Experiencing Interruptions?

Firelies - A Million Lanterns

Purushwadi is a little-known tribal village in India, which till date remains largely off the electricity, transportation and telecom grids. This remoteness, and the ensuing pristineness, invites millions of fireflies to come out and mate in the forests around Purushwadi at the onset of monsoons. The villagers, who not long ago sang songs of dry famines and hunger, tell us how this surreal natural phenomenon intertwined with their lives. The documentary film, while exploring the untouched spaces of the ethereal village, tells a story of sustainability in changing times.

  • Samarth Mahajan
  • Camera And Shorts Media Pvt Ltd
    Theyyam Saga
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Kazwa - A Million Lanterns
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    9 minutes 24 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 27, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    900 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    Hindi, Marathi
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • None till now
Director Biography - Samarth Mahajan

Samarth Mahajan is a young filmmaker from Mumbai, India. Apart from "Kazwa - A Million Lanterns", his debut documentary film, he is currently working on a documentary based around Sao Joao Festival in Siolim, Goa. When he is not mixing travel and culture with storytelling, he creates advertisements for growing brands. His love for wordplay and food takes up his spare time.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Being a curious traveler, I had decided to attend one of the National Geographic Traveller meet ups in Mumbai. The speakers and attendees all spoke about their trips to South America, European and some South-East Asian countries. But to my surprise no one talked about travelling in India. At that moment I got reminded of an article I had recently read about a remote village, named Purushwadi, and the fireflies which come out in the forests around it. I started discussing about the village with the avid travelers present there, and soon understood almost no one knew about it. That is when I felt for the first time that this is a story worth sharing with the traveler community.

When I started finding out more about the village how the budding tourism scene in the tribal village is is affecting the villagers’ lives positively. The research also brought forward the fact that the dwindling firefly numbers were recovering due to the proactive actions of the village community. Having my own roots in rural India, I felt an urge to not only explore the firefly imagery but also the aspects of rural development and lifestyle in the film for aa larger interest group.

This is a story of the village represented by four characters, each of whom have overcome a different obstacle to change Purushwadi from an obscure village, which till date remains largely off electricity, transportation and telecom grids, to one which is a model village. The characters tell the story in their own words, without external narration, keeping a sense of realism intact and removing barriers between them and the audience. The sights from the village are aimed to transport the viewer into the village.

This si a unique film, encompassing a rare natural phenomenon, along with touching important social issues like coping up with differences of language, food and looks between city dwellers and villages in India. The film demonstrates how community involvement can significantly change the attitudes of the residents and improve the economic and social condition of a village.

By witnessing how he characters lives changed in different ways, while at the same time touching the lives of fireflies positively, I was convinced that this is a story that could stir viewers. I am delighted to present ‘Kazwa – A Million Lanterns’, which is not only an outcome of the efforts of the filmmaking crew but also the local entrepreneurs who have turned the tides at Purushwadi.