Student filmmakers Neelu Sharma and Shalini Srivastava from the mass communication department at Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (BBAU) led the winning teams competing for bursaries at the first workshop in Films for Change: taking hepatitis science to communities through film.
51 film students from Lucknow registered to attend the first of two two-day workshops on May 21 and 22 2016. Hosted by BBAU they were joined by experts in hepatitis, Professor Rakesh Aggarwal and Dr Amit Goel, experienced filmmaker C Suchindran and veteran journalist Patralekha Chatterjee, the tve team of Anshul Ojha and Ashutosh Pande, patients suffering or who have suffered from hepatitis, representatives of local ngos working in the field of health, and medical students and researchers.
On the second afternoon of the workshop five groups of students each had ten minutes to pitch their idea for a film about hepatitis to an expert panel which included filmmaker C Suchindran, health journalist Patralekha Chatterjee, photographer Ajay Sood, medical experts – Dr. Rakesh Aggarwal, Dr. Amit Goel and Prof. GovindJi Pandey of BBAU Lucknow. Neelu and Shalini have now been commissioned by tve to turn their film proposals into reality, and have two months to each produce a three minute film as part of a four part mini-series resulting from the project.