It's a documentary Thursday!

Independent film-makers

For anyone even remotely interested in documentary films, the upcoming edition of ‘IndiEarth On Screen’ at The Humming Tree on May 22 is worth marking on the calendar. 

   The series is held everyalternate Thursday in an effort to promote non-mainstream Indian cinema across various towns and cities. On Thursday, the screenings will pay homage to the varying perspectives of the documentary film, which includes a well-curated list of films that span the late 60s to the present day.

First on the list is the 1967 work of legendary Bengali film-maker Ritwik Ghatak titled ‘Scientists of Tomorrow’. The ten-minute film brings to light the director’s observations on Indian youth back then and offers a stark portrayal of social reality from his perspective. There’s also ‘A Painter Of Our Time: 

Hussain’ by Santi P Chowdhury, an art biography that gives a rare glimpse at painter MF Hussain’s musings and preoccupations as an artist of the 70s. 

Karuna Vishwanath’s 2014 documentary ‘A Boat In The River’ is another interesting one. The film focusses on the Gulf of Kambhat, formerly home to dolphins and other indigenous ecological species though it now plays host to an array of human beings who depend on it for survival. While creating awareness about the environmental issues at hand, it also doubles up as a comment on society at large. ‘The Way of the Drum’ by Nikita Mor is another social commentary on our times. The documentary re-discovers and celebrates the spirit of native culture in contemporary times and for future generations to come. 

Also being screened is Ashwika Kapur’s ‘Sirocco - The Film’, a wildlife short that looks at the rags-to-riches story of a celebrity Kakapo parrot, a species that has less than 130 parrots left on Earth. The film is a light-hearted portrayal of the world famous celebrity, a parrot so popular that the government of New Zealand gave him a job!

 Roy Dipankar, who curates the screenings and handles content and marketing for IndiEarth, says that the films are procured from the Film Division archives and from independent film-makers themselves. “We look for non-commercial films across India and worldwide which cover all formats of films like shorts, documentaries, full-length features, animation etc. I’ve seen all the films for this edition and I enjoyed the experimental nature of Ghatak’s film and the candid take on Hussain’s life.

 What’s nice about the other three films is how fresh they are given that they’ve been made by young, bright film-makers. The Humming Tree has been our longest running partner outside of Chennai, which is where we’re based, and we’re trying to build a film-specific audience for the venue,” he shares. The event will take place on May 22, 8 pm onwards and will be followed by a Q and A session. Entry is free for all.

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