Solar energy in India has a great, intuitive appeal: everyone knows that there is a lack of power and sees the sun shine almost every day. In fact, the more the sun shines, the more people consume or yearn for electricity to provide relief. However, when it comes to the “how?”, there is a vast lack of knowledge and understanding. The more people in India can learn about how solar works, the faster the solar transformation will be. A great, but so far underutilized, medium to explain this is film. This is exactly the opportunity that the filmmakers Valli and Martand Bindana are now addressing with India’s first pan optic film on solar (see details here). We, the solar savvy community of India, have every reason to support this project.
- It will take users on a journey through India’s energy landscape and show how distributed solar can empower people
- The film seeks to spread awareness on the true potential of solar to transform the country
- It is narrated by famous actor Naseeruddin Shah
- To make this movie a reality, the producers need support from the solar community (see details here)
The project is very ambitious. Valli says the film called Surya Ganga is about the “epic conflict between India’s land, energy, water and people”. It addresses the issue of India’s vast, rapidly growing energy needs and how the search for satisfying them (or the failure to do so) impacts lives in both rural and urban India. Solar power can be a game changer for the better in this great struggle.
Surya Ganga is fiscally sponsored by the prestigious San Francisco Film Society, which gives it a non-profit status. Largely self-funded till now, the filmmakers have now launched a “crowd-funding” campaign to complete the film. “We put in our money when we began and we would have finished the film if it hadn’t expanded in scope as much as it did. Now, since the film covers the entire energy landscape, the shoot is planned over the length and breadth of the country pushing our budget way beyond our means.” says Valli. They hope to raise enough to tide them over the next 10 months of production and post production. Naseeruddin Shah, the legendary actor known not to mince words, says “this is an important film and should be made”. He features in the film as well.
A lot of content and inspiration in the film comes from two books “Solar Trillions” and “Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation” authored by Stanford Prof, Speaker Tony Seba. Having come in early during the pre-production stage, Tony guided the filmmakers on the world energy scene from a renewable energy standpoint. You can also support Surya Ganga and help make it a reality here.
Tobias Engelmeier is Founder and Director, BRIDGE TO INDIA