Film your thoughts on lockdown times (second edition)

Online, May 11th – May 17th, 2020

We had an overwhelming response to the recently concluded ‘Film your thoughts in times of lockdown’. In just 3 days from calling for applications to starting the workshop, we received nearly 100 applications, we selected 50; we had about 35 consistently participating; they made over 20 short films – in 7 days!  The films are beautiful chronicles of inner journeys in these extraordinary times. There is a marked authenticity and affectionate touch to the narratives, as if they are notes from personal diaries trustfully shared with friends… Film-making cut-off as it is now from the paraphernalia of huge productions, film-making now in the hands of an individual, an indeed independent filmmaker… Just with a smart phone, if oriented with the film-form and film-sense, what kind of films can be made? This exhilarating experience of the first workshop, we’d like to carry forward in the 2nd edition with minor tweaks, improving our offering.   

2nd Edition Workshop Overview

This workshop will familiarise the participants with the basics of media and audio-visual storytelling – to enable them to produce their own stories within the confines of their own spaces; using handy equipment like personal computers, cell phones or any other cameras/ gadgets readily available at home. 

The workshop will begin with facilitating a basic understanding of media – its sources, roles, functions, forms and effects, particularly in times of the pandemic. The participants will be encouraged to observe and share media’s effects on one’s own personal psyche and larger social sphere. Exploring the relationship between the self and the surroundings, the workshop will hold space for the emerging stories, and help participants to acquire a language, a possible form of expression.  

Along with a few lectures, the workshop will be mostly interactive and based on practicals. Through various exercises like observing actuality, creative writing, photography and soundscape recording, the participants will be mentored to articulate their personal state and social settings in the form of short films.  

Through this workshop we would like to inspire autobiographical stories and stories on lockdown. 

Participants will be encouraged to critically examine their media environment; delve deep within oneself and freely articulate what one thinks/ feels about oneself, one’s families, societies, communities, country, the world in general and this could range from climate change, nature’s wrath, globalization, capitalism, consumerism, safety to surveillance among other things.

Type: Online documentary film-making workshop reflecting on self, surrounding and stories.

Duration: 7 Days

Medium of Instruction: English 

Participant Profile:  Proactive citizens of the country – interested in media, social media, journalism, art, film-making, photography, story telling, politics, environment and ecology – who are willing to articulate their reflections in the film form within the given constraints. 

Curriculum and Board Schedule:


15:00 to 15:30 Introduction to the Workshop and the Facilitators by Richa Hushing.

15:30 to 16:30 Introduction to the Workshop Participants – participants will introduce themselves and share briefly their lockdown situation. As an introduction, they will also share one story from the media that touched them the most – and talk briefly about it.

16:30 to 17:30 Lecture – Basics of Media by Aloke Thakore

17:30 to 18:00 Interaction with Aloke Thakore

18:00 to 18:30 Introduction to ‘Actuality’ by Richa Hushing & a brief on exercise of the day.

Exercise of the Day Observe an ‘actuality’ within the confines of the home space / extended society and write an incident report.


15:00 to 15:45 Basics of Photography by Sanket Ray.

15:45 to 16:00 3-Shot exercise (photographic exercise)

16:00 to 17:00 Feedback and Interaction on Exercise

17:00 to 17:45 Lecture on ‘A Reflection on film making and film form today’ A documentary filmmaker and cinematographer’s perspective by Rrivu Laha

17:45 to 18:15 Interaction with Rrivu Laha.

18:15 to 18:30 Tips of Recording Sound on Smart Phone & Briefing on Exercise of the day

Exercise of the Day Record a Monologue.


15:00 to 16:00 Reading of Actuality Reports – feedback, discussions & understanding actuality better.

16:00 to 17:00 Listening to the Monologues – feedback & discussions

17:00 to 18:00 Lecture on “Idea to Film” – How to develop ideas to actualize them into films by Richa Hushing & Rrivu Laha

18:00 to 18:30 Briefing on Exercise of the Day – “Make a list of visual images and audio images that one wants to record for the potential film.


15:00 to 16:00 Basics of Cinematography and Tips of Shooting with smart phone – by Rrivu Laha

In addition to the 15:00 session of the day, the facilitators will be available online throughout the day the for feedback and refining participants ideas for film.

Participants may begin shooting their own film after one-on-one session.


15:00 to 16:00 Basics of Editing by Richa Hushing

In addition to the 15:00 session of the day, the facilitators will be available online throughout the day for feedback, guiding them through challenges of the shooting and editing.

Participants may begin editing their own films after shoot.  


The day of Rough Cut.

Facilitators will be available online throughout the day for one-on-one feedback to guide through the rough cut of the film.


The day of final cut and presentations.

Facilitators will be available online throughout the day for one-on-one feedback to guide through the rough cut of the film.

