Friday, May 26, 2017

Remembering Chalam Bennurkar

Remembering Chalam Bennurkar
Film screening and interaction

On 28th May, Sunday from 4 pm onwards;
At Maniyammai Arangu, Periyar Thidal, Chennai
Organized by MARUPAKKAM and Periyar Self Respect Media

1) All About Our Famila
2) Kutty Jappanin Kuzhanthaigal

Guest speakers:
Poarkodi Natarajan, asst. professor
Amshan Kumar, filmmaker
Pralayan, playwright / director
RV Ramani, filmmaker
RR Srinivasan, filmmaker
Ajayan Bala, writer
Pon Sudha, filmmaker

We welcome you all!

Kutty Japanin Kuzhandaigal
Children of Mini Japan
Tamil Sub titled in English
Duration: 60 min, colour
Production: Janamadhyam
Script and Direction: Chalam Bennurakar
Cinematography: R V Ramani
Audiography: Suresh Rajamani
Editing: Jacob Thottathil, Amitabh Chakraborthy

Synopsis : Sivakasi is a small town in Southern Tamilnadu. It is from here and the surrounding villages that 70% of the requirements of the match box industry and 90% of the fireworks industry are produced.
The owners of the match box and fireworks factories proudly refer to their town as “Mini Japan” , a self-employed town. This town also prints millions of garish calendars and elction posters which are used all over India.
Sivakasi has another dubious distinction. It is the single largest concentration of child labour in the world. Nearly 100,00 children, mostly girl children, are employed in Sivakasi to meet the demands of production.
It is these children aged between 4 and 16 who are the protagonists of the film,
The film is an attempt to portray the dailiness of their, the production process and the complex socio-political reasons that contribute to such a large employment of children in this area.
Without taking recourse to voice over commentary, the film tries to weave together various episodes by interspersing Villupadal, a traditional performance which celebrates the childhood of Krishna. It is the Villupadal which forms the edifice of the film’s critique of post independent India’s “tryst with destiny” - a nightmare called progress through rapid industrialization.

The filmmaker: Chalam Bennurakar was a college dropout and worked as a signboard painter for some time before he became part of CIEDS Collective and Vimochana in Bangalore.
He was a deeply passionate and intense person and straddled the world of politics, literature, theatre and cinema, locally, nationally and internationally.
As part of CIEDS Collective, he had initiated Janamadhyam, a screening network and production infrastructure for grassroot action which he continued informally even after he left the Collective through Touring Talkies.
He contributed to the film society movement in Bangalore through the Bangalore Film Society and Odessa in Kerala by creating a space for young film makers to show case their work. Sakshi, was a first of a kind initiative that he started in 1998 to showcase work on documentaries all over the world and create a platform for Independent Documentary Film Makers in India.
Chalam is well known for his literary writings in different genres – short stories, essays, poems, translations which have been published in journals and magazines, the recent being 2 essays from Asking, We Walk: the south as new political imaginary ed by Corinne Kumar and published by Kuvempu Basha Bharti.

Chalam Bennurkar Filmography
1. Kutty Japanin Kuzhandaigal (Children of Mini Japan) – on Child Labour in Sivakasi
2. On Latur – the Earthquake Disaster in Latur, Maharashtra
3. All About My Famila – on the Transgender Community
4. Naavu Yeravaru - on the Yerava Community
5. Short Poetic Films on Women and Development; on Women against War for Peace; on Women in Prostitution; on Dowry and Related Forms of Violence; on Trafficking; on HIV and AIDs; on US War Crimes et al
(for the Courts of Women – an initiative of Corinne Kumar)
6. Bishaar Blues - on the Fakirs of Calcutta 
( Co produced and worked with Amitabh Chakraborthy)
7. Work in Progress Film – 
* On the Dongri Garsias
* On the Burns Survivors for Vimochana, a forum for women’s rights

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