Ek Tha Gaon (Once Upon A Village)

Ek Tha Gaon (Once Upon A Village)

India

2021

61 min

India

2021

61 min

“In our village, we have a saying: the dead come back to visit the living. Now those of us who remain have only these ghosts for company.” Semla is a ghost village in the Himalayan foothills. Climate change and dwindling prospects have driven the 50 families that once lived here to migrate to cities. With this migration, farming livelihoods connected to the terrain and seasons have faded away. Like her village, Leela is old, resilient, and forgotten. Despite loneliness and struggles with an aging body, Leela does not want to leave. Golu is the only young person in the village. Desperate to escape but without the means to do so, Golu roams around the abandoned village. The emotional journey of the two women changes their relationship with the place they call home. A way of life struggles to stay relevant.

“In our village, we have a saying: the dead come back to visit the living. Now those of us who remain have only these ghosts for company.” Semla is a ghost village in the Himalayan foothills. Climate change and dwindling prospects have driven the 50 families that once lived here to migrate to cities. With this migration, farming livelihoods connected to the terrain and seasons have faded away. Like her village, Leela is old, resilient, and forgotten. Despite loneliness and struggles with an aging body, Leela does not want to leave. Golu is the only young person in the village. Desperate to escape but without the means to do so, Golu roams around the abandoned village. The emotional journey of the two women changes their relationship with the place they call home. A way of life struggles to stay relevant.

Original Language

Garhwali/ India

Direction

Srishti Lakhera

Camera

Amith Surendran/ Kai Tillman

Editing

Bhamati Sivapalan

Sound

Nithin Lukose

Script

Srishti Lakhera

Producer

Srishti Lakhera/ Bhamati Sivapalan

Filmmaker

Filmmaker

Srishti Lakhera’s first feature documentary, Ek Tha Gaon, won the Audience Choice Award at the Seoul Eco Film Festival, 2021, was an official selection as India Gold in The Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI), and chosen for the Vision du Reel-Media Library. She co-directed Ishq Dosti & All That, a film produced for the Public Service Broadcasting Trust. In her decade-long career as a filmmaker and a media trainer, she has produced films for international organizations like UNISDR, government bodies such as the Forest Department of Uttarakhand, as well as national and international television including Doordarshan and Channel News Asia. Lakhera is associated with grassroots organizations across India and conducts filmmaking workshops for marginalized communities.

Srishti Lakhera’s first feature documentary, Ek Tha Gaon, won the Audience Choice Award at the Seoul Eco Film Festival, 2021, was an official selection as India Gold in The Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI), and chosen for the Vision du Reel-Media Library. She co-directed Ishq Dosti & All That, a film produced for the Public Service Broadcasting Trust. In her decade-long career as a filmmaker and a media trainer, she has produced films for international organizations like UNISDR, government bodies such as the Forest Department of Uttarakhand, as well as national and international television including Doordarshan and Channel News Asia. Lakhera is associated with grassroots organizations across India and conducts filmmaking workshops for marginalized communities.

Contact

Srishti Lakhera

33/5, Adarsh Gram, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India – 249201

Contact

Srishti Lakhera

33/5, Adarsh Gram, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India – 249201