Category Archives: Indian films

DB Intl Film Festival Concludes in Kochi

L to R : Fr Jiji, Aravind, Archana and Lal Jose.

KOCHI, (C.M. Paul) – The second annual Don Bosco International Film Festival had a glittering finale at the state of the art media institute Don Bosco IMAGE auditorium at Kochi in Kerala, on 29th October 2011.

Of a total of 63 entries  from India and abroad, 16 movies were screened during the two day festival.

Renowned film maker and director of Malayalam Film Industry Mr Lal Jose handed over trophies to winners in the presence of Neelathamara fame debut actress Archana Kavi.

While “Silence” (Ramya Aravind) won the Best Short film award, “Cross” by Senthil Rajan, “Azeem” by Anuj Ramachandran, “Meals Ready” by Nithu Nevil Dinesh and “ Marupakkam”  by Dhayanithi  won Special Jury Awards.

In the Documentary category “Dams-the –lethal water bombs” by Sohan Roy S K won the award and  “The Unheard Song ” by Dhayanithi won the special jury award.

Special Jury Awards were also given for the Animation Film “Mr. Clean” by Justin Aruvickal and “Elixir” by Muhammed Sabith won the award for Micro Film.

Three international movies were also screened during the festival days, Incedies (French), Poerty (Korean) and Sophie Scholl (German).

“The festival was a venue for film lovers to come together to watch and assess movies of the younger generation and to see international movies in a full HD theatre, said director fo the festival and IMAGE media institiute Fr Jiji Kalavanal.

Speaking on the occasion Mr. Lal Jose said “there is no substitute for hard work, imagination and observation in the making of a good movie.”

He exhorted upcoming  film makers ”not to walk the beaten path, but trace one [path] for themselves.”

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Filed under DB IMAGE, DB Image Kochi, Don Bosco, Indian films

Bible Society of India marks 200 years

Bicentenary celebration of Bible Society at Rabindra Sadan Kolkata, 20 August 2011.

KOLKATA, (C.M. Paul) – The Bible Society of India(Calcutta Auxiliary) concluded its bi-centenary celebrations, 20 August at Rabindra Sadan, the cultural hub of Kolkata. Some 1,200 people took part in the Gospel Musical Evening presented by 15 member Dancers’ Guild troupe performing “HE the Light of the World.” Parbati Gupta coordinated the half hour song and dance event weaved around Tagore songs inspired by the life of Jesus, a fitting tribute to the Nobel laureate on his 150th birth anniversary.

An hour-long praise and worship led by Bollywood singer Vijay Benedict followed.

“I have been associated with Bible Society of India for over 30 years now,” said Vijay Benedict who started his Bollywood career singing film song “I am a disco dancer.”

L to R: Dr R Cunville and Mr Vijay Benedict

To the thunderous applause of the audience, Mr Benedict testified “I am a God’s singer.”

Introducing his hit song “Yesu tu hai mahan” (Jesus you are great) he confessed, “I am committed to the mission of giving the best music for the Lord Jesus.”

Yesu naam” (Jesus name) rendered in bhangra beat had the audience on their feet clapping, swaying and singing along.

Mr. Benedict who has sung for over 35 Bollywood films is credited to have produced one ofIndia’s first Gospel songs video.

The BSI concluding ceremony started with felicitations by the President of the United Bible Society Dr. Robert Cunville from Shillong, first woman president of Bible Society of India Dr (Mrs.) Navamani Peter, General Secretary of BSI Dr Mani Chacko, first vice-president of BSI Dr PNS Chandra Bose, and president of the BSI (Calcutta) Church of North India Bishop Ashoke Biswas of Calcutta.

The master of ceremony for the evening was Ms Ruthlin Saha.

BSI Calcutta Auxiliary Secretary Mr. Sajal Kumar Sarkar rendered the vote of thanks.

Bicentenary postage stamp by India

The Indian government released a special postage stamp to honor 200 years of the Bible Society of India (BSI) on 21st Feb. 2011  at St. Paul’s Cathedral by West Bengal Governor MK Narayanan.

Established in Calcuttain 1811 AD, the Bible Society of India translates and distributes Bible or portions of the Bible in over 400 native Indian languages. It has its headquarters at Bangalore with 15 Auxiliaries and corresponding office in Port Blair, Andaman and NicobarIsland.

