Thursday, November 21, 2013

Stones of Understanding...

i spin around my stones of understanding every single time...
words words and nothing but words in this reality...
make or break my faith in the rest...
of which i am an integral part...
am i supposed to just undo my understanding every single time..
whenever it surfaces and...resurfaces..and yet again..surfaces??
it takes a huge toll on my existence for all it is worth..
this reality makes it more difficult to deal with..
a fragile being caught in the rapture of the so-called life..
instantly..i create an alternate dimension to move to..
to cope...and rebuild the faith..and continue..
in this vague yet intimidating reality...
how am i to keep the stones within..
when getting rid of them makes more by day! --some earthling

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ardh Satya - Be angry, be very angry!

Exactly 30 years back there was a landmark of a film that stormed the then status quo. It’s called ‘Ardh Satya’(Half Truth) directed by the awesome Govind Nihalani and written by noted playwright Vijay Tendulkar(I'd met him briefly in New York in 2003, without really knowing who he was, to interview him for a TV segment I was producing for a network). I had seen this film in bits and pieces before but today I watched it, as in really watched it, with a more analytical mind. I was and am dumbfounded. 2 reasons. One, the film has a raw gravity that tugs at you while unveiling the nature of human frailties. And two, the film can be seen today and yet seem every bit relevant to today’s society. The ‘system’ we live in right now in bloody 2013. Seriously, what the fuck is going on?! We are still grappling with the same issues(corruption, degradation of women, the disgusting political fabric, shady law enforcement, futile activism) that were being dealt with in the 1970s and 1980s. What does this really say about us? About our system? About our evolution as humans or a civilization? Something is seriously, freaking seriously wrong about the way we are moving forward. Because if we don’t have a paradigm shift soon, you can bet that in the next 30 years, we are still going to be the same situation or maybe even worse. The grey area of morality seems to become bigger and bigger every day with the concept of right or wrong seriously in jeopardy. Personally, we have met corrupt and rowdy MLAs, politically subservient police and many desperately misguided souls trying to wield power over the majority at any cost. It’s time we used our brains because we have the choice to take the baton and lead the next-in-line in whatever little way we can towards a more progressive future. And don't you fucking say that films shouldn't have a message. If you want to understand the context of what I mean, just go watch this. It really makes me angry!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Acchor Team Interview in Brew Magazine

We (and of course, Accessible Horizon Films) have been featured in the 3rd Anniversary of the Chennai-based BREW Magazine. Dharmesh, our good friend and columnist for the magazine interviewed us recently. A nice little run through. :-)
Click here to read it in its entirety. Page 28, 29, 30.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Towards progressive Independent Tamil Cinema?

Yesterday, attended a significant event on 'Independent Filmmaking' in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. It was a seminar organized by the Cinema Club of Coimbatore initiated by our friend and director Kamala Kannan ('Madhubaanakadai' - Liquor Shop). The key focus of the event was on the Alternative way or the Independent way of making, producing and distributing films in India, more specifically, revolving around Tamil Cinema. Naveen, the director of the recently released 'Moodar Koodam' shared his experiences and challenges of his film's Independent mode of production. When he talked about his film, it was as if he was talking about our film “500 & 5 - Ayynoorum Ayynthum's” production, same struggles, same goof-ups, same everything, it was kind of surreal. And Nalan Kumarasamy, the director of the Tamil hit film 'Soodhu Kavvum' spoke about his experiences of writing(mainly) and directing his films. And finally, the thing that we at Accessible Horizon Films could relate to the most, was Kamala Kannan's ideas on the challenges and resolution(hopefully) of alternatively distributing an Independent film. What we can basically take away from this event are some very interesting alternative thoughts on the future of Tamil and Indian Independent Cinema, which I will write about shortly. And the most startling thing about this was, there were more 200 filmmakers with different levels of experience who attended the event. For a while now, we, at Accessible Horizon Film Collective, have been discussing similar issues with some radically creative people (both filmmakers and various artists) on the future of Indie(Independent) Filmmaking in India. So, hopefully, this is all a step in the right direction. The very fact that there are things like these happening is a sign of more progressive cinema coming up AND reaching the audience. (Above is a production still from 'Ayynoorum Ayynthum)

