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Writing cinema history to CD

N.J. Nair
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The Kerala State Chalachitra Academy has prepared an interactive English CD on different facets of cinema.

The CD, ‘Understanding Cinema' comprising 1,000 pages, an equal number of pictures and 200-odd clippings of films in different languages, is the outcome of a combined effort of the academy and the Centre for Development of Imaging Technology (C-DIT).

The venture was initiated during the tenure of the former academy chairman T.K. Rajiv Kumar.

The governing council of the academy, headed by chairman K.R. Mohanan and vice-chairman V.K. Joseph, followed it up. The intent was to introduce the techniques and aesthetics of cinema to those who are passionate about the medium.

According to Mr. Joseph, the wish to do something unique, other than conducting an annual film festival, prompted the academy to work on the project.

“The CD offers basic knowledge for research and in-depth study on cinema. All aspects related to cinema as an industry and as an art form, starting from its history, aesthetics, production techniques and current global trends, are included in the CD. This is a follow-up of our academic pursuits during the past five years,” he says.

The academy, in association with the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA), had conducted a series of film appreciation camps for school and college students all over the State.

A teacher training module was designed to impart professional training for school teachers in facets of film-making. The Department of Education reciprocated by including studies on cinema in school curriculum.

Teachers have been equipped to lead creative discussions on film-making. College campuses too sprouted film clubs and witnessed a surge in allied activities.

“What was lacking was a sound base for the youngsters' creative ventures. We wanted to provide them a thorough guide to the medium and its evolution over the years. All major and minor movements in cinema have been incorporated in the CD. A student of cinema will find it helpful,” Mr. Joseph says.

Malayalam version

Though the CD has not been launched formally, it is ready for release. The academy has recommended that a Malayalam version be brought out.

‘Understanding Cinema' covers all aspects of the medium, from its history to techniques.

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