Thursday, December 6, 2018

20th Madurai Film Festival 2018 : Revised Schedule

Dear friends!

We have made few changes in the schedule due to unavoidable circumstances.

Please check the link below for the updated schedule.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Amudhan R.P.
Festival Director
20th Madurai Film Festival 2018

Revised Schedule 

Thursday, November 29, 2018

We Invite You!

20th Madurai International Documentary and Short Film Festival 2018
6-10 Dec; multiple venues, Madurai
Film Screenings, Interactions, Master Class & Special Lectures!

Organised by MARUPAKKAM in association with Lady Doak College, IDEAS, Madurai Media and Film Studies Academy, Sudar, Vidiyal, Department of Communications - Madurai Kamaraj University, Department of Tamil, School of Tamil, Indian Languages and Rural Arts - Gandhigram Rural Institute, Arul Anandhar College, Chithirakaarargal, PUCL, Yadhaartha Thiraipada Iyakkam, Kaleidoscope and LENS

Film Sections: 1) Films from Tamilnadu 2) Rest of India 3) International films - Short fiction 4) International Films - Documentaries 5) Retrospective – Lalit Vachani 6) Artists Cinema – Curated by CS Venkiteswaran 7) 9 Pen Cinemackal – curated by Archana Padmini  8) Student films from Michagan State Univerity – curated by Swarnavel Easwaran  9) TOTO Funds the Arts  10) Director’s Cut – curated by Amudhan R.P.

Venues and Dates* : Lady Doak College: 6 Dec; 10 am to 5 pm / IDEAS: 7 Dec; 10 am to 6 pm / Sudar: 8 Dec; 10 am to 1pm / Madurai Media and Film Studies Academy: 8 Dec; 10 am to 5:30 pm / 9 Dec; 10 am to 8:30 pm / Vidiyal; 9 Dec; 9.30 am to 4:30 pm / Madurai Kamaraj University: 10 Dec; 10 am to 5 pm / Arul Anandhar College: 10 Dec; 10 am to 6 pm / Gandhigram Rural Institute; 10 Dec; 10 am to 5 pm / Kaleidoscope: 6-10 Dec; 6 pm to 8.30 pm / LENS: 6-10 Dec; 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm (*Tentative schedule; subject to changes)

Master Class by Lalit Vachani, filmmaker
on 9th Dec at 10 am to 5 pm at Madurai Media and Film Studies Academy

Special lecture by Usha Ramanathan, advocate
On 8th Dec at 11 am at Lady Doak College / 5 pm at YMCA

Special Invitees: Lalit Vachani (filmmaker), Usha Ramanathan (advocate), Pankaj Rishi Kumar (filmmaker / mentor), C S Venkiteswaran (critic / curator / filmmaker), Swarnavel Easwaran (filmmaker / teacher), Vani Subramanian (filmmaker), Archana Padmini (actor / curator / filmmaker), Bhavani GS (painter), Arul Ezhilan (filmmaker / journalist), Malini Jeevaratnam (filmmaker) and Lekha Naidu (TOTO Funds the Arts)

For more info:
9940642044; 9965990708; 9443852788; 9842718676

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Retrospective - Lalit Vachani

20th Madurai International Documentary and Short Film Festival 2018

6-10 Dec; multiple venues; Madurai

Retrospective : Lalit Vachani

List of films

Lalit Vachani is a documentary filmmaker, producer and video editor. He is director of the New Delhi based Wide Eye Film. He studied at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University and at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania in the US.

Lalit Vachani’s documentaries include The Starmaker (74 min; 1997 - about the business of ‘starmaking’ in the Hindi film industry); The Boy in the Branch (27 min; 1993) and its sequel, The Men in the Tree (98 min; 2002), are about the politics of the Hindu nationalist organization, the RSS; The Play Goes On - Natak Jari Hai (84 min; 2005) is about the Delhi based Left street theatre group, Jana Natya Manch; The Salt Stories (84 min; 2008), is a film that follows the trail of Mahatma Gandhi’s salt march in India after seventy years; Tales from Napa (26 min; 2010), is about a village that resisted Hindu fundamentalist forces during the 2002 riots in Gujarat, India; and An Ordinary Election (125 min; 2015), is an in-depth study of an Indian election campaign for a new political party - the AAP.

