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The War for Steel

The documentary was produced in 2013 when the elected government of Odisha, in India, was in open conflict with people living in the area mapped for a $12 billion integrated steel plant project to be raised by POSCO (Pohang Steel Company), South Korea. People were against the project because it was planned in the coastal regions of Jagatsinghpur district and people had to lose their livelihood sources like fertile coastal agricultural land and forest. But the government was so blind to favour the corporate giant like Posco that it rather waged an undeclared war against people than paying a heed to the issues of people to ensure a state of consensus for Industrialisation.
The film captures moments of conflict and raises questions on the reasonability of the conflict to push the model of industrial economy where agrarian economy has already flourished.

  • Basudev Mahapatra
  • Basudev Mahapatra
  • Basudev Mahapatra
  • Music
    Key Cast
    Bidyadhar Sahu
  • M Ravi
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
    Conflict, Human Right, Environment
  • Runtime:
    24 minutes 25 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 20, 2013
  • Production Budget:
    3,200 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • 13th Seoul International NewMedia Festival (Nemaf 2013)
    Seoul, South Korea
  • Green Unplugged 2015
    Online International
Director Biography - Basudev Mahapatra

A Bhubaneswar (Odisha, India) based journalist, born on June 29, 1969, Basudev has been in the field of journalism and mass communication since 1992, and has worked in all editorial capacities in newspapers and tv news channels, the last being Editor-in-Chief with a local TV News Channel “Naxatra News.”
He produces documentaries on issues of ordinary people's concern. “The War for Steel (2013)” is a testimony of that.
A post-graduate in History (1990), Basudev has learnt the ropes of journalism, mass communication and audio-visual production from his substantial experience in print, television as well as web media.
Basudev started his career in 1992 as a journalist.
At present, he contributes to several newspapers, magazines and TV channels as an independent journalist and news producer. He also manages hotnhitnews.com, an issue based news website, as Editor (Honorary).
Worked across the verticals of politics, environment, development, conflict, left-wing insurgency, and humanitarian news and issues, Basudev is now specialising in 'developmental and environmental journalism' and 'conflict reporting and analysis.'
Apart from 'The War for Steel," Basudev has also produced a short documentary on the communal violence of Kandhamal in India, in 2008, in a reportage form which was then aired on DR2 Channel, Denmark.

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Director Statement

"The War for Steel" is an account of events that have taken place in the area mapped for the Posco Project and in the state capital city of Bhubaneswar as all the decisions about the project were taken here only.
The objective is not just to make a documentary with impacting visuals but to fuel to the debate on the blind push of industrial economy in places where agrarian economy is in a flourishing state. It is also to raise a debate over the question of ownership of a democracy in context of the war like situation between people and their elected government.