Darjeeling Girl Minket Lepcha’s documentary to be screened at 4th Woodpecker International Film Festival

A Darjeeling Girl Minket Lepcha’s  documentary film “Voices of Teesta” has been shortlisted to be screened  at the 4th Woodpecker International Film Festival which is going to be held at Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi from September 15th to 18th.
The ‘Voices of Teesta’ is a 41 minutes film which portrays the strong relationship of the various ethnic communities of Sikkim and West Bengal with the river Teesta. It also tries to delineate the impact and effects of various developments accomplished on the course of river Teesta that has affected the different communities and the film also captures the various unheard voices of local people who are affected by these developments.
“It travels from the source of River Teesta till the tip of the plains of North Bengal,  traverses through mini and mega hydel projects these naked voices and their bond, angst, adaptation and reconciliation with River Teesta. The high reverence of the local people towards the river Teesta and the strong belief system and practices of the indigenous communities that revolves around the river and the intangible cultural heritage viz, folklores, folktales, ritualistic performances and scriptures are significantly portrayed in the film,” said Minket.
She added that the film will also draw a picture that shall help one to understand how the various ethnic groups and communities are struggling to balance their religion andfaith with the prior developments.

“To avail an opportunity to screen my film in the festival and amongst the film fraternity and diverse audience is a great honour and a privilege for me and my team”, she expressed and added that the film will surely help the one to understand the intimate connection of the different communities with the nature and moreover with river Teesta.
Minket (33) is born and brought up in Darjeeling did her schooling from Mt. Harmon and Loreto Convent, Darjeeling. She is currently engaged as a teacher in the Assembly of God Church School at Darjeeling. She is also a freelance filmmaker and is passionate about collecting stories and sharing with children. She has been working on various projects like documenting stories and folklore based on ethnic communities like Lepcha, Bhutia, Tamang, Magar and others in and around Darjeeling and Sikkim. Along with Acoustic Traditional, an NGO based on documenting folklore and stories, she initiated exhibition and awareness programme based on the Relevance of Oral Stories in a new Millennium in Gangtok, Darjeeling and New Delhi. Prior to that she spent 13 years of her life in Delhi, studying and working in advertising firms like Ogilvy and Mather. In Darjeeling she has been actively promoting local art and culture through an outlet called Life&Leaf.

Her effort has been to create environmental changes at a grass root level and has been an ardent supporter of Affected Citizens of Teesta Movement. She also believes that there is wisdom in oral traditions of various communities around the world.
Along with the ‘Voices of Teesta’ the other 11 documentaries and short stories from the Northeast shall be showcased in the event. The total of 94 films from 7 countries and 35 cities will be screened in the film festival including many National Award winning films. The documentary is produced by NWO-WORTO Science for Global Development and the production company is Wageningen University, Netherlands and Forum for Policy Dialogue on Water Conflicts in India and Society for People’s Participation in Eco-System Management (SOPPECOM) and supported by Sikkim University. The film is completely made by a local team from Kailimpong, Darjeeling and Sikkim viz, Anup Adin, Shivam Darnal (Camerapersson), Hishey Bhutia, Elder Earth Project (Sound), Wangyal Sherpa, Koitso Salil Mukhia.
(TNT News)

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