Animating Adoor's childhood

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NEW FORAYS: A scene from an animation film on the life of the filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan.
NEW FORAYS: A scene from an animation film on the life of the filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan.

`Viraladayalam - The Identity of a Film Maker,' the animated documentary made by Jayadeep Kothamangalam, is a unique endeavour. It is an attempt to portray an incident from the childhood of the well-known filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan and the way it has influenced his work later in life.

Mr. Jayadeep, who has made the animation serial `Kattile Kannan' on DD-1 national channel over hundred episodes in Hindi as `Nandu Apna,' is exploring the possibility of the medium of animation for presenting a biographical sketch of a filmmaker.

The ten-minute-film presents in pictures an incident from the childhood of Mr. Gopalakrishnan, when an unexpected death in the family had led to a journey through the countryside at night with his parents. The messenger of death arriving at midnight, the journey by foot along the dark paddy fields, the muffled voices at the house where the death has occurred, all must have left indelible impressions in the young mind.

The film is based on an article written by Mr. Gopalakrishnan narrating this incident from his childhood. Mr. Jayadeep, who struck the idea on reading the article, prepared a storyboard and sent it over to the filmmaker, who agreed to cooperate with the youngster's venture. The voice-over was at first given by a dubbing artiste. But after hearing it, Mr. Gopalakrishnan himself suggested that he would do the dubbing. He was also present for the premiere of the film in Thiruvananthapuram.

Mr. Jayadeep makes use of painted scenarios and sketches for creating the ambience of night and the journey. The short film is painted, animated and directed by him.

The film is produced by Biju Kuriakose, who had also produced `Kattile Kannan.' This serial won the State Television Award for Best Children's Programme Director in 2001.

Mr. Jayadeep, who belongs to Kothamangalam in Ernakulam district, holds a National Diploma in Fine Arts from Government R.L.V. College, Thripunithura. He has worked as an illustrator in various Malayalam periodicals. He has also won a fellowship given by the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy.

Renu Ramanath




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