Journalist Jajati Karan’s ‘Traditional Healers’ bags 1st prize at National Film Festival

Bhubaneswar: Senior journalist from Odisha Jajati Karan has won the first prize in the third National Film Festival on Rural Development held in Hyderabad recently by the Government of India’s National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRD&PR).

Karan received a cash award of Rs 30,000, a trophy and citation.

Among 90 shortlisted films selected for screening at the festival, Karan’s eight-minute documentary film – ‘Traditional Healers’ was adjudged the best film in the ‘social issues related to rural development’ category.

Karan’s film was based on Odisha Health department’s initiative to take help of local traditional healers of Koraput and Malkangiri districts to spread health awareness programmes among the tribals.

“The film ‘Traditional Healer’ is an eight-minute documentary film which is shot in Koraput and Malkangiri districts of Odisha. Few years back these two tribal dominated districts were lagging behind regarding implementation of various health programmes. That is when the State government decided to include traditional healers to create awareness and implement health programmes in those areas. It is interesting to note that locals and tribals in those areas trust the traditional healers more than the health workers and this film is about how the Odisha government tried to win the confidence of traditional healers and brought them into their fold to spread the message of health programme and to implement them among the tribal community. This interested me the most in bringing out in the film,” said Karan.

He further stated, “For me journalism and film making co-existed as both are all about story telling about people and their issues. That’s why film making and journalism interested me. In 24X7 news reporting, someone does not get time and space to go much deeper into the issues of people and their stories whereas documentary give the liberty and space.

“I have been doing documentary for several new channels I have worked for during last two decades. Later on I decided to set up my own video production house – Ommcomm Media where I get the liberty of reporting and doing documentaries on various issues for my clients. I have got a lot of appreciation and encouragement from them which keep me going. Apart fom journalism, film making is also my passion,” he added.

Karan has also received several prestigious national awards like Ramnath Goenka Award for investigative journalism and ENBA TV award for reporting on cyclone Phalin.

With over two decades in TV journalism and documentary film making, Karan, the Editor-in Chief and founder Ommcom News, has also worked for several national and international news channels.