Published: 23rd November 2018
Filmmaker Abinash Padhan is determined to showcase the best of Odisha through the documentary Mun Odisha
Through all his short films, Abinash Padhan aims to deliver a message that inspires. Even with his latest series, Mun Odisha
Born in Dunguripali, Abinash Padhan hit it off with the very first short film that he was a part of. The 'Rright' Glass, directed by Biswanath Rath, for which Padhan was an Assistant Director, travelled to at least 100 international film festivals. And since then, Padhan has relentlessly been making documentaries. Like most upcoming directors, he started shooting on his phone and then on a DSLR. He watched movies, filmmaking videos on YouTube and read up extensively about the craft and taught himself techniques and methods.
One shot: Padhan while shooting at one of the locations
When one looks at the kind of stories Padhan has been trying to tell through the camera, one wonders how he finds these stories. Whether it's The Celebration, the film he made for the festival of Raksha Bandhan, God's Own People which is about a leprosy-struck village called Hatibari near Sambalpur or Arun, A Life of Inspiration, which is based on a 73-year-old cycle repairer Arun Mishra and which went on to win Best Film at Srishti Short Film Festival. Then there is also the short film Lighting Their Dreams, a story of a brother and sister duo who are developing electricity for their village, which otherwise has been devoid of electricity. All these tales are true stories. How do you find all these ideas, we ask him curiously. "From friends, who else?" laughs the 26-year-old.
Apart from making ad films and films for NGOs, Padhan also freelances as a cinematographer
Currently, the young filmmaker is shooting for the series, Mun Odisha. "We have so many talented people in Odisha, who are great at what they do, but not all of us know about them," says Padhan. So in order to spread the word about a few amazing people and their feats, Padhan has shot Mun Odisha, a series of short films which he will begin releasing on YouTube from December. And his friends too could only do so much for him. "They have their own jobs so I went alone, sometimes I even had to stay in a jungle," recalls Padhan. His parents and friends do keep pestering him to leave filmmaking and take up a regular job, but Padhan is not keen on it, to put it mildly. "Filmmaking gives me so much satisfaction. It gives less money, for sure, but the happiness is priceless," says Padhan, who also takes up ad films and makes films for NGOs to sustain. He uses a Nikon camera and has equipment like recording microphone, lighting equipment and glide camera. To hone his own craft, he makes sure he watches documentaries of National Geographic and Discovery Channel so that he can make documentaries of international standards. "I just keep feeling that someone should be able to tell these inspirational stories and if that someone is me, so be it," Padhan concludes passionately.
Click on it: A glimpse of Mun Odisha
For more on him, click on facebook.com/abinash1294