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a media activist based in Madurai, India involved in organising regular screenings and film festivals in and around Madurai. also involved in directing and producing documentaries about marginalised people.

Number of posts: 8
Web site: http://
 
Jan
07
    

Dear Friends

Greetings from Amudhan R.P.

I take this oppurtunity to invite you to the screening
of my new documentary “Seruppu” (chappal/footwear) .

This film is a socio-cultural documentary on the lives
of Catholic Arundhatiyars
(Dalits/harijans/ untouchables) of Dharmanathapuram, an
old slum located at the heart of Tiruchirappalli in
Tamilnadu, a southern state in India.

The people of Dharmanathapuram are involved in making
footwear, one of the traditional occupations of a
dalit with in Indian caste based society.

According to the Presidential Order 1950: Para 3, by
the Union Government of India, dalits or the people
from the ‘lower castes’ in the Indian caste system who
do not follow Hindu religion (or those who have
converted to Christianity or Islam), are not
considered as Scheduled Caste (as any other Hindu
dalits); Also they do not get access to reservation
for jobs or in educational institutions and other
support mechanism that are otherwise available to a
Scheduled Caste according to the Indian Constitution.

Besides, the upper caste Hindus who have converted to
Christianity also follow their caste based practices
such as discrimination, exclusiveness, untouchability,
and at times violence against their fellow Christians
who happened to be dalits.

This film brings out the discrimination and struggle
faced by the Catholic Arundhatiyars of
Dharmanathapuram who also face stiff competition in
the economic grounds as mechanization in footwear
manufacturing continues to grow in the era of
globalization.

The film runs for 74 minutes.

Venue: SCM campus,Mission Road,Bangalore
Date: 13 January 2007
Time: 5:30 p.m.

My mobile: 09344156392

In Solidarity

Amudhan R.P.


 
Dec
11
    

Original name: Pee (in Tamil)
Duration: 26 minutes
Year of completion: 2003
Language: Tamil with English subtitles
Format: Mini DV
Form: Documentary

Synopsis:

Mariyammal, a dalit (untouchable or harijan or scheduled caste) is a worker with Madurai Municipal Corporation in Madurai, South India. She is involved in manual scavenging activity – which still prevails in India – and is in the payroll of the Government of Tamilnadu.

The film shot while she was at work, shows the extent of humiliation she goes through everyday for 25 years. She sweeps, collects and carries the night soil in a street adjacent to a Hindu temple, with help of a broom, a vessel and some ash every morning without fail.

The film uses a lot of symbols to bring out the discrimination she experiences while others lead a life with dignity around her.

The film has no voice over per se. It has no music. It also does not have an activist or an expert but Mariyammal and her work.

Festivals and awards:

Tirupur video festival, Tamilnadu 2004(awards shared)
Sivagangai video competion, Tamilnadu 2004 (awards shared)
Jeevika 2004, New Delhi
One Billion Eyes – Indian Documentary Festival, Chennai 2005 (best film award)
Mumbai Internation Film Festival 2006 – National Jury Award
VIBGYOR Indian Documentary Film Festival 2006 – Best Documentary Film


 
Dec
11
    

Seruppu
(footwear)

Duration: 74 minutes
Language: Tamil with English subtitles
Country: India
Original Format: Mini DV

Synopsis:

This is a socio-cultural documentary on the lives of Catholic Arundhatiyars (Dalits/harijans/untouchables) of Dharmanathapuram, an old slum located at the heart of Tiruchirappalli in Tamilnadu, a southern state in India.

The people of Dharmanathapuram are involved in making footwear, one of the traditional caste based occupations of a dalit with in Indian caste based society.

According to the Presidential Order 1950: Para 3, by the Union Government of India, dalits or the people from the ‘lower castes’ in the Indian caste system who do not follow Hindu religion (or those who have converted to Christianity or Islam), are not considered as Scheduled Caste (as any other Hindu dalits) and they do not get access to reservation for jobs or in educational institutions and other support mechanism that are otherwise available to a Scheduled Caste according to the Indian Constitution.

Besides, the upper caste Hindus who had converted to Christianity also follow their caste based practices such as discrimination, exclusiveness, untouchability, and at times violence against their fellow Christians who happened to be dalits.

This film brings out the discrimination and struggle faced by the Catholic Arundhatiyars of Dharmanathapuram who also face stiff competiton in the economic grounds as mechanisation in the footwear manufacutering continues to grow in the era of globalisation.

Camera, Script, Editing and Direction: Amudhan R.P.

Produced by Amudhan R.P.

