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Documentaries missionary

Mumbai-based Aditya Seth wears several hats and has been associated with almost every genre of Indian media since 1986. As an academic, he lectures at well-known media training institutions including Mumbai’s St. Xavier’s Institute of Communication, Whistling Woods International, and the Emdi Institute of Media and Communi-cations. As a telefilms producer and director, he has edited and directed television serials, commercials, corporate and short films. And as a documentary producer-director — his first love — he has over 500 films to his credit.

Newspeg. 2011 was a significant year of challenges and plaudits for Seth. In mid 2011, he directed Bahadur the Accidental Brave, using his sharp camera skills to depict the spread of HIV within Nepali migrants in Mumbai. Premiered in Kathmandu and Mumbai, the film was widely acclaimed by critics and the media. Another film, Teach for India was awarded a Certificate of Merit at the IDPA Awards for Excellence 2010.

History. An arts graduate of Kirori Mal College, Delhi, Seth began his career in audio-visual media in 1987 as assistant to the famous Bollywood director Prakash Jha. Around the same time, Seth also promoted his own banner Drishya Movies, which produced documentaries and short films for the Union government, corporates and Unicef. Among his documentaries which connected with audiences in India and abroad are Youth and Future: The Indian Spectrum, Ek Paristhiti (on child labour), Paritap and Buzz of Betrayal (on sexual abuse of children), and Silent Revolution (on rural sanitation).

Direct speech. “I’ve always found fact more fascinating than fiction. I suppose this is because of an inherent need to understand society in its myriad facets, to look beyond and beneath the obvious, to analyse and comprehend the dialectic at work. I always learn from my films and regard myself as a perpetual student of life and cinema. The objective of my documentaries is to hold up a mirror to society, to arouse sensibilities and reflection. Most of my films are about local problems with global appeal, since they depict universal emotions and explore the human predicament,” says Seth.

Future plans. While continuing to produce and direct “impactful documentaries which will arouse the collective conscience of society and spur action”, Seth is also drawing up a blueprint to promote a film school under the name and style of Indian Academy of Short Films, to teach the craft and techniques of documentary and short films. “The intention is to train a pool of audio-visual communicators who will make films for international distribution,” says Seth.

Wind in your sails!

Kalpana Rangan (Mumbai)

1297 Views  | Posted on: 7 Mar,2012 Add Comment  Show Comments (2)