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Art is not a luxury, but a necessity.



Jyothi Venkatesh

In this unprecedented health crisis, we are facing the twin challenge of how to use our time in the most productive manner and how we can contribute to the fight.National Award winning filmmaker Satyanshu Singh who made his directorial debut with Chintu Ka Birthday which he co directed with his brother Devanshu Singh, has come up with a unique idea of conducting online lectures on cinema to raise money for coronavirus relief. He has also involved other experts from the film industry in this noble cause. Actor Vinay Pathak, screenwriter and teacher Anjum Rajabali (Ghulam, Rajneeti), DOP Siddharth Diwan (Queen, Trapped), director Shoojit Sircar (Piku, Vicky Donor) and screenwriter Sudip Sharma (NH 10, Udta Punjab) have joined hands with Satyanshu.Since April 1, more than a dozen lectures have been conducted and more than Rs 15 Lakhs have been donated. More than 700 film enthusiasts, from big Indian cities but also small towns like Bokaro, Kota, Bhilai, Almora, and Coimbatore have benefitted from these lectures. Several film buffs, currently living in Canada, USA, England, Ireland, Germany, UAE, Singapore, and Australia adjust their time differences to be a part of these lectures.

Neither Satyanshu nor the other experts make any money from the initiative. All the money is donated to the NGOs directly, which include organizations like Milaap, Goonj, Sarvahitey, and Sneha, providing food and support to out-of-work labourers, women and children in slums, and the homeless. The daily wageworkers from the film industry are also benefiting from this initiative.In order to attend these lectures, one has to donate a minimum of Rs. 1000 per session to an NGO or a fund from a shortlist provided by Satyanshu. After making the donation, the student has to send the receipt to Satyanshu to receive the invite for the session.The lectures will continue throughout the month of May as more and more experts from the industry and students from all over the world join hands in this endeavor.

Writer and filmmaker, Satyanshu Singh says,  “The overwhelming response these lectures have received has enabled me to contribute way more than I ever could as an individual. Seeing hundreds of people stretch their limits of compassion further strengthens my belief in the inherent goodness in all human hearts.”Anjum Rajabali adds, “We should all be using whatever we have – skill, labour, talent, knowledge, whatever – to generate material support for those in need. I admire Satyanshu’s worthy initiative and am very happy to be part of it.”

Vinay Pathak signs off saying,  “Everything Satyanshu does is nothing short of brilliance. At least that’s what I’ve come to learn ever since I’ve known him, and that’s why I readily agreed to his lectures the second he mentioned them to me. Imagine an initiative that brings together some of the most potent and creative minds together on one platform to explore cinema and its many facets. And the best of it all is that it contributes towards the present noble cause, in which there are SO MANY who’re not as privileged as WE ALL ARE. Cinema makes ye think, and ponder, and change and be creative, and so does Satyanshu! More power to him!”Here is the website link: