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Glad tidings this year



Arun Chadha.

FOR ARUN Chadha, the documentary filmmaker, this year has proved to be a happy one. It has brought for him The Golden Conch Award, the biggest award for national documentaries, for his 30-minute documentary film titled "Swayam" at the Mumbai International Documentary Film Festival-2004. At the festival, organised by the Public Service Broadcasting Trust in partnership with Doordarshan, approximately 600 documentaries, short and animation films from 22 countries were screened.

The film, says Arun, "is all about the short and long term impact of micro-credit mechanisms on women's self-help groups and endeavours to highlight a collective voice." This documentary also takes an in-depth look at the impact of self-help groups on the lives of people in terms of wide ranging economic and social benefits that have accrued to their members. The movie has also highlighted different aspects of social and financial intermediation of NGOs involved with the groups. So many significant development works at grassroots level remain unnoticed. So, he feels that his documentary will draw the mass attention on the efforts of self-help groups.

Arun Chadha has been committed to documentary works on issues ranging from development, health to social anthropology for two decades. For him, Chinnapillai, a woman of Madurai district in Tamil Nadu was the main source of inspiration, who encouraged him to work for people at the grass root level.

Arun earned his first Golden Conch award for his documentary "Shame Is Not Mine" in the Sixth Mumbai International Film Festival in 2000. He has also received the Best Film Award at the International Documentary Film Festival on Science, Society and Development held in Thiruvanthapuram, Kerala in 1995. Arun, who learned filmmaking at the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune has also made short films on social issues for government and non-profit organisations.

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