Capturing culture on screen

The Chennai edition of Film It, a multi-cultural project by INTACH (Indian Natural trust for Art and Cultural Heritage), had the film buffs of city schools conjure up the magic of bygone eras

Published: 13th February 2012 11:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 05:55 PM   |  A+A-


Heritage Curators: The young filmmakers of Sri Sankara Vidyashram, Thiruvanmiyur, who won Best Story and Direction for Brownie Box and Best Screenplay

The Chennai edition of Film It, a multi-cultural project by INTACH (Indian Natural trust for Art and Cultural Heritage), had the film buffs of city schools conjure up the magic of bygone eras with captivating visuals and musical montages that reflected the vibrant hues of our heritage. The diverse themes ranged from saving water and environment, endangered species, historic monuments and heirlooms.

As the thought-provoking films were projected onto the wall in the Sripad Hall, Vidya Mandir, Mylapore, in a preview to the awards ceremony held on February 6, the spellbinding cinematography and wistful notes of the young creators set the stage for a time-warp.

Let’s tune into some of the innovative movies that created magic on-screen.

Ammi: This poignant take on the traditional mixer grinder found in every south Indian kitchen traced its aromatic, flavour-filled journey over the ages. The narrative woven by the students of Calibre Academy seamlessly blended with the essence of their theme: paying tribute to tradition.

The Tigers: How many of us know the ground reality about the endangered animal? What is the solution to the constant struggle between mankind and nature? These were the interesting  questions raised by the team from Asan Memorial SS in the gripping narrative filled with newspaper clippings and disturbing statistics on the survival rate of tigers.

Preserving Our City’s Monuments: Ever passed by the Gandhi Mandapam of late? From indiscriminate scribbling on the walls to the dilapidated infrastructure, the historic landmark trapped in the callousness    of visitors who throng it day in and day out, is turning into a lost cause. Flipping back and forth through the pages of the city’s archives, the students of Bala Vidya Mandir, Adyar passionately stirred up the need to conserve its roots.

Plant Trees, Go Green: Everybody wants to adopt eco-friendly measures for a greener future, but is it possible to do so in a school environment? Eco-clubs can show the way, said the crew group from Vel’s Vidyashram Senior Secondary School. From terrace gardening to composting, they beamed with ideas punctuated by lilting music. The inspiring message was ingrained in an effective way.

The Spring of Life: Do you know the history behind the Thala Vriksha of the Kapaleeshwarar temple? If not, the film by the imaginative crew of Sir Sivaswamy Kalalaya will take you through every nook and corner of the temple to capture the nuances of a dynamic culture that celebrates trees as much as the resident deities.

Save Water: Imagine a world dealing with water scarcity in the year 2070? Why not play it safe by working towards conserving our resources and cutting down on wastage now? The idea framed by the students  of Sri Sankara Senior Secondary School was indeed an entertaining satire.

Brownie-Box: The most unusual story of the lot was shot by the crew from Sri Sankara Vidyashram. It brought to life the tale of           a vintage camera that was used to chronicle the life and times of freedom fighters. The ingenious yarn woven by the amateur filmmakers underscored the need for valuing rich ancestry in subdued sepia tones.

Tamil Filter Coffee: A perfect morning in a quintessential Chennai household      is all about the aromatic whiff of filter kappi .The host school Vidya Mandir, Mylapore, revived its allure with catchy songs and visuals of the frothy caffeine drink being brewed in the city’s tiffin hotspots. The film turned out be both a visual and gastronomic treat.

 Students of Classes 6 and 7 from the eight city schools submitted 40 entries for the project. To view the films, check the official website:         

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