Tracing evolution of Malayalam cinema

Organised by Kerala State Chalachithra Academy

Malayalam film industry is indebted to the pioneering filmmaker J.C. Daniel. Befittingly, the exhibition, organised by the Kerala  State Chalachithra Academy (KSCA) at the Kanakakkunnu Palace, which traces the glorious past of Malayalam cinema, ensures prominence for the ‘father of Malayalam cinema’.

The exhibition, which got under way on Thursday, takes film enthusiasts back in time to understand the evolution of Malayalam cinema and its milestones over the course of nine decades. It starts off by highlighting the efforts that went into the making of the first movie to be made in Malayalam, Vigathakumaran, written, produced, and directed by J.C. Daniel in 1928.

The display also features the ‘Debrie’ camera that he had used. Veteran actors Madhu and Sheela and filmmaker-lyricist Sreekumaran Thampi formally inaugurated the programme that has been arranged in association with the Kerala State Film Development Corporation (KSFDC).

Kerala State Chalachithra Academy chairman Kamal said the exhibition was a prelude to the year-long Navathy (90th anniversary) celebrations of Malayalam cinema. He lamented the lack of efforts made in preserving the history of the industry, particularly prints of several classics.

“The upcoming International Film Study and Research Centre and the Digital Film Archive at the KINFRA Film and Video Park at Kazhakuttam will enable us to digitise several archives and preserve them for posterity,” he said.

P. David, who was the still photographer for several films during his career spanning over five decades, was felicitated on the occasion.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Kerala / by Staff Reporter / Thiruvananthapuram – December 08th, 2017

Kochi-Muziris Biennale art to adorn Cochin International Airport wall

Sadanandan’s work depict origin of clans.

P.K. Sadanandan next to his mural painting.

Kochi :

One of the biggest attractions of the third edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, a massive natural colour mural by artist P.K. Sadanandan depicting a popular story from Kerala folklore, has now been installed at the new international terminal (T3) building of Cochin International Airport. Telling the well-known tale of the origins of the clans in Kerala “Parayi Petta Panthirukulam” was painstakingly created by Sadanandan and three of his colleagues over the 108 days of the Biennale from December 2016 to March this year using natural dyes extracted from stones, leaves, oil, sand and tree sap. No synthetic colours were used.

Top officials from the government and CIAL who visited the Biennale at the time had expressed the desire to find the 15mx3m mural a home at the newly constructed Terminal 3 at the airport. Among the champions of the idea were Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac, former minister M.A. Baby and Ernakulam MP Prof K.V. Thomas who saw the artwork as a great symbol of Kerala to greet visitors to the state. “After the Biennale, we had meetings with V.J. Kurian, the MD of CIAL and other officials to complete the formalities to install the mural in the new Terminal 3. We facilitated their talks with the artist and offered logistical support for the installation,” said Bose Krishnamachari, the president of the Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF).

“CIAL is the fourth busiest airport in the country and a masterpiece such as this deserves to be installed here, as it conveys the idea of secularism and speaks strongly against caste-based discrimination,” he added. Sadanandan himself was thrilled at the idea that the work would be viewed by thousands of people passing through the airport every day. “I am happy that the painting will draw international attention from a world which may not always focus on art. The methods used in drawing this may have been ancient and traditional, but the message it conveys has much relevance in the present time,” he added.

“I hope that this relationship will give a fillip to the efforts made by KBF to place Kerala on the world cultural map.  The last three editions of the biennale have produced many masterpieces. I believe, ‘Parayi Petta Panthirukulam’ is certainly one of them,” said V.J. Kurian IAS, Managing Director, CIAL. The work requires careful maintenance and preserving under certain temperature conditions and it might have placed a huge financial burden on the host. CIAL was a great alternative,” said KBF Secretary Riyas Komu.

source: http://www.deccanchronicle.com / Deccan Chronicle / Home> Lifestyle> Books & Art / Deccan Chronicle / December 05th, 2017

Guinness memory record for Keralite

Santhi Sathyan has been undergoing memory training for seven years

There is a misconception that memory is an innate skill whereas it is a result of years of training and perseverance, says Santhi Sathyan, who holds a Guinness world record for the longest sequence of objects memorised in a minute.

