L to R: Mr Farrell Shah, Fr P.J. Joseph, Fr Brian, Sr Prema, Fr CM Paul, Mr Chatterjee and Mