Friday, September 19, 2014

Screening of Amudhan R.P. films at Visag!

Screening of Amudhan R.P.’s films at Visakhapatnam!

Jointly organized by
Environmental Film Society & Vizag Film Society.
Date: 21 September 2014; Time: 10 am
Venue: Builders association hall, Tycoon Hotel 4th floor, near Siripuram Jn. Visakhapatnam.


1) The Road
10 minutes; Tamil with English subtitles; 2008
Who owns the highways? When foreign direct investment and multinational Indian companies take over the road with heavy funding for construction and expansion who owns them finally? Do the villagers who were robbed off their lands own it? What about the school children? When the houses and trees are bulldozed along with the deities, Hitler’s dream can also be implemented in India.

2) Seruppu (Footwear)
64 minutes; Tamil with English subtitles; 2006
This film portrays the life and struggle of the inhabitants of Dharmanathapuram, an old slum in Tiruchirappalli with the combination of ethnographic and point of view style.

The protagonists are dalits/untouchables/harijans involved in making footwear for their livelihood, which is their traditional caste based occupation. They are also Catholics and that religious identity “officially prohibits” them from getting benefits such as reservation/quota in education and jobs, scholarship for students, and other measures that are otherwise available for fellow “Hindu” dalits under the same Indian constitution.

Besides the external trouble, they also face discrimination within the church as their fellow Catholics who happened to be “upper castes” practice untouchability and hegemony over the lower caste Christians. Also the entry of multinational companies because of globalization and privatization deprive them the market share, apart from the apathy shown by both the state and central governments who are in the process of slowly stopping all the support mechanism that has been guaranteed to the small scale and cottage industries in India.

3) Hey Mr.Gandhi, Leave the Indians Alone!
28 min; Tamil with English subtitles; 2011
3 villages near Madurai in south India will be robbed off 1500 acres of fertile lands by Special Economic Zone (SEZ) a chain of no-tax zones to promote industrialization initiated by Government of India across the country. People are being forced to leave the lands that were part of their lives for generations.

The filmmaker will be there to introduce the films and for post screenings discussions!

Amudhan R.P.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

International Documentary Film Festival on Democracy : Chennai

Chennai International Documentary Film Festival on Democracy
15, 16, 17 August 2014; Periyar Thidal; 11 am to 5 pm

Organised by
Magic Lantern Movies 
and Periyar Self Respect Media, Periyar Thidal


15 August 2014

11 am   : Red Ant Dreams (119 min)
Dir: Sanjay Kak

Let us declare that state of war does exist and shall exist, the revolutionary patriot had said, almost a hundred years ago, and that forewarning travels into India’s present, as armed insurrection simmers in Bastar, in the troubled heart of central India. But in the east too, beleaguered adivasi’s from the mineral rich hills of Odisha came forth bearing their axes, and their songs. And in the north the swelling protests by Punjabi peasants sees hop coagulate- once more- around that iconic figure of Bhagat Singh, revolutionary martyr of the anti colonial struggle.

1 pm    Lunch break

2 pm    : One day ahead of democracy (117 min)
Dir: Amlan Datta

Malana, a remote village in the Himalayas, isolated from outside civilization for thousands of years has been fostering a divine existence in harmony with nature and a unique model of democracy of consensus. The hidden treasure of their governance has been trust and they have been selecting not electing!

They have also been producing some of the best quality hashish. In the seventies came some white men who taught them how to rub the crème and drew them into hashish trade. Malana crème became world famous.

The rule of our modern day democracy has to be established, so Malana becomes a part of Indian electorate. In name of development the curse of modern world starts destroying their traditional culture and social practices. A united community gets divided and goes to vote for the Indian general elections.

4:00     : A  Certain Liberation (37 min)
Dir: Yasmine Kabir

Gurudasi Mondol gave herself up to madness in 1971, during the Liberation War of Bangladesh, as she watched her entire family being killed by the collaborators of the occupying forces. Thirty years later, Gurudasi continues to roam the streets of Kopilmoni, a small-town in rural Bangladesh, in quest of all she has lost; snatching at will from strangers and breaking into spaces normally reserved for men. In her madness, she has found a strategy for survival.

