Malayalam films dominate Indian Panorama section
By Gautaman Bhaskaran CHENNAI. Nov. 4.
Kerala garnered five slots in the Indian Panorama, an important section showcasing the best of the country’s cinema in the International Film Festival of India, to be held this time in Hyderabad from January 10 to 20.
A 13-member panel, headed by Ms. Vijaya Mehta, selected 16 movies in eight languages, which apart from Malayalam were Bengali. Hindi, Punjabi. Assamese. Oriya, Tamil and Kannada. While Bengali arid Hindi have three pictures each in the Panorama. the rest have one each,
If one were to exclude Girish Kasaravalli’s ‘Thai Saheb” in Kannada. which warranted automatic inclusion because it won this years National Award for the Best Feature, the number of films selected is a poor 15 in a category that has a provision for 21. But it has been several years now since, the Panorama attracted a full house. Last year, it was a mere 13.
One of the panelists told this correspondent on condition of anonymity that the quality of the 65 entries, except for those that came from Kerala, was very poor, reflecting the kind of crop that India was producing year after year. It might boast of being the worlds largest producer of movies— 600-odd every 12 months— but there had been little effort to make sensible fare.
The following is the list of Panorama selections: R. Shyama Prasads “Agnisakshi”, T Hariharan’s “Ennu Swantham Janakikutty”, P Srtnivasan’s “Chinta Vishtayaya Shyamala”, TV Chandran’s “Mangamma”. S. Balachandra Menon’s “Samnantharangal” (all Malayalam). Tapan Sinha’s “Ajab Gayer Ajab Katha”. Sata rupa Sanyal’s “Anu”, Ashoke Viswanathan’ “Kichhu Sanlap Kichhu Pralap” (all Bengali) Ramgopal Varma’s “Satya”, Pivush Jha’s “Chalo America”, Hansal Mehta’s “Javate” (at Hindi), Manoj Punj’s “Shaheed-E-Mohabbai Boota Singh” (Punjabi), jahnu Baruas ‘Kuhkhal” (Assamese), Buoy Ketan Mishra’s “Ahalya” (Oriya) and Santosh Sivan’s ‘Terrorist’ (Tamil) apart from “Thai Saheb” (Kannada)
The works of some important directors like Mani Ratnam (“Dil Se” in Hindi), Nanyendu Ghosh (“Ladkiyan”, also in Hindi), G.V lyer ‘Swami Vivekananda” in English), T.S. Naghabharana “Vimochane” in Kannada) and Anham Syam Sharma “Shingnaba” in Manipuri did not find favour with the selection panel, and were not included in the Panorama.
Incidentally, not one of the seven Telugu works sent for selection was inciuded in the list.
As for non-features in the Panorama. 20 were selected. Pinky Brahma Chaudhary’s “Duphang-Ni Solo” (Bodo), Gnana Rajsekaran’s “Oru Kann Oru Parvai” (Tamil) and Baddhadeb Dasgupta’s “The Painter of Eloquent Silence” (English) are the highiights. Raja Mitra’s “Jataner Jami” (Bengali) was automatically included because it clinched this year’s National Award for the Best Documentary.
Interestingly, the Directorate of Film Festivals, which organises the annual cinema event in January, is planning to give the much needed importance to documentaries and shorts by screening them in the main Panorama venue at Hyderabad.