Monday, September 23, 2013

'Metroxical New York' wins Cinema Paradiso Award

Helloooo hellooo Peeps, exciting news! Our documentary film 'Metroxical New York' has won the 'CINEMA PARADISO AWARD' for great Cinematography, interesting Concept and being a truly International film at the Auroville Film Festival 2013. It has won in the category 'Films made by Aurovilians, residents of Bio-region and Guests of Auroville' and has been chosen among 53 other films in the category. More than the award itself, we had a lot of people in the audience say some really nice things about it. The reason we feel high is that it connected with people at some level, the same way we connected with the project when we created it. Thanks universe, we owe you more exciting work!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Creativity - Mother of Pain

Extraordinary creativity and Pain have almost always gone hand in hand. You know, the issue of Passion vs Practicality...because creative people almost always cannot follow the rules, or the norms or the ‘system’ – because if you are part of the system, then you are not a rebel, and if you’re not a rebel, then you are not creative, because being creative means you have to be a rebel of sorts. It doesn't mean you have to rebel (for the sake of it) to become creative. It’s something innate. Because rebels don’t know they are rebels. So obviously, when you don’t follow what you’re supposed to follow, you can’t sustain yourself easily in this world, traditionally-speaking. It’s a risk that true artists have to take, even at the cost of their future or maybe even their next work of art. But to think of it, it’s the starvation, the risk, the uncertainty, that insecurity, the pain – that artists feel and experience – are fodder for creativity and if I may dare say, genius. It’s like creativity and despair bounce off and feed off each other in this never-ending cycle. And it's really not a fault to be sucked in that cycle. Because as they say, it is by being who you are in a world that's constantly trying to fit you in its mold, is the most liberating. (Art work: Earthling)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Metroxical New York at Auroville Film Festival 2013

Folks, our recent Documentary Film 'Metroxical New York' - A poetic narrative about the underground subway music in New York City and how it forms the basis for a futuristic collective society - directed by Koushalya and created by Accessible Horizon Films is now screening at the Auroville Film Festival. Everyone's welcome and friends in Pondicherry, do make it! It screens on September 19th, 2013 at 7:30 p.m at the Outdoor Venue to be announced by the Auroville Film Festival. Please see their website for details -

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

An Artist's Rite of Passage

This has been said before and will be said again by many. But of course, I won't stop myself from saying it. Every artist that has gone against the grain, at many points in their lives, must cross certain difficult and excruciating phases, in order to move on to better and brighter things. When you think about it philosophically, it seems like just another epiphany, where we can go 'wow here's a truth of life'. But to actually undergo those phases and especially during those periods, is something inexplicable that can make you numb. Sometimes, the pleasure of doing something you really love against all odds comes with the extreme pain of it not realizing its original intention. Though there are bigger, better, brighter things coming along the way, sometimes you feel like you are in a vaccum. I think we are at such a crossroads, right now.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013


It's sort of a quiet turbulence right now. Of course, a lot of contemplation towards where we're going. Personally I've always loved the uncertainty - to put it better, uncertainty has always loved us. But this, this phase, has been remarkably sordid but as they say, character-building. It always feels good when we philosophize about an event or concept BEFORE or AFTER it happens - but WHEN it happens, DURING the event - it's something of a vortex. Pulling you in deeper and deeper with no understanding of what, how, why and when. After that, an ambiguity sets in, like you are murky waters, submerged-floating, in a slow current, drowning but not quite yet...trying to find that glimmer of light that lets you know where the surface is - to get a breath of air, a big gasp and after that - a semblance of sense, sanity in this wide world.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Dark side of Pondicherry

This is a post that should have been put up days ago but here it is. There will be more updates coming out on this, but for starters...
On the night of April 1st, 2013, around 20-30 Pet & Stray Dogs were brutally attacked with steel wires and pipes and thrown into a van by a group of unidentified young men(on the orders of someone influential). They are suspected killed or disposed off, left to die in a far away location from Pondicherry. Of these, some of the dogs are physically disabled and had been brought back to life after months of treatment and have been cared for by the residents including us. The Local police station on 19th April finally agreed to file the FIR and the case has been taken up with much resistance from various directions.
A group of us have been running pillar to post (to Politicians, Govt. Officials, various Police stations etc) trying to get them to start the investigation, find the location of the Dogs and bring justice to the Animals - so that further incidents like this never happen. Right now, we need People, NGOs or other Influential Animal Lovers from outside Pondicherry to put pressure on the Pondicherry Government and Police Department to act. Or if your friends are Journalists or Media people, please get them to cover the issue and bring attention to this issue. Or if you are an NGO or individual with clout, please start calling in on the Pondicherry authorities INCESSANTLY and from various angles and get them to take action.
(And this is not just about Dogs, Cows have been recently subjected to extreme abuse too)
Let's DO SOMETHING. Any specific messages, you can email pondypaws (at the rate) gmail DOT com

Monday, March 18, 2013

Yeee-Haww! Knight Hopper New iPhone Game App!

