Saturday, April 18, 2015

Amudhan R.P. Profile


Address: 33, Scheme Road, 3rd Cross St, Ellai Amman Colony, Teynampet, Chennai 600086, India
Phone: 91 86952 79353
Date of birth: 16 July 1971

1994: Certificate course in 20 weeks documentary filmmaking from Centre for Development of Instructional Technology (CENDIT), New Delhi
1994: M.A.  (Development Communication), Madurai Kamaraj University
1991: B.Sc Chemistry, Arul Anandhar College, Madurai

Film Festivals:
1998 : Founded, designed and organised Madurai International Documentary and Short Film Festival in Madurai
1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013,2014: Designed and conducted Madurai International Documentary and Short Film Festival in Madurai
2013, 2014, 2015: Founded, designed and conducted Chennai International Documentary and Short Film Festival in Chennai
1999: Designed and conducted International feature film festival in Madurai screening films by Akira Kurosawa, Fedirico Fellini, Jean Luc Godard, Luis Bunuel and Ingmar Bergman
2000: Designed and conducted Retrospective Film Festival of Kryzyztof Kieslowski in Madurai
2002: Designed and conducted Touring film festival in Western districts of Tamilnadu
2002: Designed and conducted One day film festival at St.Joseph College, Tiruchi
2002, 2003,2004: Designed and conducted Yadumahi Film Festival in Tirunelveli
2010: Designed and conducted Summer Film Festival, Chennai
2011: Designed and conducted Open Sesame Film Festival at Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai
2011: Designed and conducted Peenachi – Dalit, Adivasi Film Festival at Sathyamangalam, Tamilnadu
2012: Designed and conducted One day film festival at Government Meenakshi Women’s College, Madurai
2012: Organised a screening tour in Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Delhi
2012: Organized one day film festival on sexuality at Loyola College, Chennai
2013: Oraganized 5 day film festival
2014: Organized 3 day film on social justice at Periyar Thidal, Chennai
2014: Organized 3 day film on democracy at Periyar Thidal, Chennai

Video workshops:
1998: Designed and conducted a video workhop at Chengalpattu
1999, 2000: Designed and conducted a video workhop at CESCI, Madurai
2008, 2009, 2010: Designed and conducted a video workshop at Karisal, Alangulam near Sivakasi, Tamilnadu
2006, 2007: Designed and conducted a video workhop at The American College, Madurai
2004, 2005, 2006, 2010: Designed and conducted a video workshop at Lady Doak College for Women, Madurai
2012: Video workshop at EMMRC as part of Orientation Workshop on Foklore Documentation at Manipur University in association with National Folklore Support Centre

2001-2003 managed Indymedia’s India page www.indymedia/india by contributing writings, photos, videos as an editor as part of Madurai Collective.


Photo Exhibition:
2004: conducted a one man show of photo exhibition on Manual Scavenging Practices in Coimbatore city on behalf of Aadhi Tamilar Peravai, a non electroral political party working with Arundhatiyars – a caste that considered lowest among lowest in Tamilnadu.

2005: conducted a one man show of photo exhibition on Impact of Tsunami in the coastal districts of Cuddalore, Karikal, Nagaipattinam and Kanyakumari in Tamilnadu.

1996: Interview with Anand Patwardhan – CENDIT Newsletter in English
2006: Political Documentaries and the New Wave – VIBGYOR Film Festival Booklet in English
2008: Lifting the Lowest – Tehelka, 29 March 2008 in English
2011: Kalakaran Sarat Chandran – Padapetti, Film Magazine in Tamil
2012: India Aavanapadangalin Pithamagan Anand Patwardahn – Padapetti Film Magazine in Tamil
2012: Karkalai Yerium Dennis O Rourke – Padapetti Film Magazine in Tamil
2012: Patricio Guzman – Chiliyin Thaarmeehakkural – Padapetti Film Magazine in Tamil
2012: Vegu Tholaivu Nattilirunthu Naan Ungaludan Pesugiren – Chris Marker – Padapetti Film Magazine in Tamil
2012: Yenke Poyina Arasiyal Aavanapadangal? – Sunday Indian Weekly 19 Aug 2012 in Tamil
2014: Jean Rouche for Padapetti, Film Magazine in Tamil

Films by Amudhan R.P.

