September 14, 2007




6.00 P.M.


A Documentary Film on B. Premanand

The revelation of a Traveling Philosopher who exposed the so called Divine Miracles by his scientific rationale.

Produced and Directed: Sajeev Anthikkad

Camera and Editing: Babu Nazar
Duration: 86 Minutes

Premanand, is a traveller and visionary who through scientific rationalism, debunked the so-called miracle-makers and godmen all over the world.

Born in Kerala, he started fighting 'miracles' from the age of 12, and later travelled in over 49 countries to spread the message of scientific temper and rationalism. In his journey, he unravelled several godmen and miracles, and in the process learned over 1500 such 'god tricks'.

In the 70's he travelled all over Kerala to unravel miracles. He also wrote a column in Janayugam weekly to propagate scientific temper. Premanand is one of the most prominent rationalists of India after Dr Kovoor who took the latter's message forward with greater enthusiasm and rigour.

Heavy monsoon showers. Man with an umbrella meets girl without an umbrella. Sivan gives the umbrella to the girl. And then begins the search for the elusive girl and the umbrella.
A world of insanity in which only the umbrella seems to retain sanity. And Ramettan who denies the existence of anything and everyone…
Umbrella becomes the symbol of the elusive defence against the raging storm of globalisation.
Script & Direction: Sudhamsu


Filmmaker's thought: "It seems unfair that men don't get to menstruate. Fortunately, though, some of us get to live with people who do".
The film is an attempt at constructing a MALE EDITION of the audio- visual dictionary on Menstruation. Of how menstruation created the world, unraveling the Metaformic theory, postulated by Feminist Author Judy Grahn. A new relational origin story that women's menstrual rituals are the roots of human culture, and that in human evolution women and men have markedly different relationships to blood. Metaform, briefly, means an embodied or enacted idea with menstruation at its base.
The film is a mythographic observation of the interconnections among ancient menstrual rites and the development of agriculture, mathematics, writing, calendars, and other realms of knowledge.

Vipin Vijay , studied filmmaking at SRFTI, Calcutta. He received support from IDFA, Amsterdam, IFA, Bangalore, and Majlis, Mumbai, for his early works. In 2003, he received the Charles Wales Arts Award for research at the British Film Institute (BFI), London, for a film. At present working on a feature film with a support from Hubert Bals Film Fund, Rotterdam. He was invited to 3 Continents Film Festival 2007, Nantes, Paris, at Produire au Sud to represent India.
His films have won National Jury Award, Tiger Award-Rotterdam, Golden Pearl-HIFF, International Jury prize, Kodak Award, Kerala State Film & TV Award, IDPA Award, and the John Abraham National Awards (2005 and 2006). His films have widely been shown in festivals at Rotterdam, Karlovyvary, Oberhausen, Montreal, Japan, Karachi, Tehran, Chicago, Seattle, Berkley, Mexico, Croatia, Milan, and the Indian Panorama. Two of his films have recently been acquired for permanent archive at the U.S. Library of Congress.

Malayalam / 60 Minutes / Colour 2007
Script, Sound Design, Camera, Direction: Vipin Vijay
A Holy Grail Film Studio Production

September 12, 2007

adoption by Márta Mészáros


Márta Mészáros, Adoption, (Hungary, 1975).

16th september /sunday/
9.30 AM
at Savitha Theatre, Ernakulam.

Meszaros is one of the most important European directors. A laureate of Golden [1987] and Silver Bear [1987] at Berlinale, and of special awards in Venice, Cannes and at Camerimage. In her works she talks on social, political and economic issues and also on the relations between men and women. She was born in Hungary, but in 1936 her parents emigrated to Russia because they wanted to be a part of Stalin’s great social experiment. They were forced to go to Kirghizya where they both died as a result of Stalin’s purges. The director’s most famous work is a series of autobiographical movies – in a very part devoted to her parents – entitled “Dzienniki” which was made in the Eighties.
Selected filmography:
2007 Hanna Wende [In progress]
2004 A Temetetlen halott/Nagy Imre naplója/Niepochowany
2001 The Miraculous Manderin
2001 Żyć z pasją
2001 Most tolerancji
2000 Żyć można wszędzie - umieraj gdzie dom
2000 Urodziny mistrza
2000 Little Vilma: The Last Diary (Kis Vilma)
1999 Córy szczęścia
1998 Edith i Marlene
1997 Historia jednej znajomości
1996 Trzy kobiety Reżyseria, Scenariusz,
1996 Trzecia podróż do Kirgizji
1995 The Seventh Room (La settima stanza)
1994 Zabawa w koty
1994 Ostatni Dzień Anny Kareniny
1993 A Magzat
1992 Edith és Marlene - Diary for My Father and Mother
1989 Bye bye chaperon rouge
1987 Dziennik dla moich ukochanych (Diary for My Loved Ones/Napló szerelmeimnek)
1986 Ave Maria
1982 Dziennik dla moich dzieci (Diary for My Children/Naplo Gyermekeimnek)
1982 Néma kiáltás (Silent Cry)
1981 Anna [Mother and Daughter]
1980 Örökség [The Heiresses]
1979 Po drodze (Útközben/On the Move)
1977 One dwie (Ök ketten)
1976 Nine months (Kilenc Honap)
1975 Adopcja [Örökbefogadás]
1973 Swobodny oddech [Szabad lélegzet/Riddance]
1968 Dziewczyna
1960 Öszibarack termesztése
1954 ...és újtra mosolyognak


