Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Puppets create awareness for AIDS

AIDS is the most serious problem facing mankind in this century.Several films are made every year to create awareness amongst people of all age groups regarding this disease.But “Puppetry and AIDS” sounds quite different.That’s exactly what Gen-Next Ventriloquist and Puppeteer Satyajit Padhye has done.He has used this Puppetry medium to create awareness regarding AIDS and HIV in the film titled “AIDS – The Deadline”. The 4 minute short film will be released on the occasion of the World AIDS Day which is celebrated on 1st December every year.
Satyajit Ramdas Padhye
got interested in this art of puppetry from childhood.Being son of famous Ventriloquist and Puppeteer Ramdas Padhye, Satyajit regularly use to accompany his dad in every show.Speaking more on this he said “AIDS is one of the most serious problem and is continuously increasing, so it is necessary to create awareness amongst people regarding this disease .Mr Devendra Patil of Manav Seva Sangh, Sion wanted to make a film on AIDS, but wanted something different and unique, so that it could really make an impact on minds of the audience.When he narrated me the concept, we decided that this film cannot be done with live actors.I did some research and found out that Puppet is a visual metaphor, representing the 'real life', but at the same time, it is one step removed from the real world. It can inform and educate at the same time. Puppetry medium can be used to break down racial, social, political barriers and stereotypes, because it represents the 'neutral' aspect of the human, exaggerating its 'larger than life' issues. The reason for this is the puppet does not necessary have to belong to any particular culture, race or language group or social class, as these can be researched and adapted to the target audience. It is an ideal way to reach a largely illiterate audience.Puppetry medium can deliver the strongest possible message, in a light-hearted manner. It has an universal appeal.It can cater to all age groups and people of all nationalities if used with music.It can convey an expression in subtle way which can be understood by one and all.So we decided to use the Puppetry medium.
The concept of the film is very unique and different.The film succeeds in creating awareness about AIDS and HIV.The film at the end, gives the message, that now is the time to come together and solve this problem facing mankind.Thus film is aptly titled “AIDS – The Deadline”.
Speaking more about the film Satyajit said “Conventionally, Puppetry medium is often used for creating comedy.Hence it was really a great challenge to do this film as it dealt with a serious subject like AIDS.I was required to make the puppets entirely new for this film.So the puppet making took a lot of time.I have used more than 30 puppets in this film, which were exclusively designed for this film.I have used different type of puppetry forms, from simple finger puppets to highly sophisticated “Muppet style of Puppets”. I was the lead puppeteer and I had trained other 5 puppeteers who assisted me in this project.I think so, this may be the first film in India which is using the Puppetry medium to create awareness regarding AIDS and HIV.We are planning to release this film in different theatres in Mumbai in the 1st week of December and it will be screened before the regular film. The film is directed and produced by Devendra Patil, Associate Director is Mahesh Rahi and the background commentary is done by television actor Sudhir Dalvi.
At the age of 13, Satyajit started as an assistant puppeteer & assisted his father for the play “Good Night Baby Dino” which was directed by Ad-man Bharat Dabolkar.From then on,he has been working along with his father on number of projects which includes various ad-films, movies, puppet serials and puppet plays.He was one of the lead puppeteers for the music video “Maine Payal Hain Chhankai”.He also assisted his father for the film “Dil Hai Tumharra”.He has also performed for Mumbai High Court to create awareness amongst masses regarding “Right To Information Act”. After a successful Gulf tour where he performed shows in different schools across Dubai and Sharjah, he represented “INDIA” along with his father at the World Festival of Puppet Art in Prague in June, 2006.
Currently pursuing his Chartered Accountancy course, Satyajit is a graduate from R.A.Podar College and has represented his college at various inter-collegiate festivals.His performances at Malhar & Youth Fest won him accolades.He has also represented “INDIA” at Japan Ventriloquist Festival,one of the prestigious events in Puppetry World held at Tokyo along with his father.
With his razor sharp wit & rib-tickling humor, Satyajit has really arrived on the scene of Indian entertainment.He has capacity to instill fresh ideas and approaches in the performing act of ventriloquism and puppetry for the younger generations. He is a serious computer buff and has lived up in his priorities the development and presentations of computerised puppetry apart from live shows.

Contact : Satyajit R Padhye, Padhye Bldg, S.K Bole Road, Dadar(W) Mumbai – 28
Tel : 9820683852, 24229842