1) Dollar City
Dir: Amudhan R.P.
80 min; Tamil with English subtitles; 2015; Documentary
Produced by Raj Kajendra
Tirupur, a small town in south India is well known for its thousands of export oriented garment hosiery units and millions of migrant workers from both within and outside the state of Tamilnadu.  Once a small village now a city, Tirupur provides a development model where the state machinery, exporters, small and big entrepreneurs, commission agents, trade unionists and workers converge at a point where export, and welfare of the industry are the priority by sidelining, marginalizing and eventually breaking the laws that protect environment and workers’ rights.
The film provides an inside view of a successful economical system where there is connivance and consensus between the masters, mediators and the workers, where the ambitions and loyalties collapse, where the rights become a privilege, where duty becomes an opportunity and where one’s desperation is another’s prospect.
The fact that there has not been a workers’ strike in Tirupur in the past 20 years as proudly expressed by an exporter in the film can be a classical example for the Gramscian idea of manufacture of consent.

2) Radiation Stories Part 3: KOODANKULAM
80 min; 2012; Tamil with English subtitles; documentary
The people’s movement against Koodankulam nuclear plant is a 20 plus years old story. Post Fukushima saw the movement gaining momentum in and around Koodankulam and Idinthakarai villages thanks to the test run conducted by nuclear authorities of Koodankulam which brought in the inland farmers, workers, small traders and lower middle salaried class to the struggle along with the fishing community.
When the Government of India and its embedded media are trying hard to malign, harass and corner the people’s struggle which is local, indigenous, independent, non violent and democratic, the film tries to capture few moments of the struggle that can give us a perspective which reflects the movement’s point of view. Some may say it is one sided, so be it.

3) Radiation Stories Part II: Kalpakkam
28 min; 2012; Tami with English subtitles; Documentary
Dr.Pugalendi, a brave warrior against nuclear energy has been fighting a battle against nuclear establishment of Kalpakkam for the past 20 years. When the famous scientists of this country are claiming that nuclear energy is safe, Dr.Pugalendi’s argument can give us the suppressed version of the story.

4) Thodarum Neethi Kolaihal (Continuing Judicial Murder)
124 min; Tamil; 2011; Documentary
Part:1 Capital punishment is a murder in the name of law and justice. India is one of the few countries in the world that have not abolished capital punishment along with United States and China. 20 odd mercy petitions are waiting on the table of the President of India.
Part :2 Rajiv Gandhi's assassination case is one of the most controversial cases in the independent India where still the plot has not been solved yet. But still the Government of India is to keen to hang the 3 Tamils prematurely as part of its revenge acts beside the Srilankan war where more than a lakh Tamils were killed in pursuit of LTTE.

5)  Mercury in the Mist
16 min; Tamil with English subtitles; 2011
Ex-workers of a thermometer factory owned and run by Hindustan Lever Limited in Kodaikanal, a hill station in south India suffer from mercury contamination. 30 persons have died so far due to various diseases. The ex-workers of the factory continue their fight against the multinational company which refuses to take the responsibility.

6) Farewell to Mr.Gandhi
28 min; Tamil with English subtitles; 2011

3 villages near Madurai in south India loose 1500 acres of fertile lands to Special Economical Zone (SEZ) a chain of no-tax zones to promote industrialisation promoted by Government of India across the country. People are being forced to leave the lands that were part of their lives for generations.

7) Broken Voices
20 min; Tamil; Documentary 2010

Victims of caste atrocities from different parts of the state of Tamilnadu share their violations in the hands of police, caste Hindus and men. Some of the stories are brutal, some are subtle and some are psychological and all are violent.

8) RADIATION STORIES Part I: Manavalakurichi
54 min; Tamil with English subtitles; 2010

Lush green ambiance of Kanyakumari district, in southern India conceals the artificially created radioactive sand dunes and large number of radiation related illness and deaths. Trucks carry around radioactive sand across villages and towns throughout the day and night .Ponds, rivers, plants, trees, our crew and shooting equipment all can be possibly radioactive. Even this documentary can be radioactive. Some call it natural radiation. Some call it man-made radiation. But there is radiation; for sure.

