Shashwati Talukdar is an independent filmmaker whose recent films include ’Please Don’t Beat Me, Sir!‘ (2011) and ‘Wall Stories’ (2013).  Her work ranges from documentary, narrative and experimental and has shown at venues including the Busan International Film Festival, Margaret Mead Film Festival, Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia and the Whitney Biennial. Shashwati worked as an editor in the film and television industry, where she got her start as an assistant editor for a TV show by Michael Moore. Shashwati has taught at NYU, Arcadia and Temple University. Visit Shashwati’s production company: Four Nine and a Half Pictures. Email Shashwati at: shashwati@fournineandahalf.com

Over sixty million Indians belong to communities imprisoned by the British as “criminals by birth.” The Chhara of Ahmedabad, in Western India, are one of 198 such “Criminal Tribes.” Declaring that they are “born actors,” not “born criminals,” a group of Chhara youth have turned to street theater in their fight against police brutality, corruption, and the stigma of criminality — a stigma internalized by their own grandparents. Please Don’t Beat Me, Sir! follows the lives of these young actors and their families as they take their struggle to the streets, hoping their plays will spark a revolution. (75 min. 2011) [Learn more.]

Short and experimental films. Visit Shashwati on Vimeo to see more.

‘Wall Stories’ is a project about mural paintings in Dehradun. These paintings date from the 18th to the early 20th century, and can be found all along the valley.

Video on Demand

We are very happy to announce that, in an effort to ensure that as many people as possible see our film, we are now offering Please Don’t Beat Me, Sir! for online streaming via Vimeo On Demand. On Demand is a brand new distribution platform from Vimeo which allows you to watch films streaming on the web, smartphones, tablets, and on web-connected TVs (like Roku).

We hate paying for things which we don’t get to keep, so we are especially pleased that Vimeo offers filmmakers the option of including file downloads as well as online streaming. If you watch our film online on Vimeo you can also download a copy of the film to your own hard drive and watch it whenever and wherever you want.

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Collaborative Film Project in Dehradun

Film ProjectWe want to make a film that  challenges us creatively.  Instead of coming in with a script which is then imposed on the cast and crew, we will reverse the process.  We find the location and actors first and build the story around them.  This is how we made ‘Rangroot’ which turned out to be a very rewarding experience, and now we are ready to get our creative juices flowing again.

Read about ‘Rangroot’ here and here.

Actors, Cinematographers, Sound Designers, Editors, and Producers are welcome to apply.  Fill in the form below.

Schedule
10/7-8 Auditions and interviews of cast and crew
10/9 Meeting of selected cast and crew
10/10 Scripting based on selected actors and location
10/11 Rehearsal
10/12 Camera blocking and shooting script
10/13-14 Production
10/15-23 Post production
10/24 Screening!

We want to emphasize this project is a way to create an outlet for talented actors and filmmakers in Dehradun, to create an environment where people can learn from each other and perfect their skills.  Its not a commercial enterprise. We are not getting paid to put this project together and neither is anyone participating. We cannot reimburse any costs that are incurred.