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Updated: December 10, 2012 15:05 IST

Revive film societies, says Kasaravalli

Staff Reporter
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The film question: Gireesh Kasaravally, film-maker, at an 'In conversation' programme organised as part of the International Film Festival of Kerala in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday. Photo: S. Mahinsha
The film question: Gireesh Kasaravally, film-maker, at an 'In conversation' programme organised as part of the International Film Festival of Kerala in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday. Photo: S. Mahinsha

Stemming from a discussion on the film Koormavathara, which was screened on Sunday morning at the Nila Theatre, Mr. Kasaravalli delved into the larger notions of development and modernisation.

There was a movement, especially in regions like Kerala, when film societies flourished and there was a parallel world that supported art house films. This could be revived again, said Kannada film director, Girish Kasaravalli, cautioning that a balance needed to be attained to ensure that the production team also benefited from this process.

Speaking at Sunday’s ‘In Conversation’ segment with city-based filmmaker Shalini Nair, Mr. Kasaravalli recalled how he had even heard the label ‘Parasites’ used among production circles, to allude to film societies. “This is where they failed, in terms of financial support,” he said. In this respect, technological progress had a profound impact, in that it made it much easier for filmmakers to reach out to the viewers, he said.

“I welcome these new trends. They have liberated filmmaking from its shackles,” he said. He pointed out that distribution of cinema posed a major challenge and the Internet has rendered the role of the middleman obsolete. The director added that in time, filmmaking styles would also change with newer narrative patterns, aesthetic styles and approaches to documentation coming into play.

Stemming from a discussion on the film Koormavathara, which was screened on Sunday morning at the Nila Theatre, Mr. Kasaravalli delved into the larger notions of development and modernisation.

His film revolves around the protagonist, Anand Rao, who plays the role of Mahatma Gandhi in a television serial within the film. The essence of the story is to delineate the perception on ‘developed India’, from how Gandhi visualised it. “He was talking about the village and the community being central, but we are headed the opposite direction. The figure is made irrelevant by the people in power and the definition of development they have adopted,” opined the director.

He is also famed for mostly dealing with productions that are adaptations of Kannada literature.

Clearly, the few encounters he has had with Bollywood did not impress him for he stated clearly, “When I worked with Bollywood I had problems, and I decided to never work with that industry again.”

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