Saturday, September 13, 2014

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Men of Burden - Acclaimed Documentary Film on Cycle Rickshaws in Pondicherry, India

Back in 2005/2006, we made our first ever feature-length documentary film ‘Men of Burden – Pedaling Towards a Horizon’, about Cycle Rickshaw drivers in Pondicherry. It was during our rudimentary years as filmmakers...when we didn’t know a thing, of course, we still don't, but then it was more like, not even knowing the general aesthetics and techniques of filmmaking. We went by raw instinct, a deep socially bent instinct that certain things should be captured and made a story out of, because those stories(with certain issues) haven’t been told before. Our ‘style’ was more influenced by a gut-feeling arising out of society’s many foibles – issues that were conspicuously stark naked, yet completely invisible to all of us. So we thought filmmaking was a tool to bring those naked truths out, a power to change things in the world and thoughts like that. Well, a lot has changed since then. But ‘Men of Burden’ was and is, a film close to our hearts, because we didn’t set out to ‘make’ the film, it just organically happened. We took out our cameras and just started shooting the raw, roadside lives of the Cycle rickshaw men who lived in abject poverty, following them for weeks, before we could ascertain what exactly we were doing. In fact, it took us 9 months from start to finish, before it was ready.
‘Men of Burden’ was officially selected and had its World Premiere at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles at Arclight Hollywood theater, then at the Stuttgart Film Festival in Germany and the New York Indian Film Festival and some more. It was a film that opened our eyes to the many realities of our world. So, here’s one of our first works as filmmakers. Of course, we had done a couple of short films before but…here you go. Some of you may have seen it(on Internet Archive) but we just uploaded it on Youtube. Do watch/share it and let us know what you think about a little part of our work.
Directed by Raghu Jeganathan
Co-directed by Earthling Koushalya
Produced by Ramesh Mourthy, Accessible Horizon Films
Cinematography by Mohandass
Music by Steve Gorn
Link here also...

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Our New Short Film 'Full Stop'

Wooohooo folks…a bit of an announcement… we just wrapped up our new short film called ‘Full Stop’ which we shot last month. This time, Accessible Horizon Films in association with Yatra Multimedia will be launching the co-production in a public event in Pondicherry/Auroville. Not only that, our new film will be part of a larger Open-Air Film presentation(including the screening of 2 other short films) slash cultural(dance) event organized by Yatra Arts Foundation. More details on that later. But for now, here’s the first look Poster of ‘Full Stop’.
Context of the film: In Tamil Slang, a ‘Full’(Oru Fullu) means ‘a Full bottle of liquor’.
Having said that, Full Stop is sort of a comic caper quickie (or whatever) set in the exclusive world of Alcoholics in Tamil Nadu. So what happens when a ‘Full’, an unidentified Alcoholic and 4 mysterious women come together? Damn it Yo! You connect the dots!!!
Or just come to the show directly and bring your film-lover friends too. It’s a free event. And folks in and around Pondicherry, do get down there. The film is also a PSA made in the larger public interest of…well, you watch it.

Penned & Orchestrated by Raghu
Players – Yatra Srinivassan, Lakshmipriya Chandramouli, Earthling, Nandhini, Stella and Oshiva
Story by Earthling, Created by Ramesh Mourthy
Cinematography by Mohandass, Assistant Camera by Rajaram and Prakash Dhanagopalan
Art by Mithran and Bharath
Production Support by Yatra Team.

Venue: Yatra Arts Foundation, Near NuCreation Sports Ground/Swimming pool, Kuilapaalayam, Auroville. Call us for directions.
Date: Sunday, June 29th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

24 Reasons Why Animal Rights Activists are like Super-heroes!

Having watched/read a considerable number of Super-hero movies/comic books and having spent considerable time with Animal Rights Activists, I couldn’t help notice some strong similarities between the two. And finally compiled this list(of course, not exhaustive) after a bit of deliberation. So, the big question is, ‘Are you a Super-Hero?...Are you Punk?’!

1. They have dual or multiple lives. By day, a human, by night a masked super-human. In this case, unmasked and at any time of the day.

2. They can spot a Sick or Needy animal miles away.

3. They can identify the sound of a distressed Animal among the thousands of Traffic horns, city noises and people’s chatter.

4. They can sense trouble even before it happens and are highly proactive. They are extremely sensitive to and aware of their surroundings.

5. They can communicate with Animals(or those in despair) and sense their slightest pain.

6. They are truly fearless and are not afraid to fight for the Voiceless/Powerless/Animals under any circumstances.

7. They are looked at in awe by the common people, for the wrong reasons.

8. They get criticized by and are under-appreciated by the public for not doing all they can. Not that Activists give a damn about being appreciated, they just fucking don’t care about what people think. Because they think being sensitive to animals should be a BASIC human trait.

9. People will never ‘get’ them and their sensibilities. In fact, people will think they are crazy or weird.

10. Sometimes, they don’t want their Super-sensitized, super-human powers anymore and just want to be a normal person(ignorant of the world around them) but when trouble strikes, they are the first to rush forward – no matter what! They know they are doomed to bear the burden, but also know that without them, the sufferers have no way out.

11. They sometimes crave a normal life but know that they don’t have a choice. It’s either them or the voiceless Animals can never be saved.

12. They know and understand that they are out there in this cruel world for a reason, a larger purpose.

13. They know they perpetually have to swim against the tide and are only one among tens of thousands and they have to take on the world at large single-handedly when the need arises.

14. They are as fearless as they are vulnerable. Because many a times, they carry a sense of guilt for not being able to save them all.

15. This one’s for the ‘hard-cores’. They will even put their lives at stake for the seemingly smallest and insignificant beings around them.

16. They cannot sleep peacefully when there’s so much suffering around them.

17. Their minds become preoccupied especially when they sense or see some animal in despair on their way to their normal work. That is, even during urgent situations in their normal life, they can’t concentrate when they’ve seen an animal in pain.

18. They realize that what they have is both a Gift and a Curse.

19. They know their work doesn’t stop with just 1 rescue.

20. They know that even with their super powers, they cannot rescue every single one of them. But they would, if they could.

21. Once people realize they have this gift, people expect them to come for their help for every small thing, as if they have a magic wand.

22. If push comes to shove, they(again, for the hard-cores) will choose their super-sensitive, super-human Avatar over their love, passion or anything in their life.

23. They have all lost something precious in their lives.

24. Even though they have this great ability, they are constantly in pain burdened with the suffering of all animals. They realize the true meaning of ‘with great power, comes great responsibility’.