So who’s feeling a bit Horsey now? Or who wants to become a Knight overnight? Or who’s in a mood for some mind-crunching chess?
Anyway and anywho, we have to give a new shout-out to a new thingie created by our very own…drum-rollll…Ramesh Mourthy…ta-daaa…for creating, designing and releasing his new iPhone/iPad Game App called the ‘Knight Hopper’. So if you are wondering what in the name of heaven IS this, hop no further, coz you can hop all you want when you play the game.
Yes ladyies and gentilmen, Knight Hopper is a new game from the Accessible Horizon stable that can put your mind to the test. It’s now available all over the world for download, upload, overload, whatever. Dare to ride the horse and get your Knighthood by playing Knight Hopper! And dare your other friends/gaming-geeks to join in on the fun by sharing this with abandon.
Here’s the link:
So you think you know to play chess? THINK AGAIN... Knight Hopper's challenge is to cover all the squares with the knight, without landing on any square twice. The knight must visit each square exactly once and in accordance with the chess rules.
Chief Architect/Master Geek – Ramesh Mourthy (the guy who gives the Geeky touch to team Acchor)
Design Director/Photoshop Wiz – Earthling (yeah, yeah the pseudonymous artist whose work is at display in Auroville)

Stable Assistants/Cutting & Otting – Raghu and Dass(who did all the menial labor for the above 2…GRRR)
And folks, do Rate and give your feedback about the game at the iTunes store - Knight Hopper.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Art Exhibition 'The Non-resilient Molecule' in Auroville

Hi Hey Hellooo...Peeps
It's been a lil' while. While there were/are a few things up on our platter at Accessible Horizon, we got a bit of a great news to share for now. Between March 15th to 31st, one of our partners-in-crime, 'Earthling'(those of you in the know, know who we're talking about) is releasing her first ever, (conventionally-speaking) Artistic Exhibition titled 'THE NON-RESILIENT MOLECULE' at the Gallery Square Circle, Kalakendra, Bharat Nivas in AUROVILLE.
Since she's way too modest to admit that it was she who created the various pieces of Acrylic on Canvas, she declares them to be from the Infinite, but only channeling through her, Earthling.
So we want to give a shout-out to all you out there to arrive in class, uncoil your creative nerves, talk away asking intellectual questions, discuss the hyper-amplified ramifications of art on society and and…enuff!
Anyways, ok now, really, just come, come ONE, come ALL! And have a blast with us during the 15-day show! The Inaugural date and time is March 15th, Friday at 4:00 p.m at Bharat Nivas, Auroville (inside the Gallery Square Circle, Kalakendra). Just call us if you have trouble finding directions.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Gettin' Leh'ed!

SECMOL - Short Documentary Film - Ladakh, India
In 2012, during our 33-day backpacking trip in the Himalayas, Ladakh(of course) was an eye-opening, mind-altering drug-stop. I say mind-altering because it really was one hell of a trip to yonder-land, or should I say, a different planet altogether. And vacation is a bad word to use here, because if you are taking a trip to the Himalayas, especially Ladakh, it is an adventure that will rattle your bones(literally and figuratively) and your core. It will change the way you look at things, people and what-the-hell - life itself.
And during the stop-over there, we called up our then-new friend, Sonam Wangchuk, the revolutionary extraordinaire and a simple man with a singular vision. We didn't know much about him then, as we were wondering where really we were heading when we took the taxi to Phey, about 18 kms from Leh city. We only knew that he was the founder of SECMOL(Student's Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh) which was founded in 1988 by him and a group of young Ladakhis with the aim to reform the educational system of Ladakh.
It is rumored that Sonam Wangchuk is the real-life Phunsuk Wangdu, the character played by Aamir Khan in the Hindi film, 3 Idiots. But anyways, during our stay there and our interactions with him, his team and the students, we realized that there's a lot than meets the eye. We observed that students identify themselves with their Ladakhi culture, as Ladakhis, and rarely do they associate themselves with the Pan-Indian identity. Like hell that's necessary. But well, let's get to this.

