government bhi yahi karti hai. Humein aapas mein lada rahi hai.”

Someone then made what was probably the most politically pertinent observation: “The message is not only about people, but also about countries.They should live together with love rather than fight each other over territory. The flower could be Kashmir. And the fence the border both the nations want to draw.”

In Nandurbar in Maharashtra, Chalti Tasveerein’s mmebers participated in the annual day function celebrations of schools run by Narmada Bachao Andolan for children dispossessed by the Sardar Sarovar dam project in Gujarat. They screened the 1962 documentary Zoo for the students. In Zoo, Dutch director Bert Haanstra placed hidden cameras in a zoo in Amsterdam. The film asks the question of who is watching who as it films the effect animals and people have on each other.

The festival’s biggest crowd was in Rajasthan, when they showed movies at the Adivasi Milan Mela held at Kotra village in Udaipur. With an audience of over a thousand Adivasi people, the group chose films centred on the theme of resistance. It included the video Marching with the Bhim Army, about the Dalit group in Uttar Pradesh fighting upper caste violence. They also screened Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times (1936) in a village near Surat and in front of striking factory workers in Madhya Pradesh.

Play
Marching with the Bhim Army.

At the Ranbhandar coast of Kutch, Chalti Tasveerein put on a show for the fisherfolk. “We not only met different people, but we screened movies at a lot of different places during our journey,” said Aswathy Senan, the collective’s film coordinator. “We once screened a movie in a garage in Madhya Pradesh, once on someone’s balcony, in the middle of a street and on the sea front.”

Their last stop in Uttar Pradesh was Allahabad, where Turup, a film created by the Ektara Collective in Bhopal in 2017, was shown. Turup uses a local chess tournament as the framing device for interlocking narratives about a rich couple, an old woman who is their maid, and the love story of a Dalit girl and a Muslim boy.

The crowd applauded at many scenes. A group of young men bunched together in the front was particularly enthusiastic. They are Masters of Arts students in political science at Allahabad University. “The parallel narratives were fascinating, and the film is attacking the entire system,” said ravi Pandey, one of the students. “It was liberating to watch.”

Liberty is something Pandey feels is missing from the country right now. “What the movie showed about love jihad is what is happening across the country right now,” he pointed out. “The rightwing stops people from marrying using allegations of love jihad. Everybody should be free to do what they want. Free to marry whom they want, free to eat what they want, free to watch what they want.”

Play
Turup (2017).
Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

The next Industrial Revolution is here – driven by the digitalization of manufacturing processes

Technologies such as Industry 4.0, IoT, robotics and Big Data analytics are transforming the manufacturing industry in a big way.

The manufacturing industry across the world is seeing major changes, driven by globalization and increasing consumer demand. As per a report by the World Economic Forum and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd on the future of manufacturing, the ability to innovate at a quicker pace will be the major differentiating factor in the success of companies and countries.

This is substantiated by a PWC research which shows that across industries, the most innovative companies in the manufacturing sector grew 38% (2013 - 2016), about 11% year on year, while the least innovative manufacturers posted only a 10% growth over the same period.

Along with innovation in products, the transformation of manufacturing processes will also be essential for companies to remain competitive and maintain their profitability. This is where digital technologies can act as a potential game changer.

The digitalization of the manufacturing industry involves the integration of digital technologies in manufacturing processes across the value chain. Also referred to as Industry 4.0, digitalization is poised to reshape all aspects of the manufacturing industry and is being hailed as the next Industrial Revolution. Integral to Industry 4.0 is the ‘smart factory’, where devices are inter-connected, and processes are streamlined, thus ensuring greater productivity across the value chain, from design and development, to engineering and manufacturing and finally to service and logistics.

Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, artificial intelligence and Big Data analytics are some of the key technologies powering Industry 4.0. According to a report, Industry 4.0 will prompt manufacturers globally to invest $267 billion in technologies like IoT by 2020. Investments in digitalization can lead to excellent returns. Companies that have implemented digitalization solutions have almost halved their manufacturing cycle time through more efficient use of their production lines. With a single line now able to produce more than double the number of product variants as three lines in the conventional model, end to end digitalization has led to an almost 20% jump in productivity.

Digitalization and the Indian manufacturing industry

The Make in India program aims to increase the contribution of the manufacturing industry to the country’s GDP from 16% to 25% by 2022. India’s manufacturing sector could also potentially touch $1 trillion by 2025. However, to achieve these goals and for the industry to reach its potential, it must overcome the several internal and external obstacles that impede its growth. These include competition from other Asian countries, infrastructural deficiencies and lack of skilled manpower.