In 2007, he directed In Search of Gandhi as one of ten international filmmakers commissioned to make 52 min. films for the 'Why Democracy?' global television series which was broadcast across 35 international television channels, including ZDF/Arte in Germany, BBC and BBC World (UK), Arte (France), Canal + (Spain), SBS (Australia), NHK (Japan) and SABC (South Africa).

Vachani’s films have received grant awards from the Soros and Sundance Documentary Foundations, the Jan Vrijman Fund, and the India Foundation for the Arts.

Some of the venues and film festivals where his work has been shown are: Kino Arsenal, Berlin; Oberhausen International Short Film Festival and DOK-Leipzig in Germany; International Documentary Film Association (IDFA), Amsterdam; Festival International du Documentaire, Marseille; One World Human Rights Film Festival, Prague; Film South Asia, Kathmandu; Zanzibar International Film Festival in Tanzania; the Asian Social Forum, Hyderabad; the World Social Forum, Mumbai; MIAAC and the Queens Museum of Art, New York.

Vachani has taught on topics related to film analysis, media, politics and the documentary film at the Mass Communication Research Centre in Delhi, India; at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and at Amherst College in the USA.

He was a visiting scholar at the Center for Media, Culture and History at New York University in 1999, and Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Religious Diversity and at the Lichtenberg-Kolleg in Göttingen in 2011 and 2012.

Lalit Vachani now lives in Göttingen, Germany where he teaches courses on media and politics, the political documentary film and documentary theory and production at the Centre for Modern Indian Studies (CeMIS) at the University of Göttingen.

Recently, Vachani completed his first documentary set in Germany.
The Last Days - Die letzten Tage (81 min; 2018; in German and English, with English subtitles) is a film about the last days of an emergency refugee centre in Sankt Andreasberg - a small town in the Harz mountains of Germany.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

9 Pencinemakal : A package of Nine Visual Experiences from Women - Curated by Archana Padmini

9 Pencinemakal’ : A Package of Nine Visual Experiences from Women

Curated by Archana Padmini

In association with Minimal Cinema

Every single film in this package of nine Malayalam short fictions is a different experimental attempt in the language of cinema. In the realm of cinematic visual language, they are a step ahead in their craft and narratives. Though, independent expressions of Malayali women from various socio-cultural backgrounds, every bit of this package do demonstrate an honest approach towards cinema as an art form. Regardless of their differences in storytelling, content, craft and inherent politics, all of them drew me to them as a viewer, owing to their genuineness in expression. Appreciating and celebrating gender equality is as important as discussing it. Thus, here we are creating a space for woman filmmakers and thereby bringing gender sensitivity in to the semantics of filmmaking.

List of films ; Archana Padmini

Saturday, November 3, 2018

20th Madurai Film Festival 2018 : Short films from TOTO FUNDS THE ARTS

20th Madurai International Documentary and Short Film Festival 2018

Short Films

This package of 8 short films comprises a selection of the best entries, both
documentary and fiction, submitted for the annual Toto Awards for Short Film since
2013. As the purpose of these awards (two are given every year) is to applaud
emerging talent, only Indian filmmakers between the ages of 18 and 29 are eligible
to apply for them. The films will be screened in chronological order, starting with the
first year of the awards and ending with the last.

A DREAM CALLED AMERICA (Documentary, 24 mins)
Director: Anoop Sathyan (Winner of the TOTO Short Film Award, 2013)

This is a documentary about Shahbaz, a 15-year-old boy from Gujarat. His father
Aftab makes a living repairing cycles on a footpath. Shahbaz has studied for a year
in the USA on a scholarship, where he was hosted by an American couple. He
returns to India with a changed attitude and perspective, having experienced a
much more comfortable and carefree life away from home. Now he yearns to go
back to the USA and settle there, putting his parents in a dilemma.