The Secretary of the Calcutta Auxiliary of the Society, Sajal Kumar Sarkar, pointed out that “Bible Society of India is the second largest publishing house in Asia after the government of India.” In addition to it, the BSI is also the second Bible Society to be established in the World.

The Society is part of the United Bible Societies (UBS), which is a fellowship of 145 individual Bible Societies working in over 200 countries and territories.

The UBS is currently involved with close to 600 translation projects covering nearly 500 languages.

According to Sarkar, the Bible Society of India has covered about 176 Indian languages till date. Currently it is working on 12 new projects, mainly the translation of Bible to tribal indigenous languages of North East India.

“One of the tribal language that we are translating the Bible is to Satri language spoken by a tribal group in West Bengal formed of tea garden workers,” said Sarkar.

In India, the Bible movement received a running start with the pioneering and prolific translation works undertaken by the Serampore trio of missionaries led by William Carey.

By the next ten years, Sarkar said the Bible Society of India will vie to translate the Bible in about 75 other languages “so the Word of God can reach to the unreached and lost”.

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DB Communications Institute Holds Intl Film Festival in November

DBFF2010 Kochi Logo

KOCHI (C.M. Paul) — Just one month after the launch of  Don Bosco IMAGE at Vennala, Kochi, with courses in film making, graphic design and animation, the premier Multimedia Centre is organizing a FILM FESTIVAL for movie makers across the globe.
“The objective of Don Bosco Film Festival (DBFF) is to promote the creative and technical skill of the up-coming generation and to enable them to become agents of social transformation for creating a better world,” says festival director and founder director of DB Image Fr Jiji Kalavanal.
“The competition will be held in two categories,” explains Fr Jiji, himself an award wining film director, citing two groups for this year’s festival.
They are: “Short Films and Documentaries” and “Micro Films – documentary and short animation movies.”
Fr Jiji quickly adds, “There is no specific theme for this year’s festival.” However, he assures “the documentary in the micro category is restricted exclusively to any place, cultural festival, historic monument, lifestyle, livelihood and traditions of Kerala.”
The last date of submission to the first ever DBFF festival is 30th October 2010.
A selection committee consisting of a panel of eminent cinema industry personalities will preview and select the movies for the final round to be held at Don Bosco IMAGE, in November 2010.
Attractive cash awards and citations will be awarded to the winners in both categories. For more details visit DBFF2010 official site: http://donboscoimage.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/don-bosco-film-festival/

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Filed under DB IMAGE, DB Image Kochi, Don Bosco, Don Bosco Film Festival, Film Festival, Film Festival, Salesian, University, Indian films, Kerala Catholics, SIGNIS, Signis India

Video Journalists Make Mother Teresa Go Global

VJs go live with laptop & webcam at MTIFF2010

KOLKATA  (C.M.Paul) – Thanks to a dedicated team of student video journalists (VJ), Mother Teresa International Film Festival (MTIFF) 2010 has gone Live making it possible for a global audience to follow the Kolkata events celebrating Mother’s birth centenary via internet. Their daily broadcast segments over past three weeks included testimonies on Mother Teresa from both celebrities and people on the streets of Kolkata, festival screening presentations by directors of the films, the open forum and press conference daily between 4 pm and 5.30 pm on all four days held at Nandan Hall 3.
“We just want have fun doing something for Mother,” says their coordinator Mr. Farrell Shah. Besides, designing the state of the art www.mtiff2010.org official site and running three channels of FEST TV Mr. Shah has also coordinated the final packaging of the testimonies collected by four teams of VJs. Their production is called BLUE STRIPES and can be accessed on www.YouTube.com under “mtiff2010” search word.
The VJs will submit Mother Teresa testimonies collected over a period of three-week road shows on the VJ bus. It will be handed over to the Missionaries of Charity at the MTIFF concluding ceremony , 29 August at Nandan, Kolkata Film Centre.
In the run-up to MTIFF2010 some 25 media students of three city institutes undertook this novel exercise – filming the woman and man on the street as they recount their brush – and love for Mother.

