Eighty-four years ago on November 7, the Capitol Theatre at Statue hosted a silent revolution in Malayalam cinema; the first silent movie in the language was screened here, launching a new episode in entertainment in Malayalam.
The ‘Capitol’ is now memory and even old-timers in Thiruvananthapuram will be hard-pressed to recall its location, but the film and the film-maker remain the stuff of legend in what is now a booming industry in wholesale entertainment.
This November 7, a documentary on J C Daniel, the maker of ‘Vigathakumaran’, that first movie, will be screened to mark the 84th anniversary. The preview of ‘The Lost Child’ (literally, ‘Vigathakumaran’) directed by Kiran Ravindran of Sasthamangalam under the banner ‘Magic Lantern’ will be held at C P Gopala Panicker Memorial Hall, NSS Karayogam Building, Sasthamangalam, at 5 pm.
‘’The documentary is about Daniel and P K Rosy, the heroine. There are no actors. Noted filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan is introducing the documentary and the story progresses through the words of Janet, Daniel’s wife, Rosy’s relatives and available historical documents,’’ said Kiran, who has co-scripted the documentary with yesteryear film historian Kunnukuzhy Mani.
It took Kiran four years to complete the 58-minute documentary. ‘The Lost Child’ is also an attempt to establish the authentic date ‘Vigathakumaran’ was released, Kiran said. ‘’There is an argument that ‘Vigathakumaran’ was released only in 1930. This is not true. It was two years earlier, in 1928,’’ Kiran said.
Kiran himself handles the camera for ‘Vigathakumaran.’ Editing is by Anand S Lin and Ajay S Raju and title music is by Mithun Ashokan.
Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma will be the chief guest at the preview. Kerala State Chalachitra Academy deputy director (festivals) Beena Paul will receive the DVD of the documentary on the occasion.