There is a common sentiment across big manufacturers that India lacks the eco-system for making sophisticated components. According to FICCI’s report on the readiness of Indian manufacturing to adopt advanced manufacturing trends, only 10% of companies have adopted new technologies for manufacturing, while 80% plan to adopt the same by 2020. This indicates a significant gap between the potential and the reality of India’s manufacturing industry.

The ‘Make in India’ vision of positioning India as a global manufacturing hub requires the industry to adopt innovative technologies. Digitalization can give the Indian industry an impetus to deliver products and services that match global standards, thereby getting access to global markets.

The policy, thus far, has received a favourable response as global tech giants have either set up or are in the process of setting up hi-tech manufacturing plants in India. Siemens, for instance, is helping companies in India gain a competitive advantage by integrating industry-specific software applications that optimise performance across the entire value chain.

The Digital Enterprise is Siemens’ solution portfolio for the digitalization of industries. It comprises of powerful software and future-proof automation solutions for industries and companies of all sizes. For the discrete industries, the Digital Enterprise Suite offers software and hardware solutions to seamlessly integrate and digitalize their entire value chain – including suppliers – from product design to service, all based on one data model. The result of this is a perfect digital copy of the value chain: the digital twin. This enables companies to perform simulation, testing, and optimization in a completely virtual environment.

The process industries benefit from Integrated Engineering to Integrated Operations by utilizing a continuous data model of the entire lifecycle of a plant that helps to increase flexibility and efficiency. Both offerings can be easily customized to meet the individual requirements of each sector and company, like specific simulation software for machines or entire plants.

Siemens has identified projects across industries and plans to upgrade these industries by connecting hardware, software and data. This seamless integration of state-of-the-art digital technologies to provide sustainable growth that benefits everyone is what Siemens calls ‘Ingenuity for Life’.

Case studies for technology-led changes

An example of the implementation of digitalization solutions from Siemens can be seen in the case of pharma major Cipla Ltd’s Kurkumbh factory.

Cipla needed a robust and flexible distributed control system to dispense and manage solvents for the manufacture of its APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients used in many medicines). As part of the project, Siemens partnered with Cipla to install the DCS-SIMATIC PCS 7 control system and migrate from batch manufacturing to continuous manufacturing. By establishing the first ever flow Chemistry based API production system in India, Siemens has helped Cipla in significantly lowering floor space, time, wastage, energy and utility costs. This has also improved safety and product quality.

In yet another example, technology provided by Siemens helped a cement plant maximise its production capacity. Wonder Cement, a greenfield project set up by RK Marbles in Rajasthan, needed an automated system to improve productivity. Siemens’ solution called CEMAT used actual plant data to make precise predictions for quality parameters which were previously manually entered by operators. As a result, production efficiency was increased and operators were also freed up to work on other critical tasks. Additionally, emissions and energy consumption were lowered – a significant achievement for a typically energy intensive cement plant.

In the case of automobile major, Mahindra & Mahindra, Siemens’ involvement involved digitalizing the whole product development system. Siemens has partnered with the manufacturer to provide a holistic solution across the entire value chain, from design and planning to engineering and execution. This includes design and software solutions for Product Lifecycle Management, Siemens Technology for Powertrain (STP) and Integrated Automation. For Powertrain, the solutions include SINUMERIK, SINAMICS, SIMOTICS and SIMATIC controls and drives, besides CNC and PLC-controlled machines linked via the Profinet interface.

The above solutions helped the company puts its entire product lifecycle on a digital platform. This has led to multi-fold benefits – better time optimization, higher productivity, improved vehicle performance and quicker response to market requirements.

Siemens is using its global expertise to guide Indian industries through their digital transformation. With the right technologies in place, India can see a significant improvement in design and engineering, cutting product development time by as much as 30%. Besides, digital technologies driven by ‘Ingenuity for Life’ can help Indian manufacturers achieve energy efficiency and ensure variety and flexibility in their product offerings while maintaining quality.

Play

The above examples of successful implementation of digitalization are just some of the examples of ‘Ingenuity for Life’ in action. To learn more about Siemens’ push to digitalize India’s manufacturing sector, see here.

This article was produced on behalf of Siemens by the Scroll.in marketing team and not by the Scroll.in editorial staff.