Dateline Rudraprayag: Migration. A fact that stares our home-state Uttarakhand in the face. A recent RTI reveals how within a decade over five lakh people have migrated out of Uttarakhand leaving 3,946 ghost villages dotting our hills.
Capturing this poignant issue in less than 30 minutes in their debut short non-feature-film category are the ‘Pandavaas Production’ from Srinagar, Garhwal.
‘Yakulaans,’ means ‘to be lonely,‘ and that is what this story is all about. It is the moving story of an elderly man who lives all by himself in one such ghost village. The man is bereft of any human company to share his joy or sorrow with, he speaks in monologues to his cattle and a few strays in the village.
Shot from a Point Of View (POV) camera angle, the team brings alive the haunted world of the protagonist residing in a ghost village bereft of human company.
The Pandaavas explain, “The moving lyrics of Jagdamba Chamoli ji and the soulful voice of Deepa Bugyali define the loneliness of our protagonist. The topic of ghost villages and migration have always been pertinent to our hills. Yakulaans is both liberal, progressive and dipped in nostalgia.”
As for Ishaan Dobhal the Music Director, “Sound recording in the ghost village was a challenge as the silence was haunting and disturbing. The theme song of the movie is an amalgamation of local Uttarakhand folk musicians along with classical western musicians. We have tried to capture all the emotions through music.”
The fact that Yakulaans was a crowd-funded project by two hundred and eighty people and Damodar Hari Foundation made the project more endearing for the Pandavaas team.
For Kunal Dobhal the Director of his debut non-feature film, was something he could empathise with. Armed with a master’s degree in theatre and performing arts, Kunal started the art of storytelling through acting in plays. Through Yakulaans, that has been shot on location in a ghost village in Chamoli district with local characters, Kunal’s creativity resounds the reality of ghost villages across Uttarakhand.
Pandavaas Creations Pvt. Ltd. an Uttarakhand based media production has been instrumental in working with the young artists on music videos and folk literature, video documentaries on social issues. Yakulaans is their first, yet not the last, Non-Feature Film and part 4 of their Time Machine series.
Yakulaans is slated to release @ 6:00 p.m. on social media handles coming 27th of August, 2021.