Ridham Janve’s debut feature, presented by National Film Development Corporation, The Gold Laden Sheep & The Sacred Mountain to have its International Premiere at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) held from 23rd January to 3rd February 2019.
The film in rare Indian ‘Gaddi’ language is competing with 20 films from all over the world in Bright Future Competition Section, which highlights new talents and new approaches to cinema.
Set among the pastoral Gaddi community in Himachal Pradesh the film explores the adventures of elderly shepherd Arjun (played by Bhedpal Arjun Pant) who sets out to find a pilot who crashed near the mountain. The film has been made under trying circumstances with non-professionals and a small crew.
The film won Prasad DI Award (Work in Progress lab) at NFDC Film Bazaar 2016 and won the Silver Gateway Award at the 20th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival where it had its World Premiere.
National Film Development Corporation, India has come on board to present the Himachali film produced by Mountain Motion Pictures and Dark Matter Pictures.
N. J. Shaikh, Director Finance, National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) says, “NFDC is happy to present the powerful and mystical feature, The Gold Laden Sheep and The Sacred Mountain in rare Indian Gaddi language. We first saw the film at NFDC Film Bazaar in 2016 where it was part of Work-in- Progress Lab and won Prasad Di Award. Since then we have been following it’s amazing journey and we are very excited that the film is making its international premiere at the prestigious IFFR in the competitive bright future section.”
Sharing his joy the director and a film graduate from National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad says, “I’m very happy that our film will have it’s international premiere at IFFR Rotterdam. It is the ideal place to show an unconventional film like ours. NFDC coming on board as co-producers on the film is such great news for us. Right from ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro’ to ‘Lunchbox’ NFDC has produced several films that I have admired and to now be part of that repertoire is an honour. I want to thank everyone who walked this long journey with us and climbed this big misty mountain, especially all the people from the Gaddi community without whom this film wouldn’t have been possible.”
The producer Akshay Singh from Dark Matter Pictures says, “To have our International Premiere at IFFR is an immense accomplishment for the film, for Ridham, for the crew and most hearteningly, for the Gaddi people who inhabited and inspired this mystery of the sacred mountain.”
After an Air Force Jet crashes in the Upper Himalayas, an old Shepherd leaves his Herd to find its pilot. But the mountain where the Jet fell is sacred and the Shepherd’s intentions are not. He struggles through quests off fears and desires, as he treads on forbidden ground. The herd left behind disintegrates as predators roam around and they are left head-less.
‘The Sacred Mountain’ in many cultures is portrayed as a mystical figure, a symbol of the earth, spirituality and eternity. And yet, as stated in the mythology of Vishnu, if one could witness the passing of millenniums in seconds, they would see the very mountains rise and fall like ripples in the water.
The film is like a contemporary myth in the making. Comprising of an all non-actor cast from the Gaddi community playing themselves, the film lingers between the real and the hyper real. The overriding intention is for any person to be transported to these beautiful yet unforgiving mountains and experience the conjecture of beliefs and the nature of nature itself.
About the director
The Gold-Laden Sheep and The Sacred Mountain is an exploration of the divine. Is faith just an excuse for encounters that are beyond human comprehension? Or is it a basic instinct that all humans are entitled to? How do we keep up with faith in the run for the human quest of finding more? The film explores these ideas in the pretext of one mountain which is considered to be sacred amongst the Gaddi shepherds who have been grazing their sheep around it’s pastures for centuries. There are many stories, myths and mysteries set around this sacred mountain. They say it is a living entity that can bless or destroy you. Science as we know it, does not apply to that part of the earth. In the fall of a leaf seasons can pass, and a few conscious steps can augment somewhere far in the future or in past. It’s a manifestation of the intruder’s own intentions, a test in the gentle gardens of unforgiving nature.
Ridham Janve: A film graduate from the National Institute of Design, Ridham’s last film was an official selection in the Indian Panaroma at IFFI and also represented India in the SAARC film festival 2015 held in Colombo.
National Film Development Corporation of India
Incorporated in the year 1975, National Film Development Corporation Limited (NFDC) was formed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, with the primary objective of promoting the Good Cinema Movement. NFDC has over the years produced noteworthy films (with acclaimed filmmakers) like Ghare-Baire (Satyajit Ray), Gandhi (Richard Attenborough), The Making of the Mahatma (Shyam Benegal),Salaam Bombay! (Mira Nair), Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (Kundan Shah), Mirch Masala (Ketan Mehta), The Lunchbox (Ritesh Batra), The Good Road (Gyan Correa), among many others. In addition to production of films, NFDC has been instrumental in creating an ecosystem to support the development, financing and distribution of independent films across the country. Film Bazaar, a NFDC initiative, has been an integral part of this process. The Film Facilitation Office of the Ministry of I & B, which is under the operational aegis of NFDC, launched its web portal www.ffo.gov.in at IFFI 2018, thus putting India on the map for all international filmmakers.
Dark Matter Pictures
Established in 2014, Dark Matter Pictures is a film company based in India, that attempts to create high-quality, sophisticated films that might be deemed too risky by contemporary Bollywood studios. Our storytelling through the use of film brings to light the continuing evolution of the human condition, sharing and learning in a transparent examination of ourselves. Filmography: ‘The Gold-Laden Sheep and The Sacred Mountain’ (IFFR, MAMI Silver Gateway Award) ‘Mehsampur’ (SYDNEY FF, MAMI Grand Jury Prize)
Mountain Motion Pictures
Mountain Motion Pictures is an independent film production company established with a vision to produce artistic, edgy, intellectually stimulating and emotionally engaging films for Indian and international audiences. The company is dedicated to push the boundaries of film form and find new horizons in cinema. The company has produced Ridham Janve’s debut feature film, ‘The Gold-Laden Sheep and The Sacred Mountain’. Upcoming projects of the company are celebrated Indian filmmaker Amit Dutta’s ‘Ped Pe Kamra’ and Ridham Janve’s untitled crime/mystery film.