Best Science & Technology Film winner at the 69th National Film Awards on unsung heroes

Dr. Debjani Halder with director Rajkumar Hirani and the RV University team. Photo: Brand-Comm Public Relations

Dr. Debjani Halder, Head of Filmmaking program at the School of Film, Media and Creative Arts at RV University has won the Best Science and Technology Film Award for the documentary, Ethos of Darkness, at the 69th National Film Awards. The recognition comes as a testament to the exceptional storytelling and creative prowess of Dr. Halder, who has ingeniously explored the realms of science and technology through her cinematic masterpiece.

The documentary showcases the growth of cinema, while remaining blind to those who made it grow. Amid society’s praise for scenes and talents, the unsung heroes who enable visual projection remain overlooked. This film strives to resurrect these neglected artisans from obscurity, sharing their untold saga.

Dr. Debjani, co-director of the film, expressed her gratitude for the recognition, stating, “We are truly honored and grateful for this well-deserved recognition. Ethos of Darkness was a labor of love, and it is immensely rewarding to see our documentary shed light on an often overlooked aspect of cinema. If people behind the screen are lesser-known, what can one say about those far removed from the screen, like those working in the lab or working on the post-production effects in the lab? Nonetheless, their work affects our viewing experience, since the quality of the print dictates our enjoyment of the film. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the jury for embracing our endeavor and for recognizing the significance of delving into the depths of darkroom in moviemaking. I am grateful to all of my team members, including my fellow director, Avijit Banerjee, who encouraged me to step out from traditional career paths and influenced me to live for cinema.”

Vice-Chancellor, RV University, Prof. (Dr.) Y.S.R. Murthy, shared his joy, “I am delighted to hear that our faculty member, Dr. Debjani Halder, was chosen for the prestigious 69th National Film Award. Dr. Halder’s documentary was not only screened at the Doc LEIPZIG Film Festival in Germany, the 21st Dhaka International Film Festival and the Palakkad Documentary Film Festival in Kerala during 2023, but also won critical acclaim. We now have two national film award recipients with our Dean, Dr. Piyush Roy, having received it earlier on. With these exceptional faculty members leading the new School of Film, Media and Creative Arts at RVU, students can look forward to being mentored by them. Their achievements will undoubtedly serve as beacons, inspiring our students to explore new horizons.”

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Piyush Roy, Dean, School of Film, Media and Creative Arts commented, “My hearty congratulations to Dr. Debjani Halder, who heads the Filmmaking Program at the School of Film, Media and Creative Arts for a well-deserved win, for an extremely essential film at the 69th Indian National Film Awards. Her co-directed documentary highlights a rarely discussed element of moviemaking, focusing on sound. I am sure, as a Professor-in-Practice, her win will inspire our students to explore uncharted territories and make insightful research-driven films, whether they choose the genre of non-fiction or fiction.”



As “Ethos of Darkness” continues to captivate audiences and spark conversations, this accolade adds another feather to Dr. Halder’s illustrious cap. The film’s success not only reflects her artistic brilliance but also paves the way for future endeavors that bridge the gap between entertainment and education.

RV University recently announced the launch of their school of Film Studies, Media and Creative Arts, a new-age, multi-disciplinary liberal education-oriented preparatory school for emerging careers in film, media, OTT and the creative industries. The School will commence its undergraduate programs from August 2024. Currently, it is inviting applications for its postgraduate program, M.A. in Film, Philosophy and Cultural Studies.




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