I met Professor Claudia Orenstein at a puppetry convention where I was invited to share clips from my debut short film about a puppet troupe from Myanmar - The Htwe Oo Myanmar puppet troupe, and gather feedback from academics and artists in this creative field.
A collaboration was born when I expressed interest in tackling real issues using the medium of puppetry arts and Professor Claudia had, at that time, written about female artists in India.
In 2012, we travelled together to India where we met 4 puppetry artists, with traditional and contemporary backgrounds. Our initial concept was to look at each of these artists and tie it in with the rise of women in leadership in India. However, without a clear project to follow, the concept soon changed when we were introduced to the lovely and humorous, Padmini Rangarajan from Sphoorthi Theatre in Hyderabad. With her good looks and bubbly personality, I felt she would make a good subject to lead an engaging story; plus, she was just about to join forces with a local NGO and Nokia India to mentor local students and raise awareness of sustainable consumption and issues surrounding electronic waste.
With Professor Claudia's knowledge and expertise on Indian puppetry and Padmini's passion, we embarked on a journey and filmed with her during two trips to India in 2013.
The resulting film differed to what we had initially conceived, but raises awareness of a topic that is important, yet not widely talked about. It also gave us the opportunity to visit traditional artists from the Warrangal district and understand the challenges both traditional and contemporary artists face in keeping this art-form alive to communicate moral and current messages.
To Claudia, Padmini and all those who supported us on our journey and who have taken the time to watch the film, we hope we have offered thought-provoking ideas and presented ways to make conscious choices that preserve our health and environment, as well as sharing the wonderful world of puppetry arts.
Victoria, Producer/Director at Hart In Media www.hartinmedia.com
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To enrich lives of Pupils, People, Community, Society and beyond by integrating the Art of "Educational Puppetry" into mainstream academic training