Blue Stripes VJs at MTIFF venue Don Bosco Calcutta

The Blue Stripes production featured on MTIFF2010’s FestTV has 11 episodes of the VJs edited video capsules. The raw footages running into scores of hours of interviews with Kolkata citizens both the celebrities and ordinary people of the street will be handed over to Fr Brian MC, the postulator general of the cause for Mother Teresa’s sainthood.
More episodes are expected to be to be put up on YouTube, where they will reach out to a global audience.
The 3rd MTIFF, a four day event held in four halls of Nandan Film Centre, 26-29 August had SIGNIS India, the Catholic Church’s international organization for communication designating the students “Video Journalists.” The four VJ teams were backed up by a “professional” inter-college VJ crew who edited and anchored the episodes into 5 to 6 minutes segments and aired on FestTV’s dedicated channel.
Participating VJ institutes were St. Xavier’s CollegeChitrabani and Assembly of God. Though the students are young – on the average they were 10 years old when Mother died – they are enthusiastic far beyond the credits promised by their institutions.
Besides the opportunity to be mentored by professionals in a “live” environment, they feel good to be part of and extend the “something beautiful” Mother had created, through this work.
“For me this is more than just a project out of which I can get credits. I believe God has set this up and I did my best for it!” says Shonali Rice, one of the VJs and presenter for the videos on the Festival’s website, www.mtiff201.org. END

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Filed under Don Bosco, Film Festival, Indian films, Mother Teresa, MTIFF 2010, Nandan

Vatican Radio Interview

Fr. C. M. Paul & Robin Gomes at the Vatican Radio

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican Radio English language for India broadcast a two part interview on my receiving the “Multimedia at the Service of the Gospel Award” at the 25th International Catholic Film Festival, Niepokalanow, Poland, 27 May 2010.
Mr. Robin Gomes from Kolkata who has been with Vatican Radio for over 20 years did the interview.
First part of the interview was on the Film Festival of Niepokalanow (Warsaw, Poland) which concluded on 30th May and the “Multimedia at the Service of the Gospel” award I received at the festival inauguration, 27 May from Catholic Film Association of Poland. It was broadcast on 24th June.
The second part of the same interview was on Indian films at the festival and on the need for a Catholic film festival. It was broadcast, 1st July.

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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 admin@bosconet.aust.com . 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 http://sdl.sdb.org

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…”
Again,
“…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,
PJ

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

Testimonies of Radical Followers of Jesus

Salesian Sisters listen to Franciscan Brother James from Kentucky USA, on a guided tour of the basilica.

ASSISI, 4 June – After a two and half hour bus ride from the FMA Rome generalate the group of salesian Sisters on The Project Mornese  arrived in Assisi – still preserved in its medieval township – the city of Francis and Clare (July 16, 1194 – August 11, 1253) two radical followers of Jesus and founders of two major religious orders.
The first stop was at St Mary of the Angels church where Francis lived and died at the Portiuncula, the church within the church on 3 October 1226 at the age of 44.  A deacon and preacher, Francis was privileged to share in the sufferings of the crucified Jesus with the stigmata. He also was the founder of the Order of Friars Minor, more commonly known as the Franciscans. St Clare founded the Order of Poor Ladies in the Franciscan tradition. Amazingly, Francis  was declared saint two years after his death and is buried in the basilica of St Francis up the Assisi hill, in the lower church.

With pilgrim from Slovakia on a 3,000 km walking pilgrimage across Europe to San Giacomo di Compostella, Spain venue of WYD 2011.

En route to the basilica the Sisters were privileged to see and talk with a modern day pilgrim from Slovakia who was on a 3,000 km pilgrimage on foot across Europe to San Giacomo di Compostella in Spain, the venue of World Youth Day 2011. Dressed in sack cloth, a staff with shell attached, the pilgrim has only a small satchel as his possession. He live son the charity of people for food and shelter along the route.
On reaching the basilica, Franciscan brother James from Kentucky USA, took the group on a 90 minute guided tour which the Sisters said “was just marvelous.”The group had a midday mass in the chapel of St Catherina in the upper church of St Francis. After a brief lunch break the group walked over to the Church of St Clare, on other end of the town. On the way they stopped over to see the church built over his father’s home and dye factory.

Francis explains his love for insects to Bangalore province Sisters who met him outside the church.

Besides praying at the tomb of St Clare and the original San Damiano crucifix, the group also saw the relics of Francis and Clare (hair, chord, habit, socks etc) on display.Then they had a visit to San Damiano church which was lying in ruins and Francis heeded to the voice that told him to “rebuild my church which has fallen into ruins,” a symbol that Francis took literally as well as practically by founding the Franciscan Order.

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