15:00 to 18:30 Presentations of final films and Q&A with all filmmakers.

Method of Training and Interaction:

The online course will be conducted on ‘GoogleMeet’. Details will be shared with each participant.

The course will be a combination of lectures, followed by live interactions, facilitated Q&A; and mentored practical exercises towards production of short films by the participants – within the confines of their home space and extended society – with whatever gadgets readily available at home –  without defying any norms of the lockdown. 

Course Facilitators:

Richa Hushing & Rrivu Laha

Guest Faculty: Aloke Thakore

Additional Faculty: Sanket Ray

Facilitators’ & Guest Faculty Profile:

Richa Hushing & Rrivu Laha are documentary filmmakers, both alumni of Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. Richa specializes in Direction and Editing, while Rrivu’s specialization is Direction and Cinematography.  Their films are often character portraits; and portraits of indigenous cultures in face of conflict and at the threshold of change. Cinema verité style is their strength.

‘Nicobar, a long way…’  a documentary observing Nicobarese identity and resilience in wake of state sponsored relief and rehabilitation post Tsunami – is one of their latest works, winning ‘Special Mention’ award at the Millennium Film Festival, Belgium, 2017. Some of the other festivals where it won accolades was Pêcheurs du monde, Lorient, France, 2018; Film South Asia, Nepal, 2017; Viscult, the festival of Visual Culture, Finland, 2017; World Film Festival, Estonia, 2017; Festival Film Library of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Bristol 2017; Ethnografilm Festival, Paris, 2017; Smaragdni Eco Film Festival, Croatia, 2017; International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala, India, 2016. Their prior works too have been recognised internationally.

After a decade-long practice based in Mumbai, in 2017 Richa and Rrivu moved to Auroville, an intentional international township dedicated to the ideals of human unity, free progress and transformation of consciousness. In Auroville, they’ve found Auroville Timelines, a media pedagogy and video arts unit, researching and curating recorded memories of Auroville, creating mnemonics of the dream.  

Richa and Rrivu have also co-founded ‘Auroville Film Institute’ dedicated to the ideal of cinema education, integrating world cinema and world citizenship, experimenting with a new pedagogy, encouraging new practices of conscious cinema. Auroville Film Institute has begun to offer short term courses; and is preparing for long term plans, individualised mentorship, student exchange programmes and cinema-centric learning journeys.

Aloke Thakore is a journalist, researcher and teacher. He has worked in print and television. He has been a newsroom coach for The Times of India (Chennai and Kochi), Hindustan Times, People (magazine), Bangalore Mirror, and Mumbai Mirror; and a management and editorial consultant for The Emirates Evening Post (Dubai).

Having started his career with The Statesman in Calcutta, Thakore worked as a Producer with ABNI and its merged avatar of CNBC, and was responsible for the channel output from Mumbai. He used to write a media watch column for The Hoot ( called ‘Hammer and Tongs’, and has also conducted, and consulted on, media research and training initiatives of the Media Foundation, Panos South Asia, and PUKAR (Partners for Urban Knowledge, Action & Research), Mumbai.

A Media Leadership Fellow of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, Thakore has a Ph.D. in Journalism & Mass Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an AM in International Relations from the University of Chicago, and an MS in Journalism from the University of Kansas. He has a bachelor’s degree in English from Calcutta University. Thakore is the Honorary Director of the JM Foundation for Excellence in Journalism. He serves as a trustee of the Informed Voter project (

Sanket Ray is an alumnus of Film and Television Institute of India where he trained as a cinematographer. He graduated in Journalism from Mumbai University in 2012 and worked as a journalist in The Times of India. Later he worked with Times Now as a web editor and assistant promo producer for two years. He then shifted to NewsX where he worked as Assistant Producer in feature shows. Since 2015, he became involved in cinema and studied under Richa Hushing and Rrivu Laha, documentary film makers and co-founders of Auroville Film Institute. He assisted in television serials and assisted in many documentary films. He also conducts photography and drawing classes for children. 

Expected Contribution:

We are launching this workshop on the principles of gift economy and therefore we have a voluntary payment scheme. There are no specific fees. Participants may contribute whatever amount they feel right. Amount of contribution is not a criterion for selection. We welcome participants irrespective of any contribution – provided there is interest and willingness to participate proactively.

You may transfer your voluntary contribution to:

Account Name: AV ART SERVICE
Account Number: 37357794312
IFS Code: SBIN0003160
MICR Code: 605002007
Please fill up the transaction ID generated and the date of transaction in the application form linked below.

Selection Criteria:  
Selection will be based on applicant’s statement of purpose, lockdown thoughts and general interest.  

Certificates: Those who wish for certificates will be given digital certificates of participation. 

Completion of production is mandatory to receive certificates. 

For queries, if any, please write to: or call / message on +91 9969879319. 

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