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Celebrating identities

K.K. GOPALAKRISHNAN

A fete of short films called VIBGYOR was held in Thrissur.


we had chosen `Water' as the `Focus of the Year' to showcase films that document the ongoing struggle ... in the name of water... Fr. Benny Benedict



NEW ANGLES: A still from Dhananjoy Mondal's `Silent Killer.'

A festival of short and documentary films was recently held in Thrissur with the support of the Thrissur Corporation, Thrissur District Panchayat and with the cooperation of various film societies and cultural organisations in Kerala.

Chetana Media Institute, Nottam - Travelling film society and the Nasik-based Abhivyakti were joint organisers of the film festival called `VIBGYOR.' The theme of the festival was - Celebrating Identities and Diversity.

National conference

The four-day fete began with a national conference on the theme `Identities and Diversity.' Kancha Ilaiah delivered the keynote address. Renowned Finnish filmmaker Lasse Naukarinen, who inaugurated the festival, emphasised the necessity of interactions and exchange of ideas between film makers from various regions.

It was followed by the screening of the inaugural package, which included Naukarinne's `Artist's Life,' `Rainwater Harvesting' (Nandita Das) and `Ram Rahim' (animation film from National Institute of Design). One hundred and fifty films, including documentaries, music videos, animation films and spot films, were screened.

The festival included a national competition section featuring documentaries on the theme `Women Frames' and Short Fiction. In the competition section, 21 films were screened in these two categories. Bina Paul headed the jury.

Apart from the competition section, the main attraction of VIBGYOR was the selection of short films. The Lasse Naukarinen package included `Artist's Life,' `Once Upon a Time There was a Utopia,' `Anni from Paanajarvi,' `Sorrow and Secret,' and `Madame E.'

Amar Kanwar's retrospective included films like `A Season Outside,' `King of Dreams,' `Somewhere in May,' `The Bodhi Tree,' `The Face,' and `Baphlimali.' Films by Anjali Monteiro and K. P. Jayashankar were also screened.

"For the year 2006, we had chosen `Water' as the `Focus of the Year' to showcase films that document the ongoing struggle around the world in the name of water - struggles that call for a balanced equation between environment, society and development," explains Fr. Benny Benedict, the executive director of the festival.

Thirty films were screened in this section.

Best short film

Pramod Payyannur's `Thankam,' based on a short story of Vaikkom Mohammmed Baheer, bagged the award for the best short fiction. The jury chose not to give the second and third prizes in this category.

R.P. Amudhan's `Pee' got the award for the best documentary. `Beyond the Wheel' by Rajula Shah and `Untitled three films on women' and `Conflict in Manipur' by Kavita Joshi bagged the second and third prizes respectively.

The films were screened at Regional Theatre, Natyagriham, Town Hall, Sahitya Akademi Hall and Chetana Media Hall. The national seminar and open forum opened interesting interactions on the topic of identity.

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