NITA SATHYENDRAN

Vipin Vijay on winning the Special Jury Award for non-feature films at the National film awards, for his film ‘Poomaram.’

It is a nice feeling to see that experimental cinema is getting its due recognition at the National level.

Filmmaker Vipin Vijay, known for his experimental style of cinema that has created waves on the international film festival circuit, is on a roll. Vipin has won the Special Jury Award for a non-feature film for ‘Poomaram’ (A Flowering Tree), his short film in Malayalam on female sexuality, at the 55th National Awards that was announced recently. Not only has Vipin directed ‘Poomaram’ but he has also done the script, the sound and the camera work for the 55-minute film that was commissioned by the Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT).

Experimental cinema

Not one to get ecstatic about his maiden National award, Vipin believes that it was for the good of experimental cinema that he won the award. “It is a nice feeling to see that experimental cinema is getting its due recognition at the National level. It means that there is hope for others of my ilk,” says the 32-year-old Vipin, a native of Kozhikode and graduate of the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI), Kolkata.

“Actually, the National award came as a complete surprise to me because I had not known that my producer, Rajeev Mehrothra, had submitted the film for the awards,” adds Vipin who is also the first Indian to win the prestigious Tiger award at the Rotterdam International Film Festival in 2007 for his allegorical Malayalam documentary, ‘Video Game.’

The award-winning ‘Poomaram,’ is Vipin’s tribute to Judy Grahn’s radical Metaformic theory and is based on several aspects of her book ‘Blood, Bread and Roses: How Menstruation Created the World.’ “It is a ‘mythographic’ audio-visual observation of the interconnection between ancient menstrual rituals and the development of agriculture, mathematics, writing, calendars (the lunar calendar apparently bears similarities to menstrual cycles) and other realms of knowledge, science and arts,” explains the filmmaker.

Vipin is currently making finishing touches to his maiden feature film ‘The Legend of the Holy Net Potato,’ a phantasmagorical allegory that mixes occult with reality.