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SOARING HIGH This remote-controlled helicam was part of the demonstration at Cinema Today 2007.
SOARING HIGH This remote-controlled helicam was part of the demonstration at Cinema Today 2007.

M.L. NARASIMHAM

A three-day event encapsulates the strides made by the film industry in the last 75 years.

Barely a few weeks after the Telugu film industry celebrated its platinum jubilee, the Tamil film industry has followed suit. Chennai witnessed an entirely different kind of show Cinema Today 2007 to celebrate the platinum jubilee of Indian talkie cinema. The three-day event, marketed as Asia's first International show of its kinds by the organisers, was inaugurated by actor Sarath Kumar on February16 at the Chennai Trade Centre. Oil paintings of pioneers from varied sections of the film industry from Thomas Alva Edison, George Eastman and Lumiere Brothers to Ardeshir Irani, H.M. Reddy, L.V. Prasad, B. Nagi Reddi and Bhanumathi Ramakrishna were kept at the venue. The event showcased the latest equipment useful for both cinema and television. From Leica cameras to makeup kits and from clapboards to photo lamps, a number of stalls were put up. UFO and Panasonic demonstrated how modern technology can redefine entertainment. The helicam, when fixed to a crane, gives a similar effect of having shot a sequence using a helicopter; this works for shots up to a kilometre range. A Singapore-based company's technical experts gave the demo. The Leica HD camera costs Rs. 4 lakh and allows the user to shoot his own film. Two stalls drew a large gathering. The Mitchell camera, which was used in the 1930s, from Anand Cine Service, an L.V. Prasad group enterprise, was placed at the South Indian Cinematographers Association stall. Many great classics including Pathala Bhairvai and Maya Bazaar were shot with the camera. People thronged to look through the lens that once used by the greats like Marcus Bartley. The other stall displayed editor Mohan's equipment, from the early talkies to Moviola days and the present Avid suit. Film strips of 8 mm, 16 mm, 35 mm, cinema scope, 70 mm, 3D films and the digital discs gave a glimpse of how cinema has developed over the years. Cinema Today also show cased how the world of make-believe will rule in the near future. In a nutshell, the show gave a glimpse of every aspect of movie making. Vinyl poster printing machines, machines carving designer doors for mythological or for opulent house sets using wood or acrylic and other items were on display. An interesting part of the show was the seminars the Talkie 75 forum organised every day. The topics varied from women in films, literature in films to digital cinematography. The participants included Suhasini Maniratnam, Rohini, Parthiban, Cheran, Tamil litterateur Jayakanthan and popular cinematographers Madhu Ambat and Rajeev Menon. On the concluding day, three elderly members selected from each of the 25 crafts of the film industry were honoured with a gold medal and a citation thus bringing the total to 75. Spotted at the venue were many luminaries from the Tamil and Malayalam film industries. Director Sagar, cinematographer S. Gopala Reddy and a few journalists from Hyderabad also attended the event. The event will move to Mumbai in 2008 followed by Hyderabad in 2009.

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