HAMARE GHAR (Fiction, 30 mins)
Director: Kislay (Winner of the TOTO Short Film Award, 2014)
Kamla works as a full-time maid in an upwardly mobile modern Indian family’s
home. The lady of the house is affectionate and regularly showers her with gifts and
old clothes. In this ‘modern’ home, there is no obvious violence or hierarchy but, as
Kamla slowly realises, it is concealed behind caring words and gestures of love.
The film explores class relationships in an atmosphere of love and affection.

A SUMMER FLU (Fiction, 17 mins)
Director: Priyanka Chhabra (Winner of the TOTO Short Film Award, 2014)

Wrapped in long afternoon siestas or stuck in an abandoned house, lie endless
pockets of time. Bright white walls carrying the shadows of pink bougainvillea
overlook desolate community parks. They say the hotter the summer, the sweeter
the mangoes. This film delicately balances the imagined and the real.

LITTLE HANDS (Fiction, 8 mins)
Director: Rohin Raveendran (Winner of the TOTO Short Film Award, 2015)

This film traces the stressful journey of a sixth-grade student, Jobin George, as he
sits through a difficult Maths examination. With hostile classmates all around, their
pencils in motion, and a strict teacher on the prowl, Jobin is forced to answer
several difficult questions, both about Maths and about life. Without uttering a single
word, the film makes you revisit the innocence of childhood and the unselfishness
of our younger selves.

MEMORIALS (Fiction, 24 mins)
Director: Korou Khundrakpam (Shortlisted for the TOTO Short Film Awards, 2016)

This film renders an evening in the life of K as he is nudged to deepen his
preoccupation with loss. Finding his pet fish dead on returning home, he responds
by enacting various rituals to trace an imprint of the life, the only testimony of which
will soon perish. Later, he is tempted to open an old almirah stuffed with the
belongings of his late father. The rituals continue to take new forms during the
course of the evening and attest to his nuanced relationship to death.

KURLI (Fiction, 17 mins)
Director: Natesh Hegde (Long-listed for the TOTO Short Film Awards, 2018)

Siddi Subba steals bananas from a landlord’s farm where he works as a servant.
On the same day, three children go to catch crabs in the same farm. Meanwhile, the
landlord and his son find a bunch of bananas hidden in a pit and realise that
someone has stolen it from their farm. Although one of his sons is accused of being
the culprit, Siddi Subba does not confess to his crime.

BISMAAR GHAR (Documentary, 26 mins)
Director: Shreyas Dasharathe (Winner of the TOTO Short Film Award, 2018)

A house gives us a sense of belonging. A symbol of its time and cultural milieu, it is
like a living, breathing being with a unique identity. This film explores how with
changing times and circumstances, we are moving towards a strange kind of
uniformity in the wake of ‘urbanism’ and ‘development’. And it is especially visible in
the most personal embodiment of our selves—our house.

DIVE (Documentary, 19 mins) Director: Archana Chandrashekar (Winner of the TOTO Short Film Award, 2017)

DIVE observes life under Ellis Bridge, Ahmedabad, and tells a story of displacement and survival through 10-year-old Manna’s daily romance with the river Sabarmati.

20th Madurai Film Festival 2018: Director's Cut

20th Madurai International Documentary and Short Film Festival 2018

6-10 Dec; multiple venues; Madurai

 Still from "The Slave Genesis" by Aneez Mappilla

Films Section # 9

Director's Cut - curated by Amudhan R.P. (festival director)

List of films (for detailed synopsis)

