The teachers, facilitators and administrative faculty decided that the children need better infrastructure in order to up-skill them.
A few kids ran helter skelter in a school nested in the Dhauladhar ranges of the Himalayas, singing songs and chasing each other. The Udaan school had been only a few years old and was proving to be a successful experiment with alternative education and learning systems. Children learnt from their surroundings, to count, to think, to dance and to sing. They filled the walls with colour and happiness, while being nurtured to become aware, sensitive and vibrant individuals. Education was not like any other school, as it included a variety of skills that aren’t in any standard curriculum. The children were taken to nature camps, participated and organized exhibitions of art and science, and learnt a variety of skills like carpentry, pottery.
Work and play were equally important in this school, so the teachers, facilitators and administrative faculty decided that the children need better infrastructure. They began working on playgrounds, building physical spaces that can serve as flexible creative labs and using technology in learning. While these were great ideas that contributed to an unconventional and alternative learning system, they needed to raise funds, and fast.
And this is where the story got interesting. They called on a professional documentary filmmaker, Vivek Sangwan, co-Founder of Verve Media, a firm that makes films and creative media in unique and contemporary styles. “We find it extremely exciting to work with people who are changing the world in such different and alternative ways”, said Sangwan, who directed a fundraising video for Udaan School.
The video reflected the ambience of the physical space, which had innocence, playfulness and an atmosphere of happy education. “Everyone makes fundraising videos today – NGOs, CSR initiatives, government functionaries. Videos are an integral part of PR, and hence most media firms approach this very mechanically, following rigid templates of saleable vocabulary.”
“For us, our best work happens when we build a relationship with the people and not look at them solely as clients. That is when our work becomes honest and anyone who watches the film will be moved to respond”, Sangwan added. He visited the school, spent many days with children, took time and effort to blend in and understand the essence of their initiative. After shooting the film, he also worked on its editing within the same premises.
Udaan school’s vice-principal, Rajat Dhariwal, said, “We hired Vivek to make a film that can help us raise funds but he came on board as a true partner. He understood our pain points, shared our passion and worked with complete ownership of the project. He ended up making something which was super creative, captured the spirit of the work in a very interesting manner and yet conveyed the emotional message. In the end the work exceeded our expectations. We've found a partner for the future and a great friend through this film project.”
(We got this information from a press release.)