She just might be one of the most prolific directors that you have never heard of in India.
Lipika Singh Darai, who has won an impressive four National Film Awards since 2009, most recently was adjudged as Best Director at the 64th National Film Awards in the Best Educational Film category for her film, The Waterfall.
Part of a tribal community called Ho, Lipika originally hails from Mayurbhanj district in Odisha. Her journey to becoming one of the country’s most respected filmmakers is certainly an inspiring one.
Perhaps her upbringing played a role in the the kind of filmmaker she has become as a lot of her work is geared towards preservation of nature and tribal life.
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Her latest film, The Waterfall, has been critically hailed for its sensitive approach in highlighting issues surrounding displacement and development. A young city-based lad goes through a metaphoric journey into understanding the value of nature in the movie.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, the filmmaker who is a graduate from the Film and Television Institute (FTI) in Pune, notes, “I am very happy that I have already a dedicated audience for the film. The film has been entirely shot around the Khandadhar waterfalls and in the nearby forests Odisha’s Sundergarh district over a period of seven days.”
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Her first national award was in audiography, which she bagged in 2009 for the film Gaarud. Her second national award was for Best Debut Film of a Director, non-feature film category (an Odia film called Eka Gachha, Eka Manisa, Eka Samudra, which translates to A Tree, a Man, a Sea).
The director currently lives in Bhubaneswar and we are sure she is already at work, creating her next masterpiece.