1) Battle of Bhima Koregaon
Dir: Somnath Waghmare; 49 min

2) Amma
Dir: Neelan; 36 min

3) Perungadal Vettathu
Dir: Arul Ezhilan; 60 min

4) Lock and Key
Dir: Shipi Gulati; 83 min

5) India's Forbidden Love
Dir: Sadhana Subramaniam; 25 min

6) The Slave Genenis
Dir: Aneez K Mappilla; 64 min

7) Palai / Landscapes of Longing
Dir: Jayakrishnan Subramanian; 28 min

8) Ladies and Gentlewomen
Dir: Malini Jeevaratnam; 46 min

9) Sapnas
Dir: Bhavani GS; 5 min

10) Some Stories Around Witches
Dir: Lipika Singh Darai; 44 min

For detailed synopsis 

Thursday, November 1, 2018

20th Madurai Film Festival 2018 : International Films

20th Madurai International Documentary and Short Film Festival 2018

International films - Documentaries : Final list 

(for detailed synopsis)

1) Humans Display (Dir: Lam Can-Zhao; 59 min; China)

2) Arlette, Courage is a Muscle (Katharina Diessner & Matilda Mester; 83 min; Central African Republic / Germany)

3) Dispossession (Dir: Mathieu Roy; 83 min; Canada)

4) Hear Me (Dir: Olga Arlauskas, Svetlana Gorlo; 90 min; Russia)

5) Nimble Fingers (Dir: Parsifal Reparato; 52 min; Vietnam / Italy)

6) Second Income (Dir: Gal Kedem; 54 min; Israel)

7) Bakurov (Dir: Yuliya Kiseloyova; 55 min; Russia)

8) Madman's Conspiracy (Dir:Algis Arlauskas; 50 min; Spain)

9) Copy Brad Pitt (Dir: Ariela Alush; 60 min; Israel)

10) Near the Railroad (Dir: Nora Fingscheidt & Simone Catharina; 63 min; Germany)

11) The Day Before Chinese New Year (Dir: Lam Can - Zhao; 23 min; China)

International films : Short fiction - Final list

(for detailed synopsis)

1) Fear (Dir: Alyona Poliyakova; 2 min; Russia)

2) Fire (Dir: Maria Shulgina; 14 min; Russia)

3) Good Day (Dir: Dasha Charusha; 18 min; Russia)

4) Innocent (Dir: Denis Simachov; 15 min; Russia)

5) Kin (Dir: Elen Nelidova; 30 min; Russia)

6) Eulogy for Denis K (Dir: Julia Trofimova; 12 min; Russia)

7) Teacher (Dir: Maxim Elagin; 14 min; Russia)

8) The Tree (Dir: Hava Mukhiyeva; 22 min; Russia)

9) The Typical Case (Dir: Daniil Gellar; 16 min; Russia)

10) Hand (Dir: Igor Marchenko; 23 min; Russia)

11) Mousse (Dir: John Hellberg; 30 min; Sweden)

12) Say Before (Dir: Nadezhda Krylova; 28 min; Russia) 

20th Madurai Film Festival 2018 :Indian Films

20th Madurai International Documentary and Short Film Festival 2018

6-10 Dec; multiple venues, Madurai

Organised by MARUPAKKAM

Films from India : Final List

1) We the People
Dir: Samarth Mahajan; 28 min

"We, The People" is a film about protests on Jantar Mantar Road, the erstwhile protest street in Delhi. Through the narratives of three individuals who protested indefinitely at Jantar Mantar Road, the film questions the socio-political reality of India vis a vis the ideals the nation set out with.

2) Unreserved
Dir: Samarth Mahajan; 60 min

The Unreserved is an inquiry into the lives of passengers who use the Unreserved Compartment, the cheapest way to travel across India on the Indian Railways system. The film portrays the passengers’ aspirations, efforts and opinions through conversations and personal stories.

3) Two Flags
Dir: Pankaj Rishikumar; 86 min

'Two Flags' chronicles the life and politics of a quaint French town: Pondicherry (South India). As the 46000 Tamil French people belonging to the Tamil ethnic community, gear up for the French Presidential elections (2017) the film explores the idea of identity, citizenship and home in the post colonial era. Shot between 2012 to 2017, the film is a visual journey through the town, its homes and its people. ‘Two Flags’ is a chronicle of a legacy that is not easily evident, but manages to shine through ordinary events and occasional mishaps, and which brings together this tiny population in celebration, in grief, in anxiety and in serene acceptance.

