Paani Ki Kataar

What does it take to make your own short film? Lights, camera, action—you might say, and a lot of passion. When young learners from Nirantar Trust’s Tarang centre watched a YouTube short, they got excited and said, “We also want to make a film!” A few months later, they made their first short, holding a mobile camera for the first time.

This short film Paani ki Kataar (Queuing up for Water) has emerged from a series a mentoring and co-creation process facilitated by the Nirantar and The Third Eye teams with learners over two months. They took the teams into their gullies, their lives and memories to find a story that’s uniquely theirs. The story of water is one rooted in their everyday life–mundane, chaotic, and hardly glamorous—but one that quenches their thirst.

Twenty young adolescents from J.J. Colony in Wazirpur spent weeks in observation, storytelling and filming to capture the water queue, every morning, at 6 am. They’ve grown up spending every morning at the queue, half-asleep, filling containers before the water runs out. The filmmaking process made them take a step back, wait and even be bored to capture the minute details of the moment around which their day/life revolves. This was their attempt to document and speak about their lives, and most importantly, to have fun.

The Third Eye is being written and developed by a team of educators, documentary filmmakers, storytellers; people with extensive experience of gathering narratives, oral histories and developing contextual pedagogies for the rural and the marginalised.

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