Inter Disciplinary Session with Veteran Filmmaker M.K. Raina

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It was our privilege to have Mr. M.K. Raina – veteran theatre Actor, Director and Filmmaker, at the IIAD campus for an engaging session with the students. Mr. Raina is an alumnus of the prestigious National School of Drama (NSD) and has produced over 130 plays in 13 languages. He has directed several memorable productions and has been making documentary films since years. His latest documentary Sacred Dances at Hemis Festival has been made for Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts.

Addressing the students at IIAD, Mr. Raina delved into the forms of drama and its complexities and shared his personal experiences with drama, theatre, performances and productions. He spoke about the essence of theatre for him – something that has the ability to challenge individuals and that conveys a sense of pain and misery. It is in questioning everything, in challenging all notions that are otherwise accepted without much thought, that new things, ideas and perceptions can be created and developed and it is this ideology of ideating and creating that is encouraged by Mr. Raina. ⠀

His presentation, accompanied by riveting personal anecdotes, made it engaging and provided insights into the world of drama. The video he showed to the students traced the production process of Shakespeare’s King Lear in Kashmir, locating the enterprise in its political and social context. In the process, he depicted the importance of adapting plays according to the local environment and culture , staying rooted while simultaneously endeavouring for change and transformation.

The session concluded with a powerful and poignant statement by Mr. Raina as he urged his audience to ‘bang the door of mainstream theatre’ for that is where the challenge truly lies.

About M K Raina:

Maharaj Krishna Raina was born in Srinagar where he completed his college. He then moved to NSD in Delhi on a state scholarship. After graduating from the National School of Drama in 1970, Raina commenced on his work in Indian parallel cinema. He has produced over 130 plays in 13 languages.

As an actor, he has worked in more than a hundred plays. He has directed several memorable productions like Kabora Khada Bazar Mein, Karmawali, Lower Depths, Pari Kukh, Kabhi Na Chooden Khet and The Mother; Andha Yug, which he directed, was performed in Berlin and the Festival of India in the USSR. He ALSO PRODUCED Jasma Odan at Hawaii University in 1986. Mr Raina has conducted many theatre workshops and acted and directed in a number of feature films. He has been making documentary films for many years. His latest documentary, Sacred Dances at Hemis Festival has been made for Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts.

He has received the Sanskriti Samman in 1980, the Sahitya Kala Parishad Award in 1981, Best Director of the year by West Bengal Government 1982 and the Best Director’s award of Punjab Akademi, Delhi in 1987. M.K. Raina received the Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 1995 and the Swarna Padak from the government of Jammu and Kashmir in 1996 for his contribution to Indian Theatre. He was also awarded one of India’s highest theatre awards, the B.V. Karanth award for lifetime achievement in 2007.

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