Melbourne: Kotpad Handloom, a unique tribal textile tradition from Odisha, known internationally for its use of natural dye and tribal motifs, unfortunately has never received the recognition and patronage it deserves. As a result, it’s in the verge of extinction.
This inspired Award-winning filmmaker Biswanath Rath to make ‘Kotpad Weaving: The Story of a Race Against Time’; the first ever Documentary on this subject which aims to create awareness on this craft. This English Documentary, produced by PSBT (Public Service Broadcasting Trust), is a tribute to the rich textile tradition practiced by the Mirgan Community in Kotpad since time hitherto unknown. This 30-Minutes film was telecasted on DD National on 24th March 2018.
After receiving three Film Festival recognitions, the film is all set to have it’s Australian Premiere on 16th November at Sydney. This premiere is part of a unique exhibition titled ‘The Kotpad Collection organized by ‘Kay Collections’ which focuses on Kotpad sarees. The brand ‘Kay Collections’ is known for organizing exhibitions with exclusive collections of hand-woven sarees that reflect the rich weaving traditions of India. It’s Director, Kushma Ram, has been collaborating with weavers and embroiderers of various craft communities across India since 2011, designing sarees and re-creating the traditional ones using centuries-old handloom traditions and techniques.
In the past, Documentary ‘Kotpad Weaving’ has received ‘Official Selection’ in three International Film Festivals within just 6 months of it’s TV premiere. One is ‘Marin County International Festival of Short Film & Video-2018’ held at California (USA) between 30th June – 4th July 2018. This was the WORLD FESTIVAL PREMIERE of the documentary. The other one is ‘ZAGREB TOURFILM FESTIVAL, Croatia (Europe)’, held between 10th-13th October 2018. This was the EUROPEAN PREMIERE of the doc. This festival received more than 824 films from 87 countries and ‘Kotpad Weaving’ is one among the 263 films to have received ‘Official Selection’. Recently the film has received Official Selection at ‘Metro Film & TV Awards’, California. The film is representing India in this film festival to be held between 15-31.December 2018.
Talking about this progress, Writer-Director Biswanath says, ‘We are super excited about the Australian Premiere of our acclaimed documentary. Thanks to Mrs. Kushma Ram and her brand ‘Kay Collections’, our documentary will be part of a unique exhibition titled ‘The Kotpad Collection’ This documentary is our humble attempt at reviving this ageless craft which is primarily a tribal textile tradition practiced for centuries by Mirgan community at Kotpad region. Just like many other Indian art forms, this handloom and its weavers has received International acclaim for its relevance and significance in terms of sustainability and eco-friendly process. But unfortunately and unbelievably, very few people in Koraput district or Odisha know about such a unique handloom, let alone other states or region. I felt the need to create awareness not just about the handloom, the dyers and weavers, but also the reason behind its languishing days and probable solutions to give this handloom a second chance. I aspired to take Kotpad Handloom’s story to global audience. After almost a year of production, today, we feel really enthralled to receive such a huge response for the subject and the film. .’
The exhibition ‘The Kotpad Collection’’ focuses on Kotpad sarees. We feel honored to have received interest and support from Kushmaji for showcasing our documentary in this exhibition as there will be quality audience who can appreciate the audio-visual presentation of the process of dyeing, weaving as well as the issues faced by this craft.’’
The exhibition will provide an excellent opportunity to view, drape and also purchase some of the most colourful and meticulously-handwoven sarees to suit any wardrobe, function or season. The exhibitions will be held as follows:
16 – 18 November 2018 (Fri, Sat & Sun)
10.00am – 6.00pm
110 – 114 James Ruse Drive
Rosehill, NSW 2142
23 – 25 November 2018 (Fri, Sat & Sun)
Friday 1pm – 6pm
Sat & Sun 10am – 6pm
Clarion Hotel (cnr Canterbury Rd and Springvale Rd)
326 Canterbury Road, Forest Hill, Victoria 3131
Biswanath Rath is the Founder & CEO of BnR Films LLP, a Chennai based Film Production company (co-founded by his wife Archana Rath) which produces Ad-Films, TV Commercials, Corporate Videos, Music Videos, Documentaries, Promotional Films, Short Films and feature films. All the ad-films/short films/music videos produced by the company (written-directed by Biswanath) have received a total of 139 awards and recognitions in International film festival circuit.