The video project of IAPA is collaboration between some Chennai city colleges, Apple Curry studios, a reputed company making ad films and IAPA. Through this project, we enrol students pursuing degree in Visual Communication, and who are looking out for internship. Then they are given training in HIV/AIDS and asked to come up with a story that would educate young people. The Apple Curry Studio provides all technical support, including the equipment and personnel. So far we have produced 6 videos during 2007-2009. Now, we are using all the videos in our HIV/AIDS education. The material produces by youth, for the youth is making quite an impact. After studying the impact, we hope to start producing more videos in the coming years.
During the past years, IAPA , by providing internship to the university students studying Visual Communications, produced 5 videos, a small description of each of them is presented below.
Video 1: “The Options”
Five friends, young men in their early twenties meet at one of their house, as his family have gone off for native place, for a drunken party. As liquor flows freely the men get light headed and watch a porn video. One of the boys messages his girl friend to join them.., but she sends “No” as message to his request. Dejected by this he shares this with his friends. Then one of them suggest they go to a brothel and “enjoy”. First three of them reach the brothel and two one Prakash and Kumar follow behind. On the way, they see a HIV/AIDS poster and the flashback shows IAPA teaching session on “transmission of HIV through sex and its prevention”, which they had attended. So, on the way they go to a medical shop and ask for condoms, as Prakash takes out his purse for the money, his girl friend’s photo slips into his hands. Then Kumar asks him “If your girl friend were to do this, will you take it?” This falls like a succor punch on Prakash, who decides not to come to the brothel and asks Kumar to give the condoms to his other three friends waiting at the brothel. Kumar goes and gives the condoms, but even before Kumar reaches with the condoms, one of his friends goes for sex. Then the video explains the 3 options: available to prevent sexual transmission: Abstinence, Be faithful and Condoms.
Video 2 “Dancing Toes”
This is a dance drama conceived by a student from Ethiraj College for women, Chennai, that is shown entirely through dancing. The characters are shown only in silhouettes.
It is the story of a boy and a girl becoming enamored with each other, after passing through a short duration of the period of being in love, get married. The “plot”, in the story is that the girl is HIV positive. The level headed young man, possessing all knowledge about HIV/AIDS and having fallen head-over-heals in love with the damsel, accepts her and their life is a big swirling dance. The “plot” begins to thicken when the boy wants to have a child of their own. The girl cannot accept the fact that her loving husband could become infected with HIV through her and suggests that they could have a child through a surrogate mother. The boy is angered by her suggestion and slaps the girl, leading to anger and resentment, as an upshot of which they both part company. A brief period of separation follows during which time they reflect deeply. The invincible and unassailable love both possessed for each other gets better of their resentment and before long the audience finds our two friends entwined in each others’ arms. They go over their problem through a process of dialogue and in a better sense. The boy suggests that they adopt an HIV orphan child, provide her/him a home, love and happy life and raise the child as their own. Again the girl is hesitant, for she is anxious as to how he could possibly raise the child alone, when she dies of HIV. Then the boy explains that death is not imminent to her because she is HIV, there are amble chances to prolong life through treatment and positive living The last scene shows the boy and the girl, with a little child in their midst clutching their hands, chirping heartily, as they walk/dance…into the sunset.
Video 3. “Still My Friend”
This video was conceived by another student from Ethiraj College for women and the story is a bold portrayal of drug use amongst girls which leads to one of them getting infected with HIV and how the other friends react to it. The story bold portrays addiction amongst girls and reiterate the fact that members of affluent and educated families, who also can be infected with HIV. The virus does not discriminate, as we humans do.
Samantha stays at a Ladies Hostel in a city, while her parents live in London. Bereft of the love of the parents she seeks solace with her friends. She is a friend of Charlie, Ananya and Malini, the foursome becoming a close knit “gang” who love life to the fullest. Occasional use of drugs in the beginning, soon leads them to becoming addicted to it. During one disco party Samantha goes off with some boys there and they take drugs, as an upshot of the same she becomes infected. Samantha having come to know that Samantha is HIV positive Ananya and Malini want to disown their friend. Malini even goes to the point of throwing away the lipstick of Samantha that she had been having in her room for quite some time and Ananya decides to get herself tested. Charlie speaks some sense into them, telling them that HIV won’t spread through casual contact etc. She also points out how in the past Samantha had always stood by their side in times of need and begs them not to forsake a good friend, because she is HIV. Charlie’s talk convinces Ananya, who realizes her mistakes, relents and decides to continue her friendship with Samantha. While Malini walks out of their friendship. The last scene shows Ananya picking up the phone to call Samantha, because she says “my friend with HIV is still my friend”
Video 4: “Acham Thavir” (“Never Fear”)
This video was conceived by a student from Loyola College, Chennai. The story is about two room mates one of whom is HIV+ve. In the beginning, when a friend introduced the HIV+ve person to be a room mate, he did not mention about his status. So, they became very close, sharing the same bed, clothes, food and so on. One day another friend, who knows the HIV status of the person appreciates the room mate for accepting him as room mate and sharing everything with him, though he is HIV+ve. Then only he comes to know that he is HIV+ve and mortal fear grips him. He goes to a ICTC center in fear and extreme anxiety, but the counselor asks many questions and ascertaining from him that there was no exchange of fluids between them allays his fear and counsels him to go for HIV test. The test result is, obviously, negative and peace of heart comes back to the person.
Video 5: Title: Nilavan (“Like the Moon”)
This video is from a student of Loyola College, Chennai and it is a moving portrayal of a young boy, HIV positive and discriminated by the kids and parents in the neighborhood. When a social worker asks the child why he is forlorn and dejected, the boy tells him “The kids don’t allow me to play cricket with them, some of them run away when they see me” Then he asks innocently “what is AIDS?”. Though moved to tears by the query, the social worker explains about HIV and AIDS and laughs at the ignorance of the neighborhood people. This evokes laughter from the child as well. The video ends with the boy vowing to be like the social worker, when he grows up, bringing back the laughter to persons like him.