P.J. Antony Memorial Foundation was formed in the year 1996 as a tribute to one of the theatrical geniuses of Kerala.
ORIGIN: P.J. Antony Memorial Foundation was formed in the year 1996 as a tribute to one of the theatrical geniuses of Kerala. The multifaceted P.J. Antony was an exceptional actor (He was the first to receive the coveted ‘Bharat’ award in South India), playwright, poet, novelist, story-teller and essayist, all rolled into one. And the decision to form an outfit in his name was inspired by a move taken by Purogamana Kala Sahitya Sangham to work collectively for upholding the contributions made by Kerala’s cultural icons.
ACTIVITIES:The Foundation, right from its beginning, was abuzz with varied cultural activities. An event that the Foundation has been organising with admirable consistency is the annual memorial lecture on P.J. Antony. The maiden memorial lecture was delivered by none other than M.T.Vasudevan Nair through whose film P.J. Antony bagged the prestigious ‘Bharat’ award for his powerful portrayal of an oracle. It was cine director Vinayan who delivered the memorial lecture recently. The Foundation has also taken the pains of publishing Antony’s autobiography in two volumes.
“He lived life on his own terms and was brimming with creativity till his last breath. But Kerala never cared to acknowledge his contributions. Even a plot allotted by Cochin Corporation to build a memorial in his name is now being used as a garbage yard”, laments S.Ramesan, cultural activist and president of the Foundation.
Membership to the Foundation is open to all and one can have annual and life memberships for Rs 100 and Rs 1000 respectively. Innovative programmes such as ‘Edapedal’ – a programme that debates on contemporary issues, ‘Granthavum-Granthakaranum’ – a forum where the author shares his experiences and views on any of his latest works; book releases, seminars and panel discussions have created a steady following among people. They also compiled and released an audio cassette containing drama songs penned by P.J. Antony, many of which were believed to have been lost forever. Doing adequate legwork for sanctioning a government pension to Mary Antony, the spouse of P.J.Antony could be termed as yet another milestone achieved by the Foundation.
The Foundation has also instituted an award for honouring talents from the sphere of theatre and cinema. “Due to financial constraints, we could not give away the awards during the past couple of years”, says A.N. Maniyappan, secretary of the Foundation. These apart, it has also been organising cultural events at frequent intervals.
IMPACT:The P.J. Antony Memorial Foundation, through its innumerable cultural initiatives and interactions, could make a difference and bring about better understanding among the cultural enthusiasts in Kochi.
GETTING IN TOUCH: To know more about P.J. Antony Memorial Foundation call 9447607803 (Secretary) or 9447414211 (President).