Himachali Film in Students Oscar Awards

By: May 17th, 2014 12:11 am

Himachal This Week

Himachal This WeekHimachalis are excelling in all walks of life. The hill state is producing stars in all the fields. Rahat Mahajan son of Ajay Mahajan, sitting MLA, Nurpur and grandson of late Shri Sat Mahajan, has also registered its place in the list of Himachali stars. A short film named ‘Istifa (resignation)’ directed by Rahat Mahajan has been nominated for the Students Oscar awards which will held in June 7. Rahat is currently pursuing his education in Advance film making from Art Centre College of Design, Pasedena. Each year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (aka the organization that hands out the Oscars) receives over 500 submissions from student filmmakers around the world. Rahat Mahajan’s narrative short film, Istifa (Resignation), was selected as one of six finalists, from which three nominees will be selected to progress to the finals.  Forty-one students from 23 U.S. colleges and universities as well as 10 students from foreign universities have been selected as finalists in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 41st Student Academy Awards competition. The Academy established the Student Academy Awards in 1972 to support and encourage excellence in filmmaking at the collegiate level.

Plot of the Film

Set in a remote Indian village of Himachal Pradesh, Istifa tells the story of a day in the life of a meek and submissive clerk named Fateh Chand Sharma as he is routinely and relentlessly humiliated by his boss.

Achievements of Rahat

Rahat Mahajan has been nominated for Student Oscars, for his short film Istifa. Before moving to Los Angeles where he is pursuing his current education in Advance film making from Art Centre College of Design, Pasedena. Rahat has also worked in Bollywood for 6-7 years and has been associated with films like Kaminey, Ishqiya, Udaan as an Assistant Director and even made Trailers for them. He has made more than 50 independent short films and advertisements till now.

Rahat Mahajan“I was shocked, surprised, happy and extremely grateful. I was gratified to see Art Center College of Design among the other nominations from prestigious film schools across the country. That made me happy. So the very next thing I did was inform my super awesome Department Chair, Ross LaManna, about our selection and shared the good news with my mentors from VC, Ann Kaneko and Milton Liu who had been a part of the film’s journey from the very first day.”

 Music Bands-15



Hashtag Band‘Music is the medicine of soul’. Traditional and folk music still is the favourite of many but rock and hip-hop is becoming popular among youth now-a-days. India continues to produce bands in various styles of rock music, from soft rock and roll and rock pop, to hard rock and metal. Himachal too has plenty of rock music followers providing impetus to the cropping of many rock bands. There are numerous popular bands promoting rock music in the state, including the popular Gogi Band, Solan; Moksh and Deathknell Band, Shimla and others. Some newly formed music bands are also there including Faith, Pensive Black in Shimla and others. All the music bands-both new and old- have some surprisingly simple stories behind their journey in the rock music. Here are the stories behind some of the popular and budding music bands of Himachal. This week we are carrying out the journey of the band ‘Hashtag’.

The Engineers Alternative Rock Band

“We have never thought to form a band, but our love for music made us bound to perform on the stage and that gives us the inspiration to form a music band,” told Sidharth Rana, bass guitarist of the band Hashtag. Studying in NIT Hamirpur, four students have formed their own band in November 2013. All the students belong to the different places of the country came for engineering in NIT Hamirpur now recognized as an alternative rock band. The music club of the institute has helped a lot for these students to transform themselves into a band. Their music is always creative and own composed. Sidharth told Himachal This Week that their group always try to compose alternative rock music of their own. They do not copy any other genre. They performed in the annual function of the institute where they won the hearts of music lovers. They further plan to continue with their alternative rock music band which they started seven months back. After forming their band they didn’t performed so much. However they performed in INIFD Kangra and received lots of appreciation. They have also been shortlisted for the performance in JayPee University but due to some problems they couldn’t participate in that fest. Sidharth also told that if they get chance they will surely participate in the music concerts and battle of band in the state and outside too.


Hashtag has not performed in many festivals except NIT Hamirpur and INIFD Kangra. But this band has won lots of appreciation during the programmes in these institutions. The band has composed its own song ‘Bin Tere’ which they will launch very soon.

Hashtag Team:

Sidharth Rana Bass Guitarist

Prateek Sharma Lead Guitarist

Ashish Sharma Drummer

Arun Muralidharan Vocalist  and Rhythm Guitarist

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