Adoption (1975)

Hungarian with English Subtitles/90 minutes

Actors: Katalin Berek, Gyöngyvér Vigh, Péter Fried, László Szabó, István Szõke, Director: Márta Mészáros
Format: Black & White
Language: Hungarian
Awards:Berlin International Film Festival: C.I.D.A.L.C. Award for Competition

Adoption is about the value of making a real, meaningful connection and the beauty of honest friendship in a cold, despondent world where each can often be so hard to find.Márta Mészáros has brilliantly conveyed a sad, depressing mood. Kata is an older woman who os involved with a married man, whom she has apparently been seeing for many years. Kata has decided she wants children. Her married boyfriend already has children of his own and doesn’t want to hear anything about it. The sensation that the spectator has entered Kata’s life at a time of great change is noticeable from the very start of the film. One gets the impression that her life has been very much the same for a long time and that in part a reason she has stayed with this married man already so long is that she is literally and figuratively stuck. She is stuck in the familiarity of routine, which is quite easy to let happen even if the routine is rather bad. Anna is a younger girl, probably in her mid teens, from an orphanage near where Kata lives. When Anna goes out with her friends for breaks from the orphanage it seems that they often see Kata and that Kata has already become quite aware of them as well. When Anna runs away from the orphanage, she goes to Kata, hoping that she can stay with her for a while, at least long enough to see her boyfriend when he visits, and then she’ll go back. Before Anna enters Kata’s life it is apparent that Kata is suffering. She is all alone in the world and her man is quite distant and does nothing but reject her appeal for a chance at happiness through a child. Her mood is also conveyed through her stillness and her reluctance to ever smile. She says that she loves this man, but it is really part of the construction that she has built up around herself, over the years, of self imposed alienation and withdrawal. This is quite similar to what Anna has also grown accustomed to doing to herself. In discussing with Kata the possibility of a child, she advises against adoption, saying that all abandoned children are damaged. In this incredibly heartfelt and revealing line Anna is talking more about herself than anyone. Like Kata, Anna has also received a lot of damage to her self esteem. Anna and Kata quickly develop a bond and take to each other in an almost mother daughter relationship. The mother daughter model, though, they both know can never be truly fulfilled. Nevertheless, they form a strong and significant relationship. This relationship is the most important in the entire film, more so than Kata’s oppressive relationship with the married man and even more so than Anna’s relation to her boyfriend, and eventual husband. The conclusion of the film is quite interesting in that both Anna and Kata fulfill what each, throughout the film, desires the most. Anna, with Kata’s help, marries her boyfriend and Kata, in the film’s final scene is shown adopting a baby. Each momentous event, though, is represented as distant. Anna’s wedding is shown as a great and festive event but Anna does not seem happy. In her final shot the spectator sees her, but does not hear her. She seems to be fighting with her new husband and as he walks away Anna appears sad, hurt, entirely unfulfilled. Apparently the wedding that she wanted so bad does not in the end make her happy. In her final scene, in a room crowded with celebrating people she is shown alone and says nothing. In Kata’s final scene she finally adopts a baby, but even at this point she still does not smile. The final shot is of her running with the baby in her arms toward a bus and the film leaves questions about her future happiness inconclusive. Each of the women fulfills their dreams, their life-changing wishes. Through each event, though, each woman identifies herself in relation to a totally traditional female standard. Anna becomes a wife and Kata becomes a mother. Their dreams, what they thought would make them happy, what they expected would bring meaning and fulfillment to their lives, was defined and decided by societal and cultural preconceptions of female expectation. Each of the women was, at the film’s beginning, certainly unhappy and unconventional. They were like two resistances to social standards of how a woman is to behave. They were each, through circumstances out of their control, decided by third parties (for Anna, her parents and for Kata, the married man), denied their conventional cultural roles as women. This lack contributed significantly to the sense of loss that each felt and therefore to each woman’s unhappiness. At the film’s conclusion, though, they supply each of their lives with what it was that they had been denied and were lacking. However, when the film ends, neither of the two is by any means convincingly happy. Their futures seem as uncertain as ever. This inconclusiveness and absolute resistance to comedic form that Mészáros implements in Adoption seems to suggest that the antiquated societal and cultural ideals that have traditionally defined femininity, and the role of the woman, are no longer entirely valid. Each of the two women was most happy in the bond that they had alone established between the two. Unconventional, by most respects, as their relationship may have been, perhaps it was its unconventionality which made it work so well.

