National award comes as a pleasant surprise for Niranjan Vanalli

Dr Niranjan Vanalli photoProf Niranjan Vanalli is a well-known name among the Kannada litterateur fraternity. Professor by profession, Dr Vanalli is a writer by passion. He is well known for the feature writings of his, which are being published often in leading magazines, newspapers of the state. Over the years, he has turned out to be an authority over feature writings in Kannada with an enormous experience.

The flawless writings of Dr Vanalli has garnered a group of readers who eagerly wait to read his columns, photo features, travelogues, and what not he writes! Dr Vanalli was feted with a national award recently. For a change, this award has come for his short film, ‘Laila Gold’.

When did Vanalli get into the new field of short films, you may wonder. When he was the Director of EMMRC, one of the staff came to him and informed him about an invitation for short films by the Department of Panchayat Raj. He suddenly remembered having read about a village panchayat, Laila, near Belthangady in Dakshina Kannada.

As he was heading towards Ujire to take part in an event, he took the crew along with him and they visited the village and shot the visuals. “Laila village panchayat is one of the most advanced and unique panchayats in the country. They have all the roads concretised and the panchayat works no less to a corporate office. They collect the wastes from all the houses and prepare organic manure out of it, which is being sold to the farmers at a very low cost,” Vanalli explains.

“It took us about a week to make the short film. We sent it to the Panchayat Raj department and we never expected an award. We were surprised to know that our short film won the first prize among the 510 short films. Laila is a model for all the villages to learn and to develop,” he says.

“I think it was the message and uniqueness of the short film that won us the award. Many have made short films on the concept of Panchayat Raj, but we carried a single village and its development model as the core subject. It is my feature writing that enabled me to write the script in this angle and the policy of feature writing – one article, one angle – has clicked in this effort,” he explains.

“The movie was supposed to be a 3-minute duration but we had shot it for about 8 minutes. Somehow managed to reduce  it to 5 minutes for the second time and finally in the third attempt we could make it exactly 3 minutes. Depicting the whole success message in just 180 seconds was a real challenge,” he adds.

“I am fond of Uttara Kannada district where I was born and brought up. I had written a lot of features on various topics in Uttara Kannada. I would love to introduce the district which has not been seen in the way I could in future if I get some time,” he says.

The movie ‘Laila Gold’ has brought laurels to the state by winning the prestigious national award where among the 510 contestants, most of them were from film industry.

The ever supportive wife of Dr Vanalli, Savitha Niranjana, his children Spoorthi and Siri have been supportive in the new field, short film making. He fondly remembers the work done by his team members to make the short film, which turned out to be an award winning.

-By Shrithi Joyappa K

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