Ahmednagar, India

I was so fortunate to find a community partner like Snehalaya to bring the Open Hands Project to Ahemednagar. Not only are they an amazing social organization doing invaluable work, but they’re also a creative bunch who were eager to get their hands on the cameras and start producing their own media. What an incredible sight!

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Testing A New Filmmaking Model

India is notorious for creating headaches for people used to schedules and agendas, and I was quickly reminded that all was not in my control when I arrived. Like the incredible kids at Snehalaya’s Rehabilitation Center, I learned to just go with it.

Using our creativity and the resources that had survived the wear and tear of heavy use (one camera and two memory cards died and were unable to be revived, sadly), we mounted a fantastic 16mm workshop with a group of young students from Snehalaya, who had a blast learning about celluloid and getting their hands dirty.

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For our work with digital mediums, we worked on a daily basis with kids as they were available, reaching many more kids by not limiting it to a single workshop group but sacrificing every child making a complete project. Two students were selected to receive intensive ongoing training with the equipment. One produced a photo series, and one a short doc. Check out Habib, who was so interested in video making that he also become my assistant on promotional video about Snehalaya!

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It was a wonderful partnership, and one I hope to return to again in the future.

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