Aravindan Memorial Lecture: 14th Dec 2016 6.00pm Nila Theatre
Born in Ethiopia, Haile Gerima is a writer, producer and director, best known for his acclaimed film Sankofa (1993) which was acclaimed internationally. Throughout his career, Gerima has used his work as a critical lens for personal growth and creative development. His concern for people of African descent is evident, especially, where the representation of their image is concerned. His most recent film, Teza, was another personal drama, set in Ethiopia and Germany. The film chronicled the return of an African intellectual to his country of birth, during the repressive Marxist regime of Haile Mariam Mengistu. Teza was also well received by International Critics.
An alumnus of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Film and Television, Gerima has spent over 40 year making high value, low budget films outside of commercial institutions. Gerima has been a distinguished professor of film at Howard University since 1975. He is also a leading member of the L.A. Rebellion film movement, also known as the Los Angeles School of Black Filmmakers.
Sunny Joseph is an Indian cinematographer and director from Kerala, most known for his work in Shaji N. Karun classic, Piravi, for which he won the 1988 Kerala State Film Award for Best Photography. He has Post Graduate Diploma in Cinematography from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune.
During the last 12 years photographed more than 30 feature films and many short films. Working all over India he has worked in seven languages-Malayalam, Tamil, Bengali, Kannada, Manipuri, Hindi/Punjabi and English with eminent directors like G.Aravindan, Shaji N Karun, Aribam Shyam Sharma, Malay Bhattacharyya, K.G. George, Pamela Rooks and Chandrashekar. Sunny Joseph also works as a Director. He has more than six short films and two television serials to his credit. Among Sunny’s cinematography works “PIRAVI”, “VASTHUHARA”, “SANABI”, “KAHINI”, “TRAIN TO PAKISTAN”, “MANGAMMA”, “DAYA”, “UNNI”, “AMERICA AMERICA” etc. are well acclaimed. Apart from the professional activities Sunny, is also a keen film teacher, conducting regular workshops in Kerala; Film and TV Institute of India, Pune; Satyajith Ray Film and TV Institute, Calcutta, and Asian Film Centre, Colombo.
G.Aravindan has left his imprint on the imagination of a whole generation of Malayalis, as a cartoonist and a film maker. His brand of cartooning was not caricature, nor was his movie in the nature of mere story-telling. The films, much like his cartoons, reflected his take on the goings-on in the amoral society, its hypocrisy and double standards.
His brand of cartooning was not caricature, nor was his movie in the nature of mere story-telling.
The films, much like his cartoons, reflected his take on the goings-on in the amoral society, its hypocrisy and double standards.
For those who grew up on his anecdotal series of delectable and thought-provoking cartoons titled ‘Small Men and the Big World’ identified with the protagonist Ramu….. and who can forget Guruji, the philosopher who many considered a proxy of his creator himself? The rectangular frames of the cartoon were but precursors to the frames of his cinematic technique. The leitmotif of his films was the sedate and unhurried progression of episodes. In Kanchana Sita, his retelling of the epic Ramayana, Sita is not shown once, but the viewer is reminded constantly of her presence by the moods of the nature. The impermanence of relationships is the theme highlighted by Thampu through itinerant entertainers who leave before one can strike a friendly chord with an artiste. Esthappan, Pokkuveyil and Chidambaram are, in a sense, about the human mind – where the dividing line between fantasy and reality blur and the two merge, seamlessly as it were. Each of his films – be it Maraattam, Oridathu or Vastuhaara or any of the others mentioned before – were diverse skeins of creativity, humanism, and the ever flowing outpouring of a composite intellect that ploughed a lonely furrow.