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Dreaming with Sand: Raj Sampad's film makes entry at Sundance Film Fest

 

Picture source: Incendiary Films

Posted on 17 Jul 2014

Last updated 06 Jul 2016

  Odisha, Short film, Dreaming with sand, Sudarshan Patnaik
Odisha's young filmmaker Raj Sampad's short film, Dreaming with Sand, less than eight minutes in length, is a first person narrative by its form and biographical in nature. The subject, sand sculptor Sudarshan Patnaik, narrates his own story in the film.

Basudev Mahapatra

 

The short film “Dreaming with Sand”, based on the life and career of Odisha’s globally acclaimed sand sculptor and a pioneer of the art form in India, made by Bubaneswar based young filmmaker Raj Sampad, has got an official entry at the Sundance Film Festival of US, according to the filmmaker.

Less than eight minutes in length, the short film is a first person narrative by its form and biographical in nature. The subject, sand sculptor Sudarshan Patnaik, narrates his own story in the film produced under the banner of “Incendiary Films.”

As told by Raj, the name of the famous sand sculptor came to mind as he was looking for a subject that would fit to the theme of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, which required to be based on an achiever who excelled against odds including poverty. Sudarshan had to leave school at sixth standard due to financial problems of his family.

“Everybody knows Sudarshan Patnaik as a famous sand sculptor. But the real inspiration lies in his past life and very few people know it,” says Raj.

To depict the odds encountered by the sand artist during his childhood and early days in the particular art form, part of film is recreated by the director Raj by using artists. It’s because of the recreated parts that the film is submitted in the docufiction category instead of documentary.

Son of Odisha’s noted journalist Sampad Mohapatra, who is also a known art director with some experience in acting as well, Raj however consulted his father and Uncle Nirad Mohapatra, the veteran film director who also pioneered the movement of realistic cinema in India, while finalising the subject for his film. As per Raj, the support from his huge family resource was limited to the subject selection only.

A self-learner and passionate filmmaker Raj graduated in commerce last year only. He has produced three more short films apart from “Dreaming with Sand.” All based on off-beat themes, Raj tried experimenting with presentation of the films.

While the first film “$#!+ happens” was based on luck factors in one’s life, the “Second Innings” was about a four-year-old kid whose world revolves around cricket. With its progress the “Second Innings” explains what the game takes away from the kid and how he never gives up on his passion. Raj’s third creation “Femme Fatale” is a neo-noir film.

“It’s Odisha's first neo-noir film,” claims the director.

Zestful to continue such filmmaking activities, Raj and his team are inspired with the official entry of his latest film “Dreaming with sand” at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. His team includes SFX and audio engineers Arnav Pati and Bivash Rath and still photographer Soumya Mohapatra. Raj also gives credit to his journalist sister Shilpi Sampad for her support.

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