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Dhonsiya (Bully) by Aroop Dwivedi

Dhonsiya (Bully) by Aroop Dwivedi
The word Dhonsiya means Bully in Hindi (an Indian language). The film narrates a tale of a hapless 8-year-old called Gulshan, who is going through one of the worst phases of his life. By the time the narrative ends, things starts to change for him leading to far reaching consequences.
Aroop Dwivedi an independent animation film maker and Animation trainer from India. He graduated in Commerce in 1998 and later decided to pursue Animation film making as his career; he has been working in the production and education sector at tandem for last 20 years, where other than working on many international projects, he has also assisted in designing the animation syllabus for several Indian universities. He is passionate about the classical style of animation and loves photography. A huge fan of Bill Plympton he loves embracing challenges head on.
The film Dhonsiya is about our lives. Bullying is one of those social evils that has been extremely normalized and trivialized in these times that we live in, the awareness has for sure increased and people are a little more sensitive about this unfortunate act than they were 20 years ago (the times when the Bullies got away with almost anything) but a lot more needs to be done because the definition of bullying is a very vague one and is misconstrued as teasing and mocking on several occasions. And their lies the problem, how do you solve a problem that has not been identified yet.
The film tries to address bullying at three levels- the first one is where the people meant to help you cope, grow and protect you from harm inadvertently ends up doing just the opposite because to them, that is how a kid becomes a man/woman. The second level is normalization- where the victim doesn’t talk about it because he/she knows already that it will be passed off by responsible grown up people as something that happens to everyone. The third level is about how to cope with such act and turn them around and make them work for yourself before surrendering at the hand of circumstances.
The film is just an attempt to reach out to both bullies and the victims and tell them that both the act of Bullying or the act of being a victim- are wrong, and they need to address it as soon as they can.
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While in conversation with Aroop, we found out that it took him about a year to make the film and because of lack of payments from the producers his one regret is he could not do justice to the sound design of the film. The film has had a good festival run domestically. Internationally it has been selected to a few festivals and has won a couple of awards. Overall, As Aroop says, "Experience was pretty good .. I love animating so i would have made this film even if I had not found producers.. I would have made it slower and taken more time and possibly made a better film if i was not working against a timeline.. but I am very happy with the product in what ever state it is in today as well.. it was an important story and I have finally managed to tell it."
It's a meta film so everything you see in the film really did happen only the physics of it has been exaggerated..but my main intent was not really to target bullying but to talk about its normalisation and how society has accepted it as a normal behaviour..that to me is a more important thing to talk about.