Suresh Pungati is a highly skilled Adivasi (tribal) craftsman from the Madia tribe. The film depicts his journey from his roots to the urban setting of Panchgani, India following his own dream and in a quest for the betterment of his people. He co-founds an NGO called Devrai Art Village doing breakthrough work of high artistic merit and innovation. The film highlights the plight of an Adivasi (tribal) often caught in the crossfire between the State and the Naxalites. I was also very lucky to find very rare footage shot by Suresh Sir, of a festival that happens once in 12 years in their village which no outsider could have accessed.
The whole experience has given me a rare insight into the Naxalite problem India is grappling with. What are their motives? Where are they coming from? Is there a solution to this problem?
About the Filmmaker
Submitted by Devansh Mathur
Devansh Mathur graduated from Srishti School of Design, Bangalore specialising in cinema in 2015 after which he studied direction and camera from the Prague Film School in 2016.
He has been interested in film making and made his first film when he was 9. He assisted his brother in making the acclaimed “Birds Through my Window” in 2003, which won the Golden Tree Award at the Vatavaran Film Festival.
His first stop-motion film, “Yet Another Gulliver’s Travels” won the Special Jury Award at the Chinh India Kids Film Festival 2005.
In 2008, he was selected to go to New York to attend a Global Peace Summit called Three Dot Dash.
In 2016, his film Gotya was a finalist in the “Flame First Cut 2016”, “Chinese American Film Festival 2016”, “Southway Film Festival”, “Wiper Film Festival”, “Ozark Shorts”, “IndieWise Virtual Film Festival” and the “Glass City Film Festival 2016”. It was also the only Indian film to be screened at Filmed by Bike Festival in Ohio.
Devansh is also an avid cinematographer. “E-thil”, a Manipuri short film for which he was D.O.P for was screened at MIFF 2016 and won the Best Short Film Award at the “Cut.in Student’s Film Festival 2015”
He is also a passionate actor and has been in ads for Fastrack, Nike, Axe and other leading brands.
His short stint of 6 months at the Prague Film School in 2016 was like a peephole that broadened his perspectives in the world of cinema. It was here that he made a film on Potball, (https://www.facebook.com/potballgame) a sport that he had created during his stay in Bangalore, India. In this technologically driven age where young minds play more virtual games than actual sports, he feels that it is a great need to lure them back into the real world. Potball enables people to play anywhere and requires almost no equipment. He also want to invent new games, which can help children and youth engage with their minds and bodies.
Link to his film channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjyzaNkrLWhJmkv5X4aMAQg
Filmmaker’s website: https://about.me/devansh_mathur