In Kopilmoni, Gurudasi has attained near legendary status. Through her indomitable presence, she has kept alive the spirit of the Liberation War.

16 August 2014

11 am: Dear Mandela (93 min)
Dir: Dara Kell & Christopher Nizza

When the South African government promises to “eradicate the slums” and beings to evict the shack dwellers far outside the cities, three friends who live in Durbans’s vast shantytowns refuse to be moved. ‘Dear Mandela’ follows their journey from their shacks to the highest court in the land as they evoke Nelson Mandela’s example and become leaders in a growing social movement. The film offers a new perspective on the role that young people can play in political change and is a fascinating portrait of South African coming of age.

12:30 :  Taana Baana: The Warp and Weft of India (23 min)
Dir: Q

Set up as a musical with no interviews, 'Taana Baana: The warp and weft of India’ weaves together the metaphoric act of weaving with the musical traditions of north India to reflect on what holds the nation together. A nation of heterogeneous and contradictory realities, India houses over a billion people from diverse regions, religions, languages, and practices. The film uses the prism of poetry of the 14th century poet, Kabir, that is sung till date by a wide range of contemporary musicians from diverse genres, to look at the fabric of the nation that is based on plurality.

1:00  Lunch break

2:00 : Struggle (60 min)
Dir: Roger Hill

Struggle is a case study of the 2004 Presidential Election in Ohio, the deciding swing state which delivered the presidency once again to George W. Bush. Diligently researched by the key contributors to the film, Struggle is a bold film that challenges the legitimacy of that Presidential Election and brings the entire U.S. electoral process into question

3:00 : In Gods Land (72 min)
Dir: Pankaj Rishi Kumar

The film documents the journey of a tiny village, Inam Alungalam in Tamil Nadu, which is robbed off its land in order to construct a Special Economic Zone (SEZ). 

17  August

11 am : Salma  (90 min)
Dir: Kim Longinotto

When Salma, a young Muslim girl in a south Indian village, was 13 years old, her family locked her up for 25 years, forbidding her to study and forcing her into marriage. During that time, words were Salma's salvation. She began covertly composing poems on scraps of paper and, through an intricate system, was able to sneak them out of the house, eventually getting them into the hands of a publisher. Against the odds, Salma became the most famous Tamil poet: the first step to discovering her own freedom and challenging the traditions and code of conduct in her village.

1:00 Lunch break

2:00 pm : Nero’s Guests (56 min)
Dir: Deepa Bhatia

From farms to fashion shows, from college campuses to the countryside, a film that looks at India's growing inequality and our own complicity in its creation. Nearly 200,000 farmers have committed suicide in India over the last 10 years. But the mainstream media hardly reflects this. ‘Nero's Guests’ is a story about India's agrarian crisis and the growing inequality seen through the work of the Rural Affairs Editor of Hindu newspaper, P. Sainath. Through sustained coverage of the farm crisis, Sainath and his colleagues created the national agenda, compelling a government in denial to take notice and act. Through his writings and lectures, Sainath tries to make us see the real India, and provokes us to think who are the 'Nero's Guests' in today's world. Nero's Guests has been shot in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Nagpur and Vidarbha in Maharashtra.

3:00 : Children of Pyre (74 min)
Dir: Rajesh Jala

Children of the Pyre' is a compelling real-life, self-narrative of seven extraordinary children of Varanasi who make their living out of the dead at Manikarnika, the busiest cremation ground in India. Tempered by the heat of the pyre, strengthened in the face of adversities, crafted by the volley of abuses, watch these imps weave through the pyres and struggle through disdain to snatch their livelihoods. This film is a terrible saga of exploitation that celebrates the victory of innocence over the most harrowing realities of life.