This short profile documentary film was shot in 2012 as a way of bringing to light the result of the efforts of Sonam, who has created waves in educational and cultural reform. We filmed this during our 1 week stay at SECMOL, volunteering for them, teaching Ladakhi students and culturally exchanging ideas and basically having a great time with them.
A couple of changes to the above film:
1. Rebecca should have been labelled Volunteer Advisor/Instructor instead of Co-founder as labelled above.
2. The volunteers for ice-skating are from various countries in the world as opposed to just US or Canada, as mentioned above.
Camera provided by Subheer from Always Outbound.
Created and presented by us, yours truly, the Accessible Horizon Films team.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Why, Mr. Kamal Hassan?

First of all, I never intended to write this. I know that in a few days our angst will subside and we will continue to live on with this issue comfortably tucked in the deep recesses of our memories, until one day, the same will come back and bite our collective asses in a much cruder form. So, with that in mind, and today’s impending Court decision on Vishwaroopam’s atrocious ban by the Tamil Nadu government, I decided to write it, in the form of questions for Mr. Kamal Hassan. Yes sir, you. In fact, 20 questions to be precise.
  1. Why did you remind us that we pretend to live in a democracy?
  2. Why do you have to be an artistic rebel in a country where socio-political art has been long dead?
  3. Why did you have to show us that our society's tails are curled up tightly between our ass-cracks?
  4. Why did you point out the wimps within us, who sit by as our toothless government does NOTHING, fucking nothing, as ‘cultural terrorists’ wreck havoc upon us?
  5. Why did you give yourself up over the last 50 years for cinema that doesn't let you do what you want to do?
  6. Why did you have to become the bait of our failed political system?
  7. Why did you unravel the vestigial nature of our Censor Board?
  8. Why did you make us realize us that we deserve the governments we elect, and the cinema we are ‘approved’ to make?
  9. Why did you make our artists realize that their country is no longer a haven for their angst or expression?
  10. Why did you remind us that our governments still continue to be held hostage by vote bank politics?
  11. Why are you thinking ahead of your time when, according to society, you should be towing the line, following conventions like sheep in a herd?
  12. Why are you trying to show your peers – in vain – that being an artist means having the balls to stick with their artistic conviction?
  13. Why have you made us realize that it now means nothing to be an artist in a country that once consecrated art in every form?
  14. Why have you reminded us, that tomorrow if we want to take a shit, we need to wait for approval from the thought-police of our society?
  15. Why did you have to prove to us again that this country can no longer be called secular?
  16. Why are you representing all that is seemingly progressive when the truth is so far removed from it?
  17. Why have you given us and our artists another ugly battle to fight?
  18. Why did you have to open up the hypocrisy of ‘shining, incredible’ India?
  19. Why did you reveal more than the tip of the iceberg floating right under the surface of our fucked-up excuse of a country?
  20. Why did you wake us up to the reality that anytime is a time for a revolution to happen?

Monday, January 07, 2013

Human Element - Short film based on a true story

A little over 2 years ago, a little incident happened to one of our team. And we thought why not make something out of it. That's how this short film came into being. Anyways, here it is...

Sunday, January 06, 2013

A thought on rape and Arundhati Roy's take on the issue

It seems that in the after-math of the rape incident and the furor over it, we are slowly starting to see misogynistic patterns emerge in if this is opening up a pandora's box of misogynistic assholes. This is not a one-off incident as many seem to think of it. The rape only opened up a can of worms that is seemingly more and more harder to swallow. Though the incident has thrown light on the under-belly of the issue, it only reminds one of the ghastly truth, that we are surrounded by highly conservative and traditionally patriarchal values that provide the actual reasons for rape...that women who have been conditioned over centuries of servitude are skeptical about confronting their sons and men about how they should be treating women in general. Case in point, 'literate' mothers with sons would rather reprimand other liberal women than try to teach their sons a thing or two about respecting women. That's how deeply rooted this problem is.

The above interview of Arundhati Roy offers an alternative, incisive analysis of the social-class implications of our society. I'm amazed how almost always she comes up with a holistic and bird's-eye-view point of an issue. But my point is, now is the time when we have to fight harder. No actually, now is when the fight has actually begun. And I don't mean it for women...but for our society too, if we want a dare-i-say 'progressive' society.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Where the heck did 2012 go?

