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8th Madurai Documentary and Short Film Festival 2006

6 –10 December 2006, Madurai

We, Marupakkam (the other side) a media action group based in Madurai have been organizing annual film festivals for documentaries in collaboration with local groups, organizations, colleges and trade unions since 1998.

Started as a response to the Pokran nuclear tests and the following euphoria nationwide, our festival has been a consistent, non-competitive and local event. The idea behind the festival is to introduce various documentaries and issues that are dealt with in the films. It is also an effort to take the films to the people of Madurai and the surrounding towns and villages. Each edition has its own method and format depending upon the requirement and possibilities.

Initially we started showing films in one venue with the expectation and experience of having audience from different places converging in. Some of the editions happened outside Madurai in a village. Some happened only in colleges. We kept changing the pattern to understand and to find a right combination. Finally we’ve arrived at this model of organizing in 5 venues almost simultaneously. For example, the coming edition will be in 3 colleges and 2 public venues. Last year we reached 10,000 people, as one of the venues was a village.

The following organizations have been continuously supporting us since 1998.

1) Tamilnadu Theological Seminary, Madurai 2) SIRD, Madurai 3) Magic Lantern Foundation, New Delhi 4) SAMVADA, Bangalore 5) Third Eye Communication, Kochi 6) Pedestrian Pictures, Bangalore 7) MUTA, Madurai 8) American College, Madurai 9) Lady Doak College, Madurai 10) Madura College 11) Elavattam, Madurai 12) Yadhumagi Film Movement, Tirunelveli 13) Yadhartha Film Society, Madurai 14) Stencils Printers, Madurai 15) CESCI, Madurai

The support came in the form of providing us venue, equipment, free electricity, films, volunteers, and some money. The Films We’ve always screened documentaries with an open mind to different styles and perspectives, although we don’t screen films that support fascist ideology and any sort of fundamentalism. Generally we screen all the film we receive from the filmmakers unless there are some technical hiccups and political differences.

Our festival has been well supported by the independent documentary filmmakers of this country, as some of them have sent all their films to our festival. As we don’t have money to host the filmmakers, we generally don’t have filmmakers presenting their films. But still K.P.Sasi, Gopal Menon, Sehjo Singh, Sarat Chandran, Leena Manimekalai, R.Revathi and Pandiyarajan have visited our festival with their films and supported us.

We always believe in discussion after each screening unless the audience strongly objected to it. We also collect Rs.50 per person a entry fee/donation from the audience to meet our expenses. We also collect minimum donation from the voluntary organizations and individuals. Pedestrian Pictures and Third Eye Communication have been supporting us with their LCD projectors. Colleges would provide us their equipment while screenings take place within their campuses. The audience: Students, teachers, writers, activists, filmmakers, artists and of course common people are our regular audiences. Since we are organizing festivals in 5 venues in different parts of Madurai we cover both “converted” and general audiences.

This Edition: We’ve added a new section in the coming festival and that is retrospective section. Sehjo Singh and K.P.Sasi have agreed to bring their best 5 films and present them. Magic Lantern Foundation will bring their package of films. We have received 52 films directly from both within and outside India. We’ve also requested Saba Dewan to help us in bringing the Labour package that was screened at 3 Screens Festival 2006, New Delhi. Rakesh Sharma has obliged to be with us to present the Tamil version of his film ‘Final Solution’.

We are going to screen the films on 6-10 of December 2006 in following venues 1) Madura College – equipment, hall, electricity taken care off by the college. 2) Lady Doak College – equipment, hall, electricity taken care off by the college. 3) Tamilnadu Theological Seminary 4) American College – equipment, hall, electricity taken care off by the college. 5) MUTA Hall, Madurai. – Hall and electricity taken care off by the hall owners.

The Collector of Madurai District has agreed to inaugurate the festival and ‘Printed Rainbow’ by Geentanjali Rao will be the inaugural film at Madura College at 10 a.m. on 6 December 2006. We’ve included short films this year for a change as there has been a demand from the audience for it.

Amudhan R.P.


8th Madurai Documentary and Short Film Festival 2006 Madurai.

09344156392 0452-2523992

PS. We are going to premiere our new film ‘Seruppu’ (slippers/cheppal/footwear) in this festival.