Contact Address: C 5/2 K.K.Nagar
Madurai – 625 020
India

e mail: amudhanrp@rediffmail.com


 
Dec
11
    

Original name: Mayanakurippugal (in Tamil)

Duration: 25 minutes

Year of Completion: 2005

Language: Tamil with English subtitles

Format: Mini DV

Form: Documentary

Synopsis:

Madurai city has a central crematorium, where dalits (the untouchables or the harijans or people from the scheduled caste) are involved in a traditional occupation that includes carrying dead bodies, burying or burning them and finally accept whatever paid by the relatives of the deceased ones.

The film is a journey into the crematorium to capture the various rituals carried out by the dalits to their fellow citizens who otherwise would not have touched them.

Ironically death comes alive to bring people together. An old Tamil movie song is used in the film to provoke certain existential questions about life and death.

But it is mandatory to have knowledge and skill to become a successful undertaker.

Statement on the film by the director:

My first visit to the Madurai central crematorium was only when one of friends hanged himself to death in September 2004. His body was left alone by his friends and relatives on the pyre after a point to become an exclusive property of the undertakers. The amount of care and indifference – in a peculiar and particular mixture – the undertakers showed towards each dead body left an existential question within me, which provoked this film.

The undertakers’ skill and knowledge on the cremation, their experience of having faced death too often, need to be mentioned.

This film is part of my search towards a narrative style in documentary making, which could be more emotional and less cerebral and which could probably give the audience more space for contemplation.

I am from Tamilnadu, where our popular cinema is full of songs and I am very much fascinated by the way they are used to provoke and sustain drama and emotion in our films. No wonder I used the song twice to raise two different queries at two different sequences.

Camera, sound, script, editing, direction and production: Amudhan R.P.


 
Dec
11
    

Dialogue of the powerless
India doesn’t shine for them
by Charu Singh

A rare platform for India’s voiceless and faceless millions emerged in the Capital recently, thanks to Tehelka newsweekly’s Summit of the Powerless. This was a major attempt to give voice to India’s downtrodden and is the first such annual event to show the reality behind the “new India” or the muck that hides behind the flaking plaster of “India shining”.

Tehelka’s message was literal: till the dirt is not cleared, nothing can shine. The message especially hit home with a rather difficult-to-digest documentary Vande Mataram – The Shit Version. This documentary by media activist R.P. Amudhan has become campaign material against manual scavenging and it shows the seamy side of life in India indepth. Read the rest of this entry »


 
Dec
06
    

8th Madurai Documentary and Short Film Festival 2006

Venues: Madura College, Tamilnadu Theological Seminary, Lady Doak College, Madurai Institute of Social Sciences, MUTA Hall and Usilampatti

6 December 2006

Madura College

12:00 Printed Rainbow 15 mints
12:20 Tales from the Margins 23 mints
1:00 Lunch Break
2:00 Kol Tales 62 mints
3:10 Bol Gow Bol 06 mints
3:15 The Mall on top of my house 06 mints
4:00 Bare 10 mints
Lady Doak College

3:00 Ilayum Mullum 90 mints
Tamilnadu Theological Seminary

5:30 Final Solution 74 mints
6:45 The House on the Gulmohar Avenue 30 mints
7 December 2006

Madura College

10:00 Final Solution 72 mints
11:30 The Right to Survive 52 mints
1:00 Lunch Break
2:00 Dancing Aloud 01 mints
2:05 Every Day 07 mints
2:15 The Beard 24 mints
2:45 Luminous Shadows 43 mints
3:30 The One Tree Project 24 mints
Lady Doak College

3:00 Sehjo Film and discussion 60 mints
4:00 Q2P 53 mints
Tamilnadu Theological Seminary

6:00 Karen Education Surviving 29 mints
6:30 Lanka, the other side of war and peace 77 mints
7:30 Temporary loss of consciousness 35 mints
8:00 Voyage 26 mints

8 December 2006

Madura College

10:00 Place to stay 06 mints
10:10 The Catch 35 mints
10:45 Thumpalil Indru kudiyarasu Dinam 10 mints
11:00 Kannamoochi 10 mints
11:15 Images that you didn’t see 05 mints
11:20 Song of the Road 02 mints
11:25 Asthamanam 11 mints
11:35 Poorvagrah 20 mints
12:00 Calcutta Pride March 12 mints
12:15 Portrait of Sakhi 07 mints

Lunch break
2:00 Smarana 32 mints
2:40 Holiday 47 mints
3:30 Waste As Development Aid 25 mints
Lady Doak College

3:00 Waiting 39 mints
3:45 Dancing Aloud 01 mint
3:50 Bare 10 mints
4:00 The Mall on top of my house 06 mints
4:10 Place to stay 06 mints
4:15 Bol Gow Bol 06 mints
4:20 Every Day 07 mints
4:30 Tales from the Margin 23 mints
Madurai Institute of Social Sciences

10 :00 Final Solution 72 mints
12:00 Notes from the Crematorium 30 mints
1:00 Lunch break
2:00 K.P.Sasi and Sehjo package �

