Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): At the recently concluded award ceremony of 12th National Science Film Festival of India (NSFFI), held in Bhopal, Hema Kumari, a 20-year-old film director and actor from Bihar, walked home with two awards in her hands.
The auditorium was filled with the loud cheers when the second prize in Out Of Box category (films made by degree / diploma-level students / research scholars) was announced and Profit From Waste, a film based on flower waste management won it.
After winning the prize, Hema Kumari said, “I am very happy that my efforts were recognised and celebrated with an award. The achievement has inspired me to work on more such topics that have remained unknown.”
Apart from Profit From Waste, another of Hema’s directorial films was also screened at the Film Festival. Red and Green is a film about developing awareness on switching to reusable menstrual products. On the question of picking up a subject that is still a taboo in India, she said, “The topic of menstrual hygiene is something that I have experienced personally. I did research and found out that sanitary pads are not biodegradable. Then, I came to know about menstrual cups and the apprehensions that women have regarding it.”
She added, “Before making this film, I used a menstrual cup myself.” Hema also won the Poonam Chaurasia Memorial Award for best female science filmmaker/cinematographer/editor. On becoming an inspiration for young women filmmakers, she said, “I know that girls feel like we are not as strong as boys in the technical field but it is not true. We just need to learn and for that, a mobile phone is enough. You can start making films on your phone.”
On future of science films in India, Hema said, “National Science Film Festival has connected people from different states.” Bhopal hosted NSFFI for the first time this year and on her experience in Bhopal, she said, “Enjoyed coming to Bhopal. Tribal Museum here is actually amazing.”
(Contributed by Anamika Pathak)