9) Night Life
5 minutes; English (No dialogue); 2008

I sleep on the middle of the road even during the midnight. While the fast moving vehicles flood light on me, the people with selective blindness cannot notice me. This is my concrete bed and I cannot afford to turn towards either direction. But who is not insane anyway?

10) 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.

11) Seruppu (Footwear)
64 minutes; Tamil with English subtitles; 2006

This film portrays the life and struggle of the inhabitants of 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.

12) Senthamil Nadenum Pothinile : 5 minutes; music video; Tamil; 2005

Bharathi’s famous song “Senthamil Nadenum Pothinile “sung by M.S.Subbulakshi is used here to juxtapose the shit reality of Tamilnadu with the images of manual scavenging. The song boasts that the Tamil culture, land and language as supreme. But the images show poor sanitary workers of Tamilnadu cleaning filthy toilets.

13) Vandhe Mataram – A shit version
6 minutes; music video; Hindi; 2005

A.R.Rahman, a famous Indian music director produced a music video “remixing” the national patriotic song ‘Vandhe Mataram’ in the lines of “India Shining” propaganda campaign by the BJP led NDA government at the centre in early years of millennium.

This music video uses the same audio to juxtapose with manual scavenging activities that are still prevalent in India amidst the false euphoria of “India Shining” wave.

14) Mayana Kurippugal (Notes from the Crematorium)
25 min; Tamil with English subtitles; 2005

The film is an existential journey into the life and experiences of undertakers of Madurai central crematorium who despite facing untouchablity and caste violence from the rest of the society because of the occupation, continue to look life with hope and wisdom.

Cremation is considered to be a holy ritual in India which involves the upper caste priests, the close ones of the deceased, the undertakers and of course the corpse. Although the cremation cannot take place without the active participation of the undertakers, the caste system in India does not give due respect and recognition to them. The central crematorium here in Madurai is run by the government where the workers are forced to work under inhuman conditions without salary, security and safety working environment. Apart from getting occasional beating from the relatives of the deceased they are also abused and insulted regularly, while doing the job.

But the death becomes the leveler which presumably gives belated wisdom to the deceased, only after the death. And those who are alive continue to fail to achieve that.

15) Pee (Shit): 26 min; Tamil with English subtitles; 2003
Mariyammal, a sanitary worker with Madurai Municipal Corporation shares her frustration and anger with the filmmaker while cleaning a street near by a temple in Madurai which is full of shit.
Manual scavenging is officially prohibited in India since 1996. But lakhs of such men and women are made to clean night soil in the cities, towns and villages here. Most of them do not even get proper salary as it is considered to be their traditional occupation under the Indian caste system. They continue to live in a precarious condition for generations without any hope for change as their children are also indirectly forced to continue the tradition.

The film became a proof for all the insensitivity of the society towards such workers and triggered a chain of actions in Tamilnadu which includes the mass movements and direct actions against manual scavenging and of course the protagonist, Mariammal has been shifted out to a little better job, the street that is shown in the film has been shut down by the government and the toilets are better managed now with better equipment and better working conditions in Madurai.

16) Kaviri Padugai (Cauvery Delta): 45 min; Tamil with English subtitles; 2002

16 farmers died within a period of a month either by hanging themselves, or consuming pesticide, or by heart attack as they faced acute drought and debt in Tanjore district, otherwise called ‘rice bowl’ of Tamilnadu in 2002. The film visits some of their families to register their side of the story which got deliberately hidden by the government and mass media.
Although “green revolution” in agriculture seems to have created enough food to save the starving stomachs of India, it has also alienated the farmers from their cultivation and land as the scientists and industries started dictating the methods and inputs. Farmers lost control over their crops after becoming completely dependent on canal irrigation, diesel and electric motors, hybrid seeds, chemical fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides. As their cost of inputs keep increasing every year, any small derailment in the plan will prove to be fatal.

17) Thodarum Thisavazhi (Direction to go): 40 min; Tamil; Hi 8; 2001
Students of Government run colleges in Tamilnadu went for a state wide protest in response to the privatization of higher education started by the state government. The film captures the experiences of students of two colleges of Madurai.

