Message driven films by the young for the young

austraLasia #2666
PARIS, SIHANOUKVILLE… : 24 June 2010 — There is an interesting development around the traps as Salesian education works more and more with the native digital skills of young people today and particularly their visual and kinetic skills, which come together, in a certain way, around an older but now much more available art of video production. We already know of a number of Salesians, especially in the English-speaking world, but not only, who are making a name for themselves as film directors. Now, it seems, the day is not far off when it will be one or more Salesian pupils or recent past pupils, who will join that select band. ETC….
AustraLasia is an email service for the Salesian Family of Asia Pacific.  It also functions as an agency for ANS based in Rome.  For queries please contact . Use Bosconet-wiki to be interactive. RSS feeds – just go to Bosconet, click on austraLasia 2009 in the sidebar. You will see the RSS orange icon in your browser address bar – add it from there.  Or be interactive with the EAO blog Cetera Tolle. Avail yourself of the Salesian Digital Library at

Fr Joseph Pulinthanath SDB receiving National Film Award from the President of India, 19 March 2010.

Here’s a COMMENT that came in from an award winning and internationally acclaimed film director who has TWO feature films and several short films to his credit. For those who don’t know him please do a Google search on “Joseph Pulinthanath”. I just did it and got 5,140 items in 0.19 second.

Dear Fr. Paul,
Thank you for forwarding this material. Very interesting, I thought because it gives enough impetus for us to put on our thinking caps.
To me it looks an appropriate moment now to set in motion some national/regional/worldwide initiatives in the filed of visual mass media.
Both Festiclip and Boscoliwood are certainly praiseworthy initiatives and my hearty congratulations to those behind them.
I don’t know if I got it right, but thought there was a preoccupation with ‘message’ in our productions.
“…young people addressing a message to other young people via video…”
“…messages of young people to young people…”
At the risk of sounding blasphemous I still maintain, in this medium, message is best conveyed only if and when the viewer is led to undergo an epiphany of sorts. To my mind such revelation seldom happens with overtly message-crazy productions. I find the very business of living inspiring enough and propose our pictures would be powerful and uplifting enough if they are able to capture the tremendous mystery of ‘life’ in its mundane glory without superimposing ‘messages’ and thus diminishing the viewer.
True, message often provides a satisfying escape route but also leaves the picture rather impotent.
We SDBs, I would like to think, have the wherewithal to join hands where need be and come up with quality productions that by their ordinariness would not stand out from the general fare the majority lap up and yet have the inner vigor and inspiration to leaven the society and transform it by and by.
Ain’t it time for us to turn our cameras 90 degrees away from stage-managed christmassy stories with declared messages. (They are at best a modern version of the medieval mystery and miracle plays that quickly satisfy and even edify but seldom transform). Perhaps we need to channelize our natural urge to deliver messages, to finding better telling techniques, and acquiring greater mastery over managing light and shade (cinema) and sound too if need be.
How does being in 130 (?) countries of the world help us SDBs to enhance the quality (change the nature, if need be) of our productions!
Have I been rambling. Perhaps…the clock says it’s 1.45 AM.
With all good wishes,



Filed under Don Bosco, Education, Film Festival, Indian films, Niepokalanow, Salesian films

2 responses to “Message driven films by the young for the young

  1. Joseph Pulinthanath sdb

    It is encouraging to see the growing global awareness among salesians and others about the need to use media in ways that impact society. By saying we need to get into the act, I am not meaning holding some ‘seminar’ where few SDBs come together and voice very ‘impressive’ and ‘relevant’ thoughts, make the right noises, draw up a statement and disperse with a date set for the next meeting. I am thinking of things that will make a mark on society in general and actually transform situations and lives. How about a worldwide open call for productions (as per criteria we put down), enabling communities and young people to tell stories that deserve telling. And a platform to showcase those stories – like an International film festival; and an international film award perhaps. But I am sure there are much better and brighter ideas out there within the family, awaiting a voice.
    Congrats to Fr Paul for surfacing time and again with tickling thoughts and issues in his blog.

  2. What a thrill to read and listen to CM Paul on the wonderful award! What an honor! It is excellent that we celebrate the outstanding creativity and perseverance of Catholic communicators around the world! The International Film Festival in Poland is an inspiring experience for anyone who embraces the opportunity.

    I really am enjoying this e-news and blog! The opportunity to stay in touch with one another via the media is a gift for e-community!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s