The 28-year-old from Kadakkal needs just 60 seconds to save 45-odd objects to her memory, and after reshuffling, she can arrange them back in the same precise order in 2 minutes 57 seconds.

The previous record was held by Arpan Sharma of Nepal, whose record of 43 objects was easily broken by Santhi.

“There are many scientific methods to enhance memory. One of the main tricks is to convert the objects into visuals, something that will last longer in your memory,” she said at a press meet here on Wednesday.

Santhi has been undergoing memory training for the past seven years and started preparations to break the Guinness record a couple of years ago.

Her husband, Anith Soorya, an IT professional-turned-counsellor, is her coach.

From school days

“I have been practising this from my school days though I have never entered any competitions. Two years ago, a friend encouraged me to make an attempt to break the current record that had remained unbroken for two years,” she says.

The postgraduate student in psychology entered the Guinness Book of World Records at a programme held on May 28 at the Kadakkal panchayat conference hall in front of a panel approved by the Guinness World Records officials.

“I am grateful to the Kadakkal panchayat authorities, whose immense support helped me achieve this feat,” she says.

Gearing up for more

Santhi next wants to win the World Memory Championship.

“Many of us are not aware of memory training and its benefits. I want more and more children to come to this field and I am willing to train them,” she says.

A wish

Santhi is currently waiting for her Guinness World Record certificate, which has been shipped to Kerala,  she says.

“Usually it’s handed over by a renowned personality and I wish I could receive it from cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar,” she adds.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Kerala / by Staff Reporter / Kollam – December 06th, 2017

Elapully to house an MSV memorial

Plan to revitalise his ancestral house

Two years after musical legend M.S. Viswanathan passed away, a fitting memorial for him will come up at his native Elapully village in Palakkad district.

The memorial, comprising a cultural centre and larger-than-life statue of the musical genius, will come up close to the house where Viswanathan was born and spent his first eight years amidst poverty and misfortunes. The Department of Culture is also planning to revitalise the ancestral house that is in shambles now.

According to Culture Minister A.K. Balan, a memorial committee has already been constituted for early start of the work. The formal inauguration of the committee will be held on December 23 at a mega event when musical contributions of the genius will be recalled. The event, to be organised with the involvement of Vylopilly Samskrithi Bhavan and Swaralaya, will also have a musical nite titled ‘Hridayavahini’ that will feature songs composed by the musician.

The memorial will be completed by the end of December next year. “Viswanathan is Elapully’s illustrious son. He had elementary education in the local school here,’’ recalls C.P. Pramod, an office-bearer of the committee. During his life time, the music director and composer regularly visited the remote village that is located close to the Palakkad-Pollachi highway to remember his mother Narayanikutty.

Remembering mother

“Renovating the ancestral house was one of his long-cherished dreams,” recalls E. Jayachandran, another member of the committee.

His passion to renovate the house was because it symbolised the trials and tribulations his mother went through to bring him up.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Kerala / by Special Correspondent / Palakkad – December 05th, 2017

Mulanthuruthy’s women ‘stars’ making waves

Vanitha Vedhi members making Christmas stars that feature LED lighting systems assembled by them.

The women’s forum received a lot of public attention with its initiative. The price of the stars being sold ahead of the festival this season ranges between IRs 130 and IRs 230.

These women in Mulanthuruthy are the ‘stars’ ahead of Christmas as they have launched a programme to make and sell LED stars for the 2017 season. The Vanitha Vedhi women’s group under Mulanthuruthy Public Library hopes to sell around 300 of the stars which feature LED lighting systems assembled by them.

The ‘stars’ initiative is the continuation of a project to locally assemble and repair LED lighting systems launched in August this year. The women’s forum received a lot of public attention with its initiative. The price of the stars being sold ahead of the festival this season ranges between ₹130 and ₹230.

The women are confident that the products are priced competitively. The group of women is already well-known in the area with their brand of LED lighting systems under the name ‘Sooryakanthi’. They have been selling LED bulbs and tube lights under the brand name.

Ajitha Ramachandran, who is among the group of women, said on Saturday that they expected good response from the public as the people were aware of the novelty of their initiative. Besides selling stars during the Christmas-New Year season, the group of women also hopes to popularise LED lighting systems to save energy.

