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Hedda Hoddan (2017)

Director: Smriti Chanchani

experimental documentary, india, 2017, 32 mins, digital HD,

1:2.35, 25fps, colour, stereo, language: hindi

request more info: write to smritispostbox [at] gmail [dot] com



Hedda Hoddan is an experimental film designed to play on the 4 walls of a room with the audience seated in the center, to create a 360-degree experience, that quite literally puts the audience in the middle of the action!

The 4 short films are based on a narrative written by Sandeep Virmani and Sushma Iyengar who poured their research and anecdotes collected over decades of interacting with the Maldharis (herders) of Kachchh. The stories weave in legend, ecology, traditional practices, craft, economics, struggles and music. Conversion of mangroves to salt pans, disappearing grasslands, blocking off traditional pastoral routes, aspirations of a modern life and a permanent home are some of the concerns the film opens up.


Through this process, I had the chance to observe first hand, the deep relationship the Maldharis have with nature - their use of wind directions, their dependency on the changing tides, vegetation and rainfall patterns, their ability to converse in all the local languages of the lands they traverse and the relationships with other communities they have built and negotiated over centuries. Maldharis have captured their wisdom and love for the animals and landscape in their songs and stories passed on through the oral traditions.


FEST PT - New Directors New Films - Espinho, Portugal
Official Selection - In Student Competition NEXXT

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