Course: Art of Documentary Filmmaking (Spring 23)
Nakul Singh Sawhney directed his first film in 2005, ‘With a little help from my friends’, which won the award for the 2nd best film at the 60 Seconds to Fame film festival in Chennai.
He then completed a course in TV direction at the FTII, Pune, during 2005-06. At FTII, he directed ‘Agaurav’ and ‘Undecided’ which won awards for 2nd Best Film and Best Director respectively at the Hyderabad International Film Festival.
His first independent documentary film was ‘Once upon a time in Chheharta’; on the history of the working class movement of Chheharta, Amritsar. He went on to work with Mr. Saeed Mirza on the feature film, ‘Ek Tho Chance’ where he directed the ‘making of’ the film and also worked as the post-production supervisor of the film.
In 2012, he finished directing the film “Izzatnagari Ki Asabhya Betiyaan”, a critically acclaimed film on “honour” crimes in Haryana. Another version of the same film titled, “Immoral Daughters” has been screened in several parts of the country as also in festivals like IDSFFK, Vibgyor and at the Film South Asia Film Festival in Nepal.
In 2015 he completed his film, titled ‘Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hai…’ (Muzaffarnagar Eventually…) on the religious riots that broke out in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts in 2013. The film has been screened at several venues across India and abroad, including at prestigious film festivals like Cinema of Resistance and Film South Asia (Nepal), Mumbai International Film Festival, IDSFFK and Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival.
‘Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hai…’ was awarded the Certificate of Merit in the ‘Non-Fiction’, Over 60 minutes’ category and Silver for Best Director category at Indian Documentary Producers Association (IDPA) in 2017.
Nakul is the founder of the film and media collective in West UP, ChalChitra Abhiyaan, which trains youth from marginalised communities in filmmaking and media. The collective brings to light the voices of the marginalised in their own voices through videos. The collective also extensively screens films in villages and townships of west UP.
Other short documentary films by Nakul include, ‘Kairana, Surkhiyon ke Baad…’ (Kairana, After the Headlines), ‘Muavza’ (Redressal) and ‘Savitri’s Sisters at Azadi Kooch’.