Grand Success of
Gandhi Panorama
at Sewagram

iiMC successfully organized GANDHI PANORAMA, a two day International Film Festival to showcase films on Gandhiji and his principles on 2 & 3 October 08 at Sewagram, Wardha. More than 26 documentaries and short feature films were screened to an audience that left the venue, deeply inspired by Gandhism and its eternal relevance.

The festival was inaugurated on Thursday, Gandhi Jayanti day by Dr. Sugan Baranth, President of All India Gandhi Organizations. A host of prominent Gandhians graced the occasion including Ms Vibha Gupta; President, Magan Gandhi Museum, Shri M.U. Gadkari; President, Sewagram Ashram Pratisthan, Associates of Gandhiji, Ms Kanchan Shah and Dr Thakurdas Bang and Ms Sudha Bajaria, great grand daughter of Gandhiji.

The five yearly Gandhi Panorama saw the world wide premiers of several films from many parts of the world. Most films were about people, who through their acts of humanity, ultimately paid homage to values and beliefs that Gandhiji preached – ahimsa, simplicity, sincerity and honesty. The films also touched on some of Gandhiji’s achievements, his followers and his aspirations for his fellow Indians.

In all 26 films form 12 countries were screened. The participating countries were: Canada, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Macedonia, Spain, Switzerland, South Africa, UK, USA. The two day film festival culminated on 3rd Oct, with a lively Bhajan Sandhya by renowned Bhajan singer Prabhanjay Chaturvedi and felicitation of film directors who were present.

The inaugural film ‘A Road to Gandhi’ was based on long interviews with Late Herbert Fischer, a man who actually met Gandhiji and spent many years in India. While Mandela and Luther King take up all the mind space when it comes to International Gandhians, the German Mr Fischer gets very little mention in the media.

“When the organizers told me that the festival would be held in Wardha, I was overjoyed”. says Christian Troberg, director of the film. “It was a place where Herbert spent the largest part of his years in India.” he said.

Some of the other films that found favour with the audience present were Flowers of Rwanda (Spain), Angels in the Dust (USA), The Water Bearer (Canada) and Forbidden Tibet (France).

The audience included leading Gandhians from across the country, international Gandhi scholars, people from Wardha besides media persons from places across Maharashtra.

One of the leading Gandhians, Dr. Sugan Baranth rued the neglect of Gandhiji’s ideals and teachings in Modern India. “In modern times like these, let us ensure that Gandhian principles do not vanish from our society.” he said.

The director of the film “Gandhi – Alive in South Africa”, Mr Surendra Manan congratulated Devendra Khandelwal, the chairman of Gandhi Panorama for organizing the festival. “I was surprised to find that people came in large numbers to see the films and sat through the event from morning to evening.” he said. Mr Mana’s film was a tribute to the years Gandhiji spent in South Africa and how those years later shaped the nations history.

Mr Khandelwal said about the festival “When we conceived the festival we were slightly apprehensive whether we would get a fair number of entries from film makers for the festival. Besides there were questions about the response from the public about such an event. But we were proved wrong on both counts. We were overwhelmed by both the fantastic participation from film makers and the enthusiastic public who attended the event in huge numbers.”

Gandhi Panorama was first of its kind of event in the world and the organizers plan to hold it once in every five years. There was no entry fee for films or for film-viewers, so that everyone could celebrate the spirit of Gandhiji to the fullest.