Films for social awareness

NEW CENTRE: Collector T. Udhayachandran (second from right) handing over the document to R. Murali (second from left) to mark the inauguration of Media Research Centre at Madura College in Madurai on Wednesday. M.S. Meenakshi Sundaram, secretary (rig ht), S. Muthusamy, president, The Madura College Board (centre), and V. Sivakumar, Principal (left), look on. PHOTO: S. JAMES  

Staff Reporter

They inculcate democratic principles: Madurai Collector

MADURAI: Documentaries and short films should be screened in schools, colleges and in rural areas in order to sensitise students on social issues, District Collector T. Udhayachandran, said here on Wednesday.

Inaugurating the eighth Madurai Documentary and Short Film Festival at the Madura College, he said that films served as an effective medium that initiated better interaction among the public and inculcated good democratic principles.

In the State where the word `tinsel' carried magic, making documentaries was a sincere attempt to sensitise people on realism, he said and added that such events should become a continuous activity.

Presiding over the function, S. Muthusami, president, The Madura College Board, said that screening of documentaries and short films was an innovative educational exercise. These films were not only for the viewers to enjoy but also to get enlightened, he added.

M.S. Meenakshi Sundaram, secretary of the board, hoped that this documentary film festival would create ripples in the city with the impressive stack of films. He also emphasised the significance of the visual media.

Offering felicitations, documentary filmmaker from Delhi, Sayjo Singh, said that the strain to screen their films was much more than the effort to make them. Documentary filmmaking was one of the effective media for experimentation.

Earlier, introducing the festival, documentary filmmaker R.P. Amudhan wanted the State Government to support such films either by providing financial assistance for the making of such films or by acknowledging the filmmakers and organising film festivals. He said that documentaries and short films of renowned filmmakers such as K.P. Sasi and Ms. Singh would be screened in the `Retrospective' package section.

Films for the festival would be screened at five different venues and five villages in Usilampatti, said Mr. Amudhan. "We have planned this festival in such a way that at the end at least 10,000 people would have seen the films," he said.

As part of the festival, the Department of Philosophy of the Madura College inaugurated a Media Research Centre. As an extension activity of the department, the centre would concentrate on research in the fields of print, visual and Internet.

The main task of the centre was to create awareness among the student community of the influences and quality and impact of media, besides sensitising them towards value-based media activities, said R. Murali, Head, Department of Philosophy.

V. Sivakumar, Principal, and M. Sugumaran, Professor, Department of Philosophy, spoke.