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Interview: It's every citizen responsibility to make 'Swacch Bharat' movement a success - Varun Mehta
Recently, Varun was honoured at the 10th International Children's Film Festival in Lucknow that was organized by CMS. His short film 'Environmental Festival' was screened at the festival in the 'Swacch Bharat' category.

Apart from this he has also won an international film contest based in US for his short film 'Diwali ? The festival of Lights'. We spoke to Varun about his experiences in both the films.

Question: Congratulations on winning two big awards. Kindly describe the experience in brief.

Varun: It has been fantastic. Both the films won in the unexpected manner. The first winning came from US where my short 'Diwali The Festival of Lights' was submitted as the part of an international film competition conducted by Mobile Movie Making magazine. The film was selected by the jury after evaluating a lot of entries from around the world. Second was another short film called 'Environmental Festival' that was based on the conservation of environment was screened at the 10th International Children's Film Festival in Lucknow.

 Question: Describe your experience on shooting the first award winning film ? 'Diwali ? The festival of lights'.

Varun: It was exciting and challenging at the same time. We had to shoot a movie on a given festival with a mobile device only. The idea of this short film was to capture the essence of the Diwali's festivities by keeping it subtle. It was not supposed to be a heavy handled documentary but a light styled movie about the beauty of lights and the surroundings that glow during the night. The entry was well received by the Jury and they decided to award it. There was a tie actually and there were two winners and incidentally both films were made on Diwali. I was the only from India to have won this competition.

Question: Describe your experience while attending the 10th International Children's Film Festival.

Varun : Oh! It was amazing. This was the first time I had gone to Lucknow to participate in a film festival. I was invited to the 10th International Children's Film Festival's committee as I got to know that my film was shortlisted. My film was screened on 12th of April 2018 at two theatres. One that was especially designed for children, the screening took place at 11:00 am, the second screening was at the main auditorium which took place at 12:30 pm. Before the screening I was invited on the stage and honoured with the festival memento and bouquet. Truly that was a moment to cherish!

Question: Tell us something about 'Environmental Festival ? A Step towards Awareness' the film that was screened at ICFF?

Varun: Environmental Festival is about an annual event on environment that is celebrated in Tagore Public School in Aligarh where a bunch of kids get together to learn how to protect and conserve the environment. It requires different stages of preparation. Kids make slogans, they work on skits, there's also a drawing competition. There is another section where kids make new stuff out of recycled waste thus going green. They also plant trees. Everything is designed to be celebrated as a festival and thus I decided to film a documentary on it. I thought this is perfect idea to send out a great message for protecting the environment.

Question: You said the film was screened as a part of the 'Swaachh Bharat' abhiyan category. What does this campaign mean to you and In what ways it can be utilized further.

Varun: I think our PM sir Mr Narendra Modi has done a great job by launching 'Swacch Bharat' movement. This is indeed motivating as he has taken this initiative in order to have the nation going greener, cleaner and healthier. Cleanliness is Important not just in our homes but also in the environment where we live in. Cleaning trash out of the home is not the only job, cleanliness matters on the whole. The 'Swacch Bharat' movement basically designed to help the environment also which is the need of the hour. Our film was based on the same lines. As a citizen, it's our duty to make 'Swacch Bharat' movement a success from our own ends. And I think people are becoming responsible.

Question: According to you, what are the most important aspects of filmmaking.

Varun: One should work on the concept first because if the concept is itself faulty, your project wouldn't survive at all. Then comes the script, screenplay and the rest of the planning a film needs. Everything needs to fall in place. Filmmaking is a process you don't master in one way neither it is easy. It requires patience and conviction.

Question: Would you like to share any message to upcoming buddy filmmakers out there?

Varun: Just keep working towards your goals. Your path shall not be easy and full of challenges but you must not give up. Just keep moving with conviction and dedication and the victory shall be yours.

We wish the young filmmaker all the best for his future endeavours.

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