NFDC's The Gold Laden Sheep & The Sacred Mountains Won FIPRESCI Award At The Prestigious 43rd HKIFF
Ridham Janve's debut feature, presented by National Film Development Corporation, The Gold Laden Sheep & The Sacred Mountain won FIPRESCI award at the prestigious Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) held from March 18- April 3, 2019
The jury's citation for the FIPRECI prize during the award ceremony was "For the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize we selected a film that while using exceptionally limited resources weaves an unconditional and magical cinematic experience. The filmmaker assembles a narrative that blends nature spiritually into an irresistible and immersive flow."
Set among the pastoral Gaddi community in Himachal Pradesh the film explores the adventures of elderly shepherd Arjun (played by Bhedpal Arjun Pant) who sets out to find a pilot who crashed near the mountain. The film has been made under trying circumstances with non-professionalsand a small crew.
The Gold Laden Sheep & The Sacred Mountain had its World Premiere at 20th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival where it won the Silver Gateway Award and international Premiere at International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), 2019 in Bright Future Competition Section. It also won Prasad DI Award (Work in Progress lab) at NFDC Film Bazaar 2016.
National Film Development Corporation, India has come on board as co-producer to present the Himachali film, which is produced, by Mountain Motion Pictures and Dark Matter Pictures.
Nazhat J Shaikh, Director Finance, NFDC. says, "NFDC India is thrilled that the Gold Laden Sheep and The Sacred Mountain in rare Indian Gaddi language has won FIPRESCI award at the prestigious Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) 2019. We saw the potential in the film when we first saw it at NFDC Film Bazaar in 2016 as part of Work-in- Progress Lab where it won Prasad Di Award and we are very happy to take this rare gem of an Indian film to the world audiences."
Sharing his joy the director and a film graduate from National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad says, "Since we started the film until it got finished, it was a like a long steep climb on a misty mountain. Everyone worked really hard to make the film what it is. Now that the clouds are clearing up and sunlight is falling on the film, it feels nice and bright. We are very happy to receive this recognition. It's a big honour. "
After an Air Force Jet crashes in the Upper Himalayas, an old Shepherd leaves his Herd to find its pilot. But the mountain where the Jet fell is sacred and the Shepherd's intentions are not. He struggles through quests off fears and desires, as he treads on forbidden ground. The herd left behind disintegrates as predators roam around and they are left head-less.
'The Sacred Mountain' in many cultures is portrayed as a mystical figure, a symbol of the earth, spirituality and eternity. And yet, as stated in the mythology of Vishnu, if one could witness the passing of millenniums in seconds, they would see the very mountains rise and fall like ripples in the water.
The Gold-Laden Sheep and The Sacred Mountain is an exploration of the divine. Is faith just an excuse for encounters that are beyond human comprehension? Or is it a basic instinct that all
humans are entitled to? How do we keep up with faith in the run for the human quest of finding more? The film explores these ideas in the pretext of one mountain which is considered to be sacred amongst the Gaddi shepherds who have been grazing their sheep around it's pastures for centuries. There are many stories, myths and mysteries set around this sacred mountain. They say it is a living entity that can bless or destroy you. Science as we know it, does not apply to that part of the earth. In the fall of a leaf seasons can pass, and a few conscious steps can augment somewhere far in the future or in past. It's a manifestation of the intruder's own intentions, a test in the gentle gardens of unforgiving nature.
The film is like a contemporary myth in the making. Comprising of an all non-actor cast from the Gaddi community playing themselves, the film lingers between the real and the hyper real. The overriding intention is for any person to be transported to these beautiful yet unforgiving mountains and experience the conjecture of beliefs and the nature of nature itself.
About the director
Ridham Janve: A film graduate from the National Institute of Design, Ridham's last film was an official selection in the Indian Panaroma at IFFI and also represented India in the SAARC film festival 2015 held in Colombo.
National Film Development Corporation of India
Incorporated in the year 1975, National Film Development Corporation Limited (NFDC) was formed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, with the primary objective of promoting the Good Cinema Movement. NFDC has over the years produced noteworthy films (with acclaimed filmmakers) like Ghare-Baire (Satyajit Ray), Gandhi (Richard Attenborough), The Making of the Mahatma (Shyam Benegal), Salaam Bombay! (Mira Nair), Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (Kundan Shah), Mirch Masala (Ketan Mehta), The Lunchbox (Ritesh Batra), The Good Road (Gyan Correa), among many others. In addition to production of films, NFDC has been instrumental in creating an ecosystem to support the development, financing and distribution of independent films across the country. Film Bazaar, a NFDC initiative, has been an integral part of this process. The Film Facilitation Office of the Ministry of I & B, which is under the operational aegis of NFDC, launched its web portal www.ffo.gov.in at IFFI 2018, thus putting India on the map for all international filmmakers.
Dark Matter Pictures
Established in 2014, Dark Matter Pictures is a film company based in India, that attempts to create high-quality, sophisticated films that might be deemed too risky by contemporary Bollywood studios. Our storytelling through the use of film brings to light the continuing evolution of the human condition, sharing and learning in a transparent examination of ourselves. Filmography: 'The Gold-Laden Sheep and The Sacred Mountain' (IFFR, MAMI Silver Gateway Award) 'Mehsampur' (SYDNEY FF, MAMI Grand Jury Prize)
Mountain Motion Pictures
Mountain Motion Pictures is an independent film production company established with a vision to produce artistic, edgy, intellectually stimulating and emotionally engaging films for Indian and international audiences. The company is dedicated to push the boundaries of film form and find new horizons in cinema. The company has produced Ridham Janve's debut feature film, 'The Gold-Laden Sheep and The Sacred Mountain'. Upcoming projects of the company are celebrated Indian filmmaker Amit Dutta's 'Ped Pe Kamra' and Ridham Janve's untitled crime/mystery film.