This campaign has stopped and can no longer accept donations.

Help us take our first folktale based short film to the International Film Festival circuit.

Crossing a river, Losing a self | Trailer | HD | 2.25 from | Espírito Kashi | on Vimeo.

Why are we fundraising?

To solve a problem
It is only recently that the world has started to consider the fading Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) as an issue. In 2003, UNESCO launched a convention for the safeguarding of the ICH

When we talk about safeguarding of the cultural practices and expressions of India, it is understood that there are different ways and means of doing so. We believe that safeguarding is not just about documenting the ICH and building inventories or archives, but it also carries a responsibility to sensibly present this content. It is with this understanding that Espírito Kashi was founded. We devote an equal amount of energy on aspects such as research and presentation. Our films are ethnographic in nature, aimed at making a viewer participate in the cultural practices and thereby, increasing cultural sensitivity.

Our Unique Approach
Espírito Kashi
is an avant-garde media project based in Kashi (Varanasi) working towards redefining ways we can safeguard the Intangible Cultural Heritage of India. We follow a 3-step process:
1. Conducting first-hand research whereby the researcher observes the cultural practice with a camera;
2. Mapping it with secondary research that includes reading texts and conducting interviews about the cultural practice; 
3. Weaving the research data together in the form of a film and promoting it using new media technologies.

Therefore, we are not just working towards safeguarding of the ICH of India but also actively contributing towards exploring the potential of Visual Anthropology in a global context. This is what makes our project unique in nature, we produce content that not only addresses the issue of fading ICH of India, but also creates new opportunities for itself by being experimental and innovative. 

A New Experiment
For the first time, we have taken a different route to safeguard the folk tales which used to be narrated by our grandmothers. We are producing our first docu-fiction in order to reach out to a wider audience.

Film - Crossing a River, Losing a Self

Plot - A guru followed by 8 disciples is making a pilgrimage to Kashi. In order to reach the sacred city, they must cross a treacherous river. The film is based on an Indian folktale. 

Website -

The film will be released online for global viewership in July 2015. We need funds to take our first folktale based short film to the International Film Festival circuit. 

What do we plan to do with the funds?

The film has already been shot and edited. We need funds to be able to apply for various short film festivals around the world. Some of them include International Short Film Festival Berlin, Sao Paulo International Short Film Festival, and Cannes Short Film Festival. 


1. What would a contributor get in return? 

For all contributors
Apart from the satisfaction for contributing towards safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage of India (The Big Idea), you will also receive a password for an online screener of the film, a week before the film is released. 

For contributors who donate INR 2500 (USD 40) or more
You will be given a credit as a CO-PRODUCER in the film. 

For contributors who donate INR 3000 (USD 50) or more
You are entitled for a FREE HERITAGE WALK with us in Varanasi, whenever you visit the world's oldest living city. Read more about our unique walks here.

2. Who is behind this project?

Rajat Nayyar

Rajat is an ethnographic filmmaker. Deeply interested in the folklore (rituals, songs, and tales) of the country, Rajat founded Espírito Kashi in 2011 in Kashi (Varanasi). According to him, Kashi is that city where the form (Sargun) and formless (Nirgun) meet. Rajat Nayyar is a Young India Fellow 2013-2014 and has a Post Graduate Diploma in Folklore and Culture Studies. LinkedIn

Rajat Madan

Inspired by an experience of participating in a tribal music ceremony in Madhya Pradesh, Rajat joined Espírito Kashi in 2014. Since then, he has been working on building Espírito Kashi as a sustainable organisation. 

Rajat completed his M.A. in Social Entrepreneurship from TISS (Mumbai) in 2015 and studied courses in socio-cultural anthropology at the University of Muenster (Germany) as a DAAD exchange scholar. He holds a degree in electrical & electronics engineering from NIT Trichy. LinkedIn

3. Which are the other films that Espírito Kashi has produced?
Following are some of our recent productions:

Jakari: Life Songs of Haryanvi Women (Ethnographic Film) - YouTube

Jakari is a significant genre of folk songs in Haryana (India). Jakari folk songs are sung by Haryanvi women in a routine manner. As these are songs about mundane life, they are the most authentic expression of a Haryanvi woman’s tryst with life as a young woman. The material collected by Dr. Devender Kumar (Asst. Professor in English, Banaras Hindu University) during fieldwork in Ghirai, Juglan, Jalalpur and Shahpur villages in Haryana since 2012 has been used in making this film. 

Vivah Samskara | Bhojpuri Wedding Rites & Folk Songs (Ethnographic Film) - YouTube

Vivah Samskara is an experimental film about the folk songs that are sung by women during the Bhojpuri wedding rites. It is a ceremony-wise musical annotation of a typical Bhojpuri wedding that is spread over 5 days. The documentary contains a first-hand description of Bhojpuri wedding rites from the vantage point of a Brahmin family residing in Bhadwar village of Bihar. More than 100 folk songs were documented during this project.

For more films on the ICH, visit our YouTube channel
4. Is Espírito Kashi a registered organization? 

Yes. We are registered under the Indian Trusts Act 1882.  
Ask for an update
6th April 2016
Dear Supporters,

We have some very exciting news to share! This is BIG! Our film 'Crossing a River, Losing a Self : Retelling an ancient Indian folk tale', has been selected in the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA 2016) conference - Anthropological legacies and human futures. EASA 2016 will be hosted at the Department of Human Science for Education 'Riccardo Massa' and Department of Sociology and Social Research at University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy) from 20-23 July. Our film will be screened in the Film Panel - Visualizing futures: audio-visual practices for a contemporary anthropology. More about the panels here.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your contribution towards its promotion. Share the news with your family and friends, let them know that you've made a difference. We're fundraising again for our next film and we need your support:

Thanks once again! 

Learn more about the initiative

Content Disclaimer: The facts and opinions, expressed in this fundraiser page are those of the campaign organiser or users, and not Milaap.
raised of Rs.20,000 goal

5 Supporters

Beneficiary: Espírito Kashi info_outline

Supporters (5)

Mohneet donated US $100
about 3 years ago

Good luck to the two Rajats @ Espirito Kashi. May this be the beginning of a long and fulfiling journey :)

Suneet donated Rs.10,000
about 3 years ago

interesting stuff... all the best for its success!

Shweta donated Rs.2,500
about 3 years ago

All the best buddy

Vijay donated Rs.1,000
about 3 years ago

Best of luck Rajat. You are living many peoples' dreams brother. Godspeed to you and your team.

Anonymous donated Rs.200
about 3 years ago