Creating a Scene in School
A primary school teacher in Jaunpur believes movie-making can bring teachers, students and their parents closer. Along with primary teachers from other schools, and some students and parents, he made a film called Sir Ji that already has 100k views.
Laraib Fatima Warsi 26 Oct 2023 1:20 PM GMT
Shivam Singh said he had lots on his mind. The 40-year-old teacher at the Lakeshar Primary School in Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh, said he often felt a vacuum where once there was a healthy flourishing teacher-student relationship.
“I feel teachers and students have lost that kind of relationship where students can be free and open with their teachers and share their problems and dreams,” he told Gaon Connection. He thought long and hard about some project that would involve the teachers and students working closely together, perhaps even after school hours.
And he hit upon the idea of making a movie with the help of primary school teachers of some other schools besides his own colleagues, some students and their parents.
He started shooting the movie called ‘Sir Ji’ in December 2022 and completed the shoot in July 2023.
The title of the movie is Sir Ji. Set in a school in Khaparhan Nyay Panchayat in Jaunpur. It draws comparisons between the traditional and modern teaching methods. “The movie also forces parents to think if they are being supportive enough to their children, and are role models. Or are they being demanding, unreasonable and difficult with them,” Shivam Singh said. Most of the parents are farmers or work in brick kilns, he said.
Sir Ji in the movie is about to retire and he worries how his students will fare after he leaves. As the story progresses, issues that plague rural society crop up. Casteism, discrimination, problems of students dropping out, the struggles of students with special needs and of course poverty.
The script was co-written by Shivam Singh and Prem Tiwari who is a headmaster at another Primary School. The music for the movie was composed by Rahul Pathak, from a music studio based in Jaunpur. The lyrics were penned by Rakesh Singh from Jaunpur, Ruchi Sharma from Bareilly and Sushma Tripathi from Gorakhpur, all three primary school teachers. Sir Ji has 8 teachers, 15 students and four guardians acting in it.
Sir Ji was released on September 5 this year on a Youtube channel owned by Singh named ‘Shivam Sir Ji’. It has 7,000 subscribers and the one hour-40-minute movie has hit 100k views within a fortnight of its release. Singh shot and edited the entire movie on his Samsung mobile phone with the help of an editing app called Kinemaster.
Yash Kannojia, a 11-year-old student, both acted and handled the camera for the film.
“I love shooting videos on my mother’s phone. One day when Singh Sir asked me to help him with the shoot I was very excited. I want to keep doing such stuff, and I also want to learn video editing from Sir so that I can also edit my videos before putting them out on social media platforms,” Kannojia told Gaon Connection.
“Videography and photography should also be taught in schools. They will help students hone their skill set and who knows, may come in use for them in their future, either as their main job or even as a side hustle,” Singh pointed out. For students studying in rural schools, these projects can be life changing, the teacher said.
“Being part of a movie even on a small scale is a new experience for the guardians, students as well as the teachers. And then putting it across on a social media platform like Youtube and then getting 100k views on it is a huge thing for all of us. I hope I can continue doing this,” he said.