Early this year, Ms. Ramachandran along with Benny Lalan decided to get trained in making LED lighting systems. They were part of a group of around a hundred women in three batches who were given training in LED assembling and repairing. The initiative has helped substantially in increasing the reach of LED lighting systems in the neighbourhoods of the Vanitha Vedhi.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Kochi / by Special Correspondent / Kochi – December 04th, 2017

Thousands pay last respects to E Chandrashekaran Nair

Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan pays homage to E Chandrasekharan Nair at M N Smarakam.

Thiruvananthapuram  :

Former minister and CPI leader E Chandrashekaran Nair who passed away on Wednesday was cremated with full state honours at Santhikavadom here on Friday.

Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, former chief minister Oommen Chandy, opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, former chief minister and administrative reforms commission chairman V S Achuthanandan and CPI national leader D Raja were among those leaders who paid their last respects to the departed leader on Friday.

His body was kept at M N Smarakom, the CPI headquarters in the morning for the public to pay homage and was later taken to his house at Pandit Colony in Kowdiar.

The chief minister and his cabinet colleagues had paid their last respects to the senior most Communist leader M N Smarakom. V S Achuthanandan and opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala had also reached the CPI headquarters in the morning.

At Santhikavadom, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, former chief minister Oommen Chandy, CPI leader D Raja, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran, CPI leader Pannyan Raveendran, state ministers V S Sunil Kumar, E Chandrasekharan, Ramachandran Kadannappalli and Mathew T Thomas and former ministers Benoy Viswom, Mullakkara Ratnakaran and M Vijayakumar were present.

According to the wish of the departed leader, no religious rituals were performed.

The body of E Chandrasekharan Nair was kept at the mortuary of Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences since Wednesday as his son C Jayachandran had reached Thiruvananthapuram from the US only on Friday morning.

Thousands of CPI cadres and people from all walks of life had reached M N Smarakom and Santhikavadom to pay their last respects.

source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> City News> Thiruvananthapuram News / TNN / December 02nd, 2017

Half a century in cinema

Veteran actor KPAC Lalitha at a press meet in Kochi. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

‘Lalitham 50’ mega show at Palakkad on December 27

Abhirami Associates and Charitable Trust, Ekta Pravasi and Panthera Leo will together organise a mega show, Lalitham 50, in honour of actor KPAC Lalitha’s 50 years in Malayalam cinema. The show, to be directed by director Padmakumar, will be held at the Victoria College ground in Palakkad on December 27

They would also construct homes for 10 homeless widows in connection with the occasion, the organisers told the media here on Tuesday.

Lalitha, who is chairperson of the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi, said it surprised her that some people from Palakkad wanted to celebrate her achievements in film. “It shows their generosity and it couldn’t have come at a better time,” she said.

Born on March 10, 1947 at Aranmula, Lalitha started her career as a theatre actor with the legendary KPAC group before becoming an integral part of Malayalam cinema, art house and commercial.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Kochi / by Special Correspondent / Kochi – November 29th, 2017

Prizes given for Water Metro designs

Sweet success: KMRL Managing Director A.P.M. Mohammed Hanish presenting prizes to the winners of the design competition for the Kochi Water Metro terminals at Fort Kochi and Vyttila .

City firm, team from Chalakudy win honours

The prizes for the architectural design competition conducted by Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) for the proposed ferry terminals of the Kochi Water Metro Project at Fort Kochi and Vyttila were presented by KMRL Managing Director Mohammed Hanish.

The design by Studio Homosapiens, an architectural firm from Panampilly Nagar in the city comprising V. Vinaya Das (team leader), T.S. Dhanesh V.S., Roopa Mathew, and Abhilash, was awarded the first prize for the design for Fort Kochi while Rajiv Babu and Ameena Hamza from Chalakudy received the prize for the best design for the Vyttila terminal. Dayal Paul Sebastien, Kakkanad, and Ajay Sethi of PSP Design, Chennai, got the second prizes for Fort Kochi and Vyttila terminals respectively.

The first prize winners received a prize money of ₹50,000 each whereas the runners-up got ₹25,000 each.

All shortlisted designs got consolation prizes of ₹5,000 each.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Kochi / by Special Correspondent / Kochi – November 30th, 2017