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The Preview at Maithreya

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Manohar Patel is an agriculturalist and a self styled wild life documentary film maker. He is outspoken and direct in his communication. Srikant Kelahatti is soft spoken, persuasive, methodical and a practicing charted accountant. Both are environmental activists, both love theater and are avid film buffs. They run an institution called 'Maithreya Institute for Environmental Studies.' Conservation of grassland ecology around the Tiptur region in Central Karnataka, illegal quarrying that have all but destroyed the nearby villages and the dumping of third rate environmentally harmful industrial technology by the west are some of the day to day issues that they deal with. Thus, both face physical threats from the anti environment lobby that they have pitched themselves against.
In the evenings when they get bored with their day to day existence they call up each other and identify a nearby village – making sure from the electricity board that there is no scheduled power cut in pl…

Murthy Saab

The vehicle that Madan had arranged turned at the Corporation circle at Bangalore. I was woken up from my thoughts by Sampath, ‘Where Sir in Corporation?’I looked around – the Corporation area that I had known no longer existed. I could not figure out where Badami House was located. Twenty six years back I had gone there to attend a film appreciation course.After circling for around ten minutes Sampath finally located Badami House. I ran upstairs, was greeted by an eager official who asked his peon to add a chair in his boss’s office. Another official ensured that the chair actually went inside. It was only then that I was escorted inside, where around fifteen men had already gathered and I was terribly late.

The top official from the information department was presiding over an informal gathering of National Film Awardees from the state. There were two lot of them – This year awardees; it included me and the last year awardees; they had forgotten to honor them. I was made to sit besid…

The junk that we like…

I am not sure...

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I am not sure why have I preserved this for twenty two years.
I am not sure why have I uploaded this on my blog, now.
I am also not sure how long I am going to preserve this.

To sir, with love...

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Certificate of Participation - Course Director Satish Bahadur
I first came in contact with Prof. Satish Bahadur way back in 1983 during a film appreciation course that Magsaysay award winner K.V. Subanna had arranged with the collaboration from The Film & TV Institute of India and The National Film Archives of India in Heggodu, a small village near Sagar, Central Karnataka. With his analysis of films he had then opened up a whole new world for me and I am sure for a lot of others who had attended the various film appreciation courses that he relentlessly conducted all over India. He tought Film Appreciation in the film Institute. By the time I joined the Institute in 1987, he had retired. But by then I had attended many of his film appreciation courses in Karnataka. His passion for cinema was very infectious. An entire generation of film makers and film buffs is indebted to him. To sir, with love...


Satish Bahadur - a signature in film appreciation

Two errant coconut trees

Way back in the seventies, when we bought a piece of land and began to construct a house, I was promised that I would be able to set up a 22 yard cricket pitch in the empty space within the compound. Though friends and cousins were envious; we made elaborate plans about the matches that we were supposed to play. But soon, when five to six coconut trees occupied the empty space I was aghast! It was a promise broken and a loss of face with my friends. Today the trees have grown tall; two of them bend towards the neighboring compound. There were complaints that things falling from these trees broke tiles and woke people at night. When I came home, the neighboring lady first enquired about everyone's general health condition and then gently asked me to arrange for a person who could climb the two errant trees, tie metal wires around them, pull them to our side and tie them to another coconut tree. I was again reminded of the broken tiles; and was offered some leftover metal wires th…

Back again on the plane that crashed...

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On the plane that crashed yesterday in Mangalore were Mohammed Ziad, his wife and two of his kids. Ziad was coming to India to attend his mother's funeral. During my college days, he had a VHS camera that was gifted to him by his father who worked in the Middle East. The camera was a novelty at that time – at least in our small town. With it, a few of us got together and shot a video film called 'Happy Birthday' - an emotional murder mystery, whatever that meant. It was my first ever attempt at filmmaking. My cousin Ravi and neighbours Amjad and Prasad were the actors; and yours truly was the director, apart from playing the inspector who arrests the murderer in the climax. By the virtue of owning the proud camera, Ziad was my technical adviser. May his surviving kids, left behind in Dubai under the care of their uncle, find the strength to cope up with this tragedy.

On the plane that crashed...

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Jayaprakash Devadiga, JP as we called him, was on the plane that crashed in Mangalore this morning. I had the opportunity to work with him in my film SUDDHA. We were immensely benefited by his ability to quietly get things done without anyone even noticing it. He also played a cameo in the film. May his family find the strength to cope up with this tragedy.

Jahaji Music

Good friend Gurpal Singh has something called 'Docus At My Home'. He calls a few friends to his house, feeds them with buttermilk, sweets, herbal tea, normal tea, biscuits and at times with good food; and then shows them a documentary film. The bonus is a discussion with the filmmaker. I saw 'Jahaji Music' at his house, yesterday - a 112 minutes film directed by Surabhi Sharma. It was the second screening of the film at his house. The film deals with the identity of a generation of Indians whose ancestors had migrated to the Caribbean islands taking along with them their own local music. The identity of these migrants is aptly depicted by the musical journey that they have been taking over the years. The natural artistic collaborations that they have been having with the music of their adopted land, forms a large part of this journey. The sequences in the film progressively deal with the harmonious merger of two musical cultures. In a sense, this structure of the film …

SUDDHA at Sanehalli

CR Jambe presently runs a theater school in Sanehalli, a remote village in Karnataka. He was also instrumental in running two of Karnataka's well known theater schools - Neenasam in Heggodu and Rangayana in Mysore. In my formative years, I was fortunate enough to have participated in one of the numerous theater workshops that he conducted all over Karnataka. Recemtly, at Jambe's behest, a screening of SUDDHA was held at Sanehalli. Friend IK Bolwar too was present at the screening. The screening aparently went off well. I am thrilled.

If you are looking to arrange a screening for your club / college / house / office please click HERE

Cosmos Mein Panduranga…

We once used to call NSD as the Nainitaal School of Drama - Nainitaal because we knew a lot of guys from NSD who originated from in and around that area. For my diploma film at the film institute I needed two actors and I was sure that it had to be NSD trained actors. I met Nirmal Panday two days before my film shoot – before that I had already cast him in the film. Nainitaal guys Rajiv Katiyaal and Sudarshan Juyal had suggested me his name. Nirmal was full of energy, had immence zest. He was excited about the script. I had a song to record and shoot in two days time, but had no music composer. Nirmal volunteered… and after some bottles of santra (local liquor) I was relieved! The lyrics whet something like this ‘Panduranga, Panduranga, Panduranga… Cosmos Mein Panduranga, Universal Panduranga…’ The tune he set was catchy enough to be sung by all and sundry at the film institute, at least for the next ten days.

… nothing significant about this interaction. In fact, I haven’t even met hi…

Saangatya...

Come January and a group of forty to fifty film buffs - journalists, poets, writers, media professionals, students, college lecturers, IT professionals, etc - travel from all over Karnataka and gather for two days at a remote village by the Western Ghats. Situated in the picturesque Shimoga district, Kupalli, as the village is called, is the home town of the famous Kannada poet, the late KV Putappa (Kuvempu). His house has now been converted into a trust called The Kuvempu Prathistana. The Kuvempu Prathistana is not just the venue of this Film Festival, but it also facilitates the logistics of staying and food for these film buffs.

The group calls themselves as ‘Saangatya’. Collectively they pool in their recourses – money and goodwill – and organize a yearly film festival – digital projection and DVD screenings. It is not just another Film Festival where delegates hop in from one theater to another trying to catch up with as many films as they physically can. The films here are limite…