4) Tin Satyi
Dir: Debalina; 51 min

Tin Satyi…(In Fact…) captures the essence of three different life-stories that are defying the hetero-patriarchal norms of society at every breath. Aimed at understanding philosophies of non-conforming desires, the film also depicts ripples created by these lives in the society.

5) The Tribal Scoop
Dir: Beeswaranjan Pradhan; 53 min

A small town of Sundergarh lying in the interiors of the state of Odisha has never been touched by modern civilization, but is paying for it with the blood of the tribal people living there. A people so backward that they still depend on forests for survival. And even those forests are fast being uprooted to make way for urban life.

In the midst of this cockpit of destruction there's one hope that they are desperately clinging on to- Hockey. The game that was once the only form of entertainment for a people cut off from the rest of the world has now become a weapon with which Sundergarh is trying to claim it's place in a world that never recognized it.

6) We Have Not Come Here to Die
Dir: Deepa Dhanraj; 110 min

On January 17th 2016 a Dalit, Phd research scholar, and activist Rohith Vemula unable to bear the persecution from a partisan University administration and dominant caste Hindu supremacists hung himself in one of the most prestigious universities in India. His suicide note, which argued against the “value of a man being reduced to his immediate identity” galvanized student politics in India. Over the last year thousands of students all over the country have broken the silence around their experiences of caste discrimination in Universities and have started a powerful anti-caste movement. The film attempts to track this historic movement that is changing the conversation on caste in India.

7) Nagapattinam : Waves from the Deep
Dir: Swarnavel Easwaran; 73 min

This documentary looks at the way Tsunami (2004) affected the lives of people in Nagapattinam from the perspectives of the State, NGOs, and the fisher folk. It looks at disaster management and the relief and rehabilitation measures at Nagapattinam, and focuses on the trauma of the people.

8) The Death of Us
Dir: Vani Subramanian; 76 min

The debates on the death penalty today are marked by a cacophony of strident assertions. Going against this tide is The Death of Us - a quiet contemplation on a range of cases in which the death penalty was pronounced, ending in execution, commutation to life sentence, acquittal or even pardon. Speaking only to those who have been on death row or those very closely involved with the cases, we engage in complex conversations on crime and punishment, revenge and justice, popular rhetoric and personal experiences. Only to find ourselves confronting larger ethical and moral questions across time and space.

9) Hora
Dir: Nachi; 24 min

Hora literally meaning a fortune teller in Marati language. It is part of a folk theatre form. Vilas Ghogre, a revolutionary poet metamorphosed the form to predict the political future of the world. Adapting that form in film’s narrative technique too we follow the life of Rupali Jadhav who is an activist singer in Kabir Kala Manch, a cultural political troupe using songs as a means of protest and revolt.

10) S D and His Times
Dir: Kasturi Basu & Mitali Biswas; 114 min

A communist poet, a secret State killing, an attempted revolution sparked in the village of Naxalbari at the Himalayan foothills. Setting out to tell the story of the slain revolutionary Saroj Dutta (S.D.), the film gets drawn into a vortex of his tumultuous times, tracing turns and twists of the communist movement in India over three decades. A search by present-generation filmmakers, the film uses personal and public historical archives and conversations with rebels of the Naxalbari rebellion.

11) Please Mind the Gap
Dir: Mitali Trivedi & Gagandeep Singh; 20 min)

Delhi meets at the metro. The snaking lines of the tube now connect the whole city. Passengers’ board from different places but for a brief moment in time they are all headed in the same direction. We share one such ride with our co-traveller Anshuman, a transman. As the stations pass by we begin to look at the metro space from his perspective. His is the story of reclaiming public space and one’s own self. The doors will open on the quest. Please mind the gap.