Government run colleges are the only source of higher education and hope for the students who come from economically and socially backward sections in India. These colleges are heavily subsidized by both the state and central governments to enable the students from all backgrounds to get quality education. But after the advent of liberalization and globalization policies, the governments are trying to give away the responsibility of universal higher education in India. The film tries to question this whole idea.

18) Theeviravaghigal (Terrorists): 56 min; Tamil with English sub-titles; VHS; 1997
A socio-cultural documentary about the life and struggle of peasants of Gundupatti near Kodaikanal, who had to face brutal and violent assault from police and local politicians as they decided to boycott a parliament election in response to lack of basic facilities such as road, hospital and school. The film brings out the inhuman character vulgarly exhibited by the state police when a community tries to fight for its right in India, particularly if they are dalits/harijans/untouchables.
The peasants are the repatriates from southern Sri Lanka who were brought back to India under the Srimavo-Shastri accord and made to settle on the hills of Kodaikanal, a famous hill station near Madurai. Most of them left India for Sri Lanka for a better life with security and dignity without having to face untouchability, some hundred years back.

19) Leelavathi: 55 min; Tamil; VHS; 1996
An investigative documentary on the murder of an activist turned politician Mrs. Leelavathi as she fought against water mafia and tried to get tap water facility for the people of Villapuram, a working class settlement in Madurai. Coming from a simple and traditional weaving community, Mrs. Leelavthi became a hardworking activist of All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) and later CPI (M) and finally died as a councilor of Madurai Municipal Corporation representing Villapuram. Her end also brought out the danger, the women local body members face in the hands of traditional power holding fellow politicians who happened to be men.

Festivals/ awards
Notes from the Crematorium:
River to River, Florence Indian Film Festival 2006 -Italy,
Gottingen Documentary Film Festival 2006 – Germany,
Doc-Aviv 2006 – Israel,
Signs 2006 – Trivandrum
3 Screens 2006 – ISF, New Delhi
Peace Film Festival 2006 – Mumbai
Film South Asia 2007, Katmandu

Tirupur video festival, Tamilnadu 2004(awards shared)
Sivagangai video competion, Tamilnadu 2004 (awards shared)
Jeevika 2004, New Delhi
One Billion Eyes – Indian Documentary Festival, Chennai 2005 (best film award)
Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival 2005, China
Mumbai International Film Festival 2006 (National Jury Award)
VIBGYOR Documentary and Short Film Festival 2006 (Best Documentary Film)

Jeevika 2007, New Delhi – 3rd Prize
WSF Film Festival 2007, Kenya
One Billion Eyes Film Festival 2007, Chennai
International Video Festival of Kerala 2008, Trivandrum

Recent Screening Tours:2012 June: Screening Tour in Maharahstra showing my Trilogy on Radiation (10 shows); 2012 July: Screening Tour in Kerala showing my Trilogies on Caste as well as Nuclear Radiation (12 shows); 2012 August: Screening Tour in Andhra Pradesh showing my films (8 shows); 2012 September: Screening tour in Delhi showing my films (6 shows).
Retrospective: 2010 in Bangalore organized by Vikalp, 2011 in Chennai organized by University of Madras, 2014 in Calicut organized by Youth Spring Film Festival


Color Holidays said...

Great article, It's one of the best content in your site for tour and travel . I really impressed the post. Good work keep it up. Thanks for sharing the wonderful post. International tour packages

Mohammed said...

Thanks for sharing up–to-date on this subject! I find it is very informative and very well written one! Keep up on this quality!

Corporate Training in Chennai

Ashwin S said...

I am glad to find your impressive way of writing the post.Thanks for sharing the post.i'm sharing your information to all friends.If you
Want more details kindly click here

for IT the said...

I have read your blog its very attractive and impressive. I like it your blog.

Java Training in Chennai Core Java Training in Chennai Core Java Training in Chennai

Java Online Training Java Training in Chennai Core Java 8 Training in Chennai Core Java 8 Training in Chennai JavaEE Training in Chennai Java EE Training in Chennai