Wow...seriously, when the bloody heck did 2012 fly by? It freakin' feels like last night when exactly 364 days ago we were beset by a severe storm shutting down the power of our city, forcing us to open our eyes to darkness and mayhem on January 1st, 2012. But anyways, that's not the point. The point is, this so-called thing called TIME just whizzed past us, leaving us dumb-founded and as lost as a stray on the highway. So many things happened at break-neck speed that we didn't even realize when and where these days slipped by us. As they say, 'Life is what happens when you are busy doing other things'... But one thing is for sure, we got a bloody short life that there's no reason for us to compromise on the things we truly love. Whewwww! Ok, without rambling too much on the philosophical aspect of things, we'll just reminisce a bit on 2012.
I guess 2012 was a rolla-costa year...full of inspiring, adrenaline-packed stuff. We completed 2 projects - Metroxical New York(our latest feature documentary film) and 500 & 5(our first feature length narrative film project in Tamil), made some crazy artwork, travelled 8000 kms to parts of India that seemed like another planet(Ladakh, Himachal, J&K), did a dangerous(no kidding) trek to Kheer Ganga, climbed 16000 feet, met other whacked-out Nomads(from Uruguay, Sweden, France, London, Israel, Tibet, US) like us, met the Dalai Lama(sat through a little during his teaching), volunteered to teach and interact at SECMOL(Students' Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh) teaching Ladakhi students Science, Maths and English, did a mini documentary film for them, met the awesome and humble Sonam Wangchuk(rumoured to be the real life Phunsukh Wangdu, a character played by Aamir Khan in 3 Idiots, the hindi film), attended the world premiere of 500 & 5 at IFFK, Trivandrum and a ton of other stuff. 
Most importantly, it was the people and friends who made it for us. People who inspired us with their minds, their creativity and amazing personalities. It's only when we interact with people like them, we truly feel we are all connected and are directed by this collective consciousness. Anyways, since some of you couldn't come for the film festival premiere and have been asking about it, a little update on that - We had 2 shows in total. The first one at Anjali Theater was pretty decent and the second one at Kalabhavan theater was ok, not bad. But the good thing is that, we had a lot of our other awesome friends at the festival who came out to support us. A special thanks to all our actors and crew who helped in bringing 500 & 5 to life. I would love to share some of the reviews and feedback we got after the screenings, but I guess I'll wait until the next step.
We had some reasonable press coverage from The Hindu(here and here), The Indian Express(here) and other Malayalam Press/Media. The funny part was, in the Malayalam Manorama newspaper, there was a headline that said – “Cosmic Sex(the movie) is the result of my research” says Raghu – Apparently, I had directed the movie about sex and spirituality. Poor Amitabh Chakraborty, the actual director of the film - he had worked so hard on Cosmic Sex(interesting film) and I get the damn credit. But anyways, the world is never fair and true. We also met some amazing filmmakers from Iran, France, Chile, Mexico and Turkey & got to watch some awesome, crazy-ass whacked out movies. A few worth mentioning are Holy Motors(French), Sister(French), Nos Vemos Papa(Spanish), With you Without you(Sri Lankan), Ini Avan(Sri Lankan), Tungsten(Greek) among others. Moreover, we have some interesting developments happening around our film. And just a note, nothing...nothing comes easy to independent filmmakers. Will elaborate further later.
Also, last week I had gone to the Chennai Thiraipada Sangam(Chennai Film Society) organized by Mr. Vijayan in North Chennai where they regularly have guest filmmakers to teach/interact with their students. They had invited me last week for a session. It wasn't really a class, at least that's what I told them, that a class would serve no we had more like a Q & A session revolving around filmmaking, cinema in general and 500 & 5's making and the production process. It was heartening to see lots of like-minded aspiring filmmakers who really felt the need for alternative cinema in Chennai. Some wanted to be directors, some cinematographers, some writers...and the class' age group ranged from 20 to 60. We had an energetic session as we explored what's really stopping independent, low-budget filmmakers from taking their next step. Met some interesting personalities who seem to give hope towards the future of Tamil cinema. Alright, that's that for now I guess. And I won't say Happy New Year because I hope we 'show' and don't 'tell'...