Documentary on Lord Buddha

TNN, Nov 28, 2007

PATNA, Inida -- A London-based art organisation, Motiroti, has assigned a Patna-based short film and documentary maker, Pranav Sahi, the task of making a 60-second short film on Lord Buddha under its 360 (full circle) programme.

Sahi is one of the 60 established and emerging artists of South Asian diaspora living in Britain, India and Pakistan to have been selected by Motiroti for making 60 films of 60-second duration each. Motiroti has selected 20 participants from each of the three countries for its programme which is being supported by the UK Arts Council and British Council.

The theme for this programme is "Unique View on Identity In An Age Of Globalisation" while the objective is to excite the imagination of film makers and explore the role that art can play in building alliances and shaping communications and insights across the boundaries of culture and geography, Sahi told TOI.

In his 60 second film — "Buddha In Bodh Gaya In 2007" — to be shot soon in Bodh Gaya and its adjacent places visited by Lord Buddha, Sahi will explore the present contradictions of Lord Buddha's preachings and messages prevalent there. In all, there would be 30 shots of two seconds each displaying Lord Buddha's message and the prevailing contradictions due to the changed behaviour of the people in the globalised environment, he said.

The film will depict Lord Buddha's arrival in Bodh Gaya after 2,500 years of "mahaparinirvan". "When Lord Buddha arrived, he watched the contradictions of his own messages by the people."

The 60-second film would be without any dialogue or super-imposed titles, though chants of Buddham Sharnam Gachchhami and music will drift from the background, Sahi said.

The script of the 60-second film sent to Motiroti by Sahi earned him the participation with due invitation to join this artistic adventure. The concept is revolutionary as the shots would include the ones like serving non-veg items and even dog's meat in restaurants situated in the vicinity of Bodh Gaya temple in stark contrast to Lord Buddha's message of non-violence.

Other shots include Lord Buddha's body reduced to skeletons while in penance while the priests carrying his message are plum and heavy. Contradictions of Lord Buddha's messages and preachings regarding maintaining the middle path and ensuring peace, harmony, brotherhood and non-violence would also be depicted in the short film, Sahi said.