4:15  Frames of War (41)
Dir: Kesang Tsetan

Yuddha Chitra' (Frames of War) is a stark reminder that peace has not yet come for those directly affected by Nepal’s 11-year conflict. The film brings us the voices of those whose relatives were killed or disappeared or who were disabled during the conflict. Suffering and pain reside in individuals and individual bodies, which we often forget under the collective ‘people’. The film excavates individual stories while accompanying a traveling exhibition 'A People War' that in 2007-2008 traversed the country for more than three months and was seen by more than 300,000 people. The film also reminds us that public acknowledgment of what happened is a precondition for healing.

5:00 : Killing fields of Muzzafarnagar (47 min)
Dir: Gopal Menon

The Killing Fields of Muzzaffarnagar is about 2013 Muzzaffarnagar riots which is described as "the worst violence in Uttar Pradesh in recent history" resulted in at least 62 deaths, injured 93 and left more than 50,000 displaced. This film captures narratives of the survivors’ plight, anguish, sorrows and helplessness of riots victims and investigates into the ploy of the hate politics played out by the Hindu right wing organizations in Western UP to tear apart the social fabric for electoral games. The film has footage of live riots, people with guns and swords on the road, houses and shops burning and provocative speeches in the maha panchayat

Curated by Amudhan R.P.

All are welcome!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Teaser Launch of The Riddle!

We invite you to

Chennai Monthly Screenings
TEASER LAUNCH for the feature film “The Riddle”

Jointly organised by MARUPAKKAM, Padapetti & Book Point

27 July 2013; 4-8 pm

Book Point (opp. to Spencer Plaza)

Guest speakers:
Prof. A. Marx – writer/activist; Trotsky Maruthu – artist; Rohini – actor/director; Rose – actor/director

The films:

4 pm:
Dir: Ulrike Mothes
64 min;Tamil, Kannada and Urdu with English subtitles; 2012; Documentary; Germany

When the 31 policewomen of Halasuru Gate Women’s Police Station in Bangalore pursue their work, they don’t only accommodate domestic quarrels and dowry conflicts but also defend their authority against accused husbands and fathers in law and discuss the perfect wedding.

2) "This or That Particular Person" 
Dir: Subasri Krishnan
28 min; 2012; English; Documentary; India

This or That Particular Person is a documentary film that examines the relationship between the State, identity and notions of personhood. It locates contemporary debates around the Unique Identity number (UID or Aadhar) within a longer history of identity documents and the different meanings they hold for people. 

Discussion on Aadhar card.
Guest speaker: Prof. A. Marx – writer/activist

6:00 pm
3) Teaser launch for the feature film “The Riddle” by Amudhan R.P.

Trotsky Maruthu – artist
Rohini – actor/director
Rose – actor/director

6:30 pm
4) Wild
Dir: Edward Bishop
12:40 min; 2012; English; UK

WILD is about the unsettling effect of a rumor on a teenage girl.
When Laura hears that her boyfriend, Sam may have cheated on her, it tips her life upside down. She attempts to return it to normal – meeting with Sam to test his feelings for her – but soon realizes that doubt, once seeded, is not so easy to uproot.

6:45 pm
5) Nijam Enga
Dir: Kirubaharan Ambru
3:5 min; Music Video; India 

'Nijam yenge'' is an environmental music video that aims to create awareness among the people about the environmental issues.

7:00 pm
6) Txiki
Dir: Sergio San Martin 
27 min; Spanish with English subtitles; 2012; Documentary; Spain

Txiki is a documentary piece structured around artist Txiki Medina and focused on the creative process of an oil painting. In order to put together his peculiar geometry, the artist takes inspiration from urban spaces and spoilt aspects of Nature, places filled with elements which, rather than sought, have been encountered.

7:30 pm
7) Honey
Dir:Lucero Sanchez Novaro
16 min; Spanish with English subtitles; 2012; Short film; Mexico

Isa and Ana’s strong friendship bond helps them overcome their teenage life--fraught with solitude, confusion, and neglect. When Isa goes through a very painful situation, the two decide to leave the city and take Ana’s baby boy with them.

All are welcome!

Amudhan R.P.
Chennai Monthly Screenings.