First video film in Malayalam to be screened again today

The cast and crew of the film.

The cast and crew of the film. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

The first video film in Malayalam, certified by the Central Board of Film Certification, will be screened again on Monday after digitally restoring its available print.

Video films are the ones shot on video cassettes for television broadcast. Urangathavar, unarathavar, made 36 years ago, was a joint venture of a group of people associated with the University of Calicut. P.T. Damodaran Nambiar, a native of Thikkodi in Kozhikode, wanted to make a movie based on Theruvu, a story by Maniyoor Balan.

M. Azad, who was a staff at the university, had gone to the Gulf on leave. When he came back in 1985, Mr. Azad was armed with a GXN 70 JVC camera made in Japan and a video cassette recorder. Then came the idea of making a video film. Mr. Azad partnered with N.P. Prabhakaran, another staff at the university, to write the script. Prabhakaran directed the movie. The story revolved around a village of handloom weavers in Thikkodi. T.N. Jayachandran, the then Vice-Chancellor of the university, was among those who offered support. The crew had to struggle a lot to get the one-hour-40-minute-long film certified by the censor board. The certificate was dated 1986 November 3. It was made under the aegis of Varsity Video Vision, a collective of university staff.

They later took copies of the film in the form of video cassettes and screened it in villages across the State. However, it got buried under the sands of time without official recognition. Though Mr. Azad wanted to digitally restore the film, it took a long time before he could do it. The duration was cut short while restoring it. A majority of the crew behind the film, including its director, are no more now. “Even after all these years, the authorities refuse to recognise our movie,” Mr. Azad says. The digitally restored version would be screened at the Gandhi Chair of the university at 6.30 p.m. on Monday.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2022 9:13:54 pm |