REVIEW Posted by Francisco Lopez at

September 11, 2007

SIGNS 2007


SIGNS, the Festival of Documentaries and Short Features in Video for the JOHN ABRAHAM NATIONAL AWARDS organized by the Federation of Film Societies in Keralam (FFSI-SWR) is the platform for showcasing the best of digital/video productions made in the country every year. SIGNS provides video/film makers a rare opportunity to show their films before a wider audience, share their experiences with fellow filmmakers and also to interact with them. We also conduct a touring festival of select films from SIGNS in different parts of South India. With this exposure and dialogue one could feel their natural blossoming through explorations of the possibilities of interaction with their peers and viewing communities. Animated by the presence of filmmakers, activists, cineastes and critics from all over the country, SIGNS offers opportunities for creative interactions and discussions and, possibly, new partnerships and ventures.


The prestigious John Abraham Awards were originally instituted in 1999 by the Federation of Film Societies of India (South West Region) as an annual film award for the Best Malayalam feature film, short film, and documentary, in memory of JOHN ABRAHAM (1937-1987), the guiding spirit behind radical initiatives for people’s cinema in Malayalam, who extended the horizons of film making, aesthetically and politically. From 2005, the competition has been extended to the National level, focusing exclusively on docu-mentary and short films in video format. In 2005, the three-member jury was chaired by Mr. Adoor Gopalakrishnan, with Ms. Chanditha Mukherjee and Mr. Sunny Joseph as members. In 2006 Mr. Sayeed Akthar Mirza was the Chairman and Ms. Bina Paul Venugopal and Mr. M.R.Rajan were the members of the jury. SIGNS 2007, we hope, will take this spirit of freedom, exploration and expression forward to create new synergies and open fresh possibilities. We have two more awards from this edition onwards, one for the best Student Video and another one for Cinema of Resistance.

For Documentaries & short features in Competition Section

1. Best Documentary : Prize money : Rs 25,000,

2. Best Short Feature (not exceeding 70 minutes) : Prize money : Rs 25,000

3. Best Student Video (Short feature or documentary): Prize money : Rs10,000

4.Cinema of Resistance (Award for the best video - short feature or documentary - on subjects like State oppression, human rights violation, gender, environmental, social, cultural or any other issue that suppresses the human spirit.) : Prize money : Rs. 10,000

All awards carry Certificate of Merit and memento.


* All digital/video documentaries/short features made after 1st January 2005 (In case of films made in 16mm/35mm format etc., entries can be made in digital/video format)

* Films submitted for previous editions of SIGNS are not eligible.

* Duration: Less than 70 mins for Short Features and no time limit for documentaries.

* Language: Any language with English subtitle or dubbed in English.

If the Director is a student, he/she should produce a certificate from the head of the institution.


* Last date for submission of applications : 20th September 2007 (along with CD/DVD and entry fee of Rs.500/-)

* Intimation of selection : 5th october 2007

* Final submission of selected films : 20th october 2007

Selection procedure :

A preview committee of filmmakers, critics and technicians will short-list the entries, for screening before the award Jury headed by Mr. Kumar Shahani.

Besides, the films chosen for the Competition section, selected films will be screened in Focus - the non-Competitive section.

Format for final submission :

The films must be submitted in DVD or DV/Mini DV format.

How to Apply :

Application forms are available from:

The Regional Secretary

Federation of Film Societies of India (South West Region)

Kalabhavan, Vazhuthacaud

Thiruvananthapuram – 695 014, Keralam.

Duly filled applications should reach the above address on or before 20th September, accompanied by the following:

a. A copy of the film in VCD/DVD format

b. A demand draft for Rs.500 in favour of Federation of Film Societies of

India, payable at Thiruvananthapuram. (Non refundable)

c. Brief synopsis of the film/documentary

d.Three stills from the film/documentary

e.Brief biography of the Director

f. Two photographs of the Director