Education World: Young Achievers

MH 26/11 crew

A 20-member creative team of the Ryan International Group of Institutions (RIGI) in Mumbai has produced a thought-provoking docu-drama titled MH 26/11. This 40-minute film presents the impact of the 26/11 amphibious terrorist attacks on the lives of children.

MH 26/11 recounts the story of Aditya and Kabir, two Hindu and Muslim friends. Their families, too, are close until the terror attacks, whereupon the Muslim family is forced to flee and settle in a Muslim colony. “I want to spread a simple message,” says Faiz Khan (14) a class IX student of Ryan International, Malad. “Any friendship that is broken by a terror attack is a gain for terrorists.”

The idea of the film originated in the mind of Dr. Augustine Pinto, chairman of the 114-strong Ryan International Group of Institutions, who discussed it with Utkarsh Marwah, culture and creative director of the school, and RIGI managing director Grace Pinto. The crew was selected after several rounds of auditions, following which a 20-member team was sent to the Goregaon-based Whistling Woods International Institute for a short workshop on film-making.

“Ten days at Whistling Woods — three days of scripting, four days shooting, and another four days of post-production work — was a life altering experience,” says Diksha Negi (13), assistant director of the film and a class VIII student of Ryan International, Kandivali.

Inevitably, producing this film with a strong unity-in-diversity message was a memorable learning experience for the students. Comments Shubham Jaiswal (14), the cinematographer of MH 26/11: “The film required a shot of children playing football. The script demanded that it had to be taken before sunset, in natural light. That required balancing many coordinates. When the camera angle was right, the sunlight would be insufficient. When the sun emerged, something else would go wrong.”

The team plans to screen the film in as many schools as possible to spread the message of unity and communal harmony. “It is a film by children, for children, and of children, made with the support of our teachers and elders,” says Faiz.

Stand by for a case study in purposive collaboration.

Harshikaa Udasi (Mumbai)



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