Tamilnadu Theological Seminary

5:00 The split city 70 mints
6:30 1000 days and a dream 60 mints
7:30 Kutti Japanin Kulandhaigal 70 mints

9 December 2006

MUTA Hall

10:00 Motion Report 17 mints
10:20 Pareliya 50 mints
11:30 A fellow of enterprise 07 mints
11:40 Natural Uruguay and Consciousness
of Washington 44 mints
12:30 The one tree project 24 mints
1:00 Lunch break
2:00 The who walked mountains 32 mints
2:30 Audition 07 mints
2:40 Gaze 10 mints
2:50 Tune in 14 mints
3:10 Low tide 18 mints
3:30 Six minutes 15 mints
3:45 Talween 22 mints
4:20 Alo Alo 20 mints
4:40 A man in a cup 05 mints
4:45 Antonio’s Break fast 35 mints
5:30 Solace 12 mints
5:45 Fernando’s First Show 04 mints
5:50 Super Hero 04 mints
6:00 Seruppu 72 mints
7:30 Waiting 39 mints
7:40 Girl climbing trees 05 mints
7:45 The offering 10 mints

9 December 2006

Madurai Institute of Social Sciences, Madurai

10 a.m. Chhou Dance of Purlia 44mints
10:45 Samanvay 47 mints
11:30 Thumpalil Indru Kudiyarasu Dinam10 mints
11:40 Pee 26 mints
12:15 Kannamoochi 10 mints
12:30 Asthamaanam 11 mints
12:45 The Beard 24 mints
1:00 Lunch break
2:00 Images that you didn’t see 5 mints
2:10 Kutti Japanin Kulandhaikal 72 mints
3:30 Song of the Road 02 mints
3:40 Pandiyarajan film

10 December 2006

MUTA Hall

10 a.m. Health Matters 77 mints
11:15 Older 09 mints
11:30 Apherghis 59 mints
1:00 Lunch break �
2:00 7 Islands and a Metro 70 mints
3:15 Printed Rainbow 15 mints
3:30 Q2P 53 mints
4:30 The House on Gulmohar
Avenue 30 mints
5:00 K.P.Sasi – retro 60mints
6:00 Bare 10 mints
6:15 Sehjo- retro 60 mints
7:15 Waiting 39 mints


 
Nov
25
    

1) Leelavathy: 50 minutes; 1997; Tamil; VHS
She is an elected member of Madurai Municipal Corporation, who gets killed by water mafia as she fought for the right to drinking water.

2) Theeviravadhigal: 60 minutes: 1998; Tamil with English subtitles; VHS
Gundupatty, a dalit (untouchables) hamlet near famous resort Kodaikanal, is crushed, looted and ransacked by the police as the people decide to boycott the general elections.

3) Thodarum Thisaivali: 45 minutes: 2001; Tamil; Mini DV
Students of Government run colleges in Tamilnadu (India) protest the Government’s move to privatize the higher education. Thousands of girls and boys come to the streets to protect their rights.

4) Kaviri Padugai: 45 minutes: 2002; Tamil with English subtitles; Mini DV
16 Farmers die due to shock, heart attack and suicides as they face unprecedented drought in the Cauvery delta and the indifference by the state Government.

5) Shit: 26 minutes; 2003; Tamil with English subtitles; Mini DV
Mariyammal, a sanitary worker with Madurai Municipal Corporation shares her anger and frustration with the filmmaker while cleaning a street near by a Hindu temple, which is full of shit. She is part of the dalit community, who face discrimination and untouchability since ages in India.

6) Notes from the Crematorium: 25 min.; 2005; Tamil with Eng. subtitles; Mini DV
The film is a journey through the Madurai central crematorium where the dalits (untouchables) – who work as undertakers – do the final most rituals to their fellow citizens who otherwise would not have touched them.
7) Seruppu: 74 minutes; 2006; Tamil with English subtitles; Mini DV
The film narrates the socio-cultural life of the Catholic Arundhatiyars (dalits) of Dharmanathapuram -one of the oldest slums in Tiruchi, who are involved in making footwear, a caste based traditional occupation in India. Š


 
Nov
25
    

We, Marupakkam (the otherside) a media activist group based in Madurai, are planning to organise our 8th Madurai documentary and short film festival 2006 in Madurai on 6-10 December 2006.

We are planning to screen 100 plus films in 5 venues including 3 colleges in Madurai. Students, teachers, artists, filmmakers, activists, writers and of course general public are our audiences.

Ours is a non-competitive festival. We have included a retrospective section this year and would screen best films of filmmakers K.P.Sasi and Sehjo Singh.

Magic Lantern Foundation from New Delhi, Pedestrian Pictures from Bangalore, Third Eye Communications from Kochi and various educational institutions are part of the organising team.