12) Koothu
Dir: Sandhya Kumar; 52 min

In many villages in Tamil Nadu, a theatre tradition still links people with a past. Closely connected with religion and caste rituals, koothu brings to life stories about gods, demigods, kings and demons from the Indian epics. A typical koothu performance is an all-night show in which performers wear elaborate make-up, costumes and wooden ornaments, and simultaneously sing, dance and act on stage.

13) The Season in the Mist
Dir: Merajur Rahman Baruah; 36 min

The civil rights movement and the immigration amendment act of the 1960s opened the doors of American society to not just the western European and Protestant populations but also to the people of color from Asia and Africa who are non-Christian. One such community is the Sikhs from India Indeed; there has been lack of knowledge about Sikhs as people, their religion and culture. But the historic 9/11 changed everything for the times to come. In the stroke of the incident, Sikh have become subject to suspicious scrutiny through the cultural lens. They are now mistaken to be Arabs or Muslims thus have become subject of relentless hate crimes pushing the community in the state of lurch and enduring predicament.

14) The Color of My Home
Dir: Sanjay Barnala & Farah Naqvi; 48 min

What happens to people when they are violently displaced? Forced out of their home and ancestral village, buffeted by winds of hate, running for their lives, scattered like human debris in relief camps. Never able to return. How do they rebuild new homes and new lives, with hearts unable to leave the old one behind?

15) Premji – a non unidimensional life
Dir: Neelan; 83 min

A cinematic plunge into the depths of a myriad minded personality, actor on stage and in films, poet, playwright, social reformer and revolutionary, who played a major role in the renaissance movement of Kerala that brought about sweeping changes in the society.

Rest of India : Short fiction

1) Santhana Gopala (Dir: Sandeep Ravindranath; 8 min)

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Sarat Chandran Award for Tamil Documentaries!

Sarat Chandran Award for Tamil Documentaries

Sarat Chandran was a filmmaker, an activist and a wonderful friend from Kerala. He played a key role in starting and conducting Madurai International Documentary and Short Film Festival since 1998. He was a curator with political and cinematic commitment.

We are happy and privileged to constitute an award in Sarat’s name for Tamil documentaries as part of 20th Madurai International Documentary and Short Film Festival 2018.

Rules and regulations:
  • -          Documentaries about Tamilnadu made within last 24 months are welcome.
  • -          No restriction on duration
  • -          No restriction on themes  
  • -          Films should have subtitles in English
  • -          Entry fee : Rs.500/-
  • -          A selection committee will short list 10 films for the competition, on 15 October
  • -          A jury will select the winner during the film festival
  • -          Sarat Chandran Award will include a citation, trophy and a prize money of Rs.10,000/- (Rs. Ten thousand only)
  • -          Award will be given on 10th December 2018 at the film festival
  • -          Last date to send entries: 15 September 2018
  • -          Filled entry form and MP4 file of the film should be sent to

For entry form and other details:

Friday, July 6, 2018

20th Madurai Film Festival 2018 : Entries Invited!

20th Madurai International Documentary and Short Film Festival 2018

6-10 Dec 2018, Madurai

Organised by MARUPAKKAM

Entries Invited! (ENTRY FORM)

Rules and Regulations :

Categories: documentaries, short films, music videos and new media

Sections : International films, Rest of India and Films from Tamilnadu

No restriction on theme and genre

Non competitive film festival

No entry fee

No duration limit for documentaries

Short films should be 20 or less than 20 minutes

All the films should have English subtitles

Music videos should be 5 or less than 5 minutes

New media should be 3 or less than 3 minutes

All the entries should have been produced within last 24 months

Last date and check list

Last date to send entries 1st October 2018

List of selected films will be announced on 1st November 2018

Entries can be sent as DVDs or video files (MP4) along with duly filled entry forms

Only the films recommended by the official selection committee will be screened

Decision of the selection committee is final.

Filmmakers of the selected films, will be provided simple accommodation during the film festival in Madurai. We do not support travel and food expenses for the filmmakers.

Best wishes!

Amudhan R.P.
Festival Director
Madurai Film Festival