Friday, February 15, 2019

My Caste - my next film! Support the film!

My Caste - my next film Support the film!

Dear friends!
We are about to start the editing of my next documentary 'My Caste'. Kindly contribute financially and support the film.
My Caste : a documentary about personal caste experiences of different people from different backgrounds. The film attempts to question the silences, claims, compromises, deeds and ambiguities regarding our take on Caste.
The film is partly self funded and partly crowd funded (as I have always done for my 19 films so far, except a few).
Tentative duration: 90 min
Language: Tamil with English subtitles
Amount needed: Rs. 2 lakh (for editing, colour correction, subtitles, music and posters)
Amudhan RP

My Filmography


Thursday, February 7, 2019

25 years! Part 01

25 years!
We started Marupakkam in 1994 in Madurai with Royam Murali, Ritama David, Caroline Nesabai, Prabahar VedamanickamVarthini Parvatha and Thirumurugan. We got films from CENDIT, New Delhi in VHS cassettes and we started organising film screenings in Madurai, especially in colleges. We did so many film screenings using TV and VCP/R.
Thanks to Gargi Sen and Ranjan De, from New Delhi who motivated and guided us regarding organising film screenings and discussions.
Films by Anand Patwardhan (esp In the Name of God), Deepa Dhanraj (esp Something Like a War), Chalam Bennurkar (esp Kutti Jappanin Kuzhanthaigal), Patricio Guzman (esp Battle of Chile), Dennis O'Rourke (esp Shark Caller of Kontu), Sasi Kp (many films), Vasudha Joshi and Ranjan Palit (esp Voice of Baliapal) were our favourites then. We used to regularly screen, watch and talk about, their films.
Thanks to CENDIT, a media organisation who had organised a 20 week training program in filmmaking and dissemination. The opportunity they gave me to work at their Soami Nagar office in New Delhi gave me the roadmap. I had access to so many films and filmmakers through their library and studio. People like Sanjay BarnelaAtul Gupta, Sriprakash, Meghnath Akhra and Anurag Singh used to visit CENDIT frequently.
Thanks to Sasi Kp, who by then had made some bath breaking films such as A Valley Refuses to Die, In the Name of Medicine and Ilayum Mullum. I could meet him regularly at his Green Park flat in New Delhi. The interactions I had with his colleagues like Ratna, Pandavath Baburaj, Sathish, K. C. Santhosh Kumar and T Jayshree also made a serious impression on me about films and life.
Ranjan De, Sarojini Nadimpally and Ritwik gave me enormous love. I spent almost all my weekends at their place in my Delhi days. They listened to my stories, asked me tough questions and gave me good food. They were also busy in their own work. Their journey also motivated me a lot. They were my family.
Personally I should thank Anita Ratnam of Samvada, Bangalore who supported me with fellowship after I had returned from Delhi. The travel to Bangalore from Madurai in those days to meet fellow "fellows" and other activists connected me with various interactions and critical initiatives. Friends like Usha BnSana Das, Rupa, Janarthan, Benson Issac and Celin (Vimochana) from Bangalore were always receptive to our queries and views.
Bangalore and later Thirssur (esp K. C. Santhosh Kumar and Sheena Jose) were my adda for years. Even now these two cities are my dream destinations.
I should also thank Dr Gabriela Dietrich of Pennurimai Iyakkam, Madurai and National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) - Tamilnadu who gave me opportunities to work with various people's struggles in Tamilnadu and rest of India especially Narmada Bachao Andolan.
Thanks to the wonderful library at Centre for Social Analysis in Madurai and Dr Bas Wielenga who had meticulously catalogued the books, for guiding me to read and under stand Indian society and the world.
C Saratchandran (who is no more) helped us in conceiving, designing and organising film festivals in Madurai. He often visited from Kochi, stayed with us, shared his video projector, films from his wonderful collection, and gave his knowledge and experience about the world. I used to call him Acha (father in Malayam). He used to call me Mahane (son in Tamil / Malayalam ).
Renjith Kuzhur, who is an established filmmaker and editor now used to work with Sarat those days. He used to visit us along with Sarat, some times alone to organise film festivals in Madurai.
The Kieslowski retrospective that Sarat had organised in Madurai in those years indirectly motivated me to make the film Shit (in 2001-3) as the 'in the face' treatment of the film 'Short Film About Killing' by Kieslowski tore me apart.
Stalin K who had dubbed his film "Lesser Humans" in Tamil had invited me to accompany him during a screening tour in and around Madurai. That tour also helped me to make the film Shit.
Babu, my friend from Madurai came along with me to Bombay to attend BIFF 1998, where we watched some awesome documentaries and short films. We stayed with Lata PM, an activist friend from NAPM, at their Santacruz flat during that visit. That trip was also a path breaking experience.
Mini Hari and Ajit Hari from Campus Film Society, Chennai always took me / us seriously whenever we met. They always motivated us in organising film screening programs in colleges.
Voluntary organisations such as SIRD (esp. Jeeva Nanthan, and Ganthimathi), SNEHA (esp Christy and Jesuratnam) People's Watch TN (espHenri Tiphagne), IDEAS (where I watched documentaries first time in my life in a workshop organised by CENDIT), SOCO Trust, EKTA (esp Bimla Chandrasekar), CESCI and Tamilnadu Theological Seminary (Alex, who was organising Dalit Art Festivals) helped us a lot in getting grass root exposure in terms of people's struggles and various perspectives about common people.
Educational institutions such Lady Doak College (esp Caroline Nesabai), American College (esp. Prabahar Vedamanickam), Madura College (esp.Royam Murali), Thiayagarajar College (esp. Tho Paramasivan and Ku Gnanasampanthan) helped us a lot organising regular film screenings among students.
Yathaartha Film Society (esp Rajan) gave us opportunity to watch films (I still remember the stunning visuals of Luis Bunuel Retrospective) in 35mm and 16mm formats.
Ari (அரிஅரவேலன் யரலவழள) always welcomed us to organise screenings at CESCI.
MUTA, the famous trade union in Madurai gave us space without rent to organise regular film screenings.
My friends from Madurai especially Subaguna Rajan, Sundar Kali, Logu Ramasamy, Babu, Ilango Kannan, Ashok, Pandi, Mohan, Manikandan Guru,Mohamed SafiMuthu KrishnanKaruna Miryam and Philip Peacock who laughed, joked, argued, fought and made peace with me.
The anti nuclear seminar that we had organised in response to the Pokhran nuclear tests was our major public event. In fact the one off film festival that we had organised in 1998 as part of that seminar was our starting point forMadurai Film Festival.
Ilamparithi who worked with me in my second film (Theeviravathigal) always asked me tough questions. I used to meet Marx Pandian through Ilamparithi.
The seminar on Periyar organised by Madurai Araaichi Vattam (Madurai Research Circle) and the Theatre Festival organised by Subamangala (Komal Swaminathan) still cherish my memory. The beef curry and rice served at the Periyar seminar still evoke fond memories.
So many people played very important roles in our / my journey!
And of course my parents Ramalingam and Pushpam, and my sistersThilagam Ramalingam and Aruna Rama for their trust and love, I thank them all.
This was between 1994-2000.
Thank you folks!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

My Article on Madurai Film Festival

Dear friends!

I wrote an article on Madurai Film Festival for a book about Human Rights Education.

Please follow the link for the article

Madurai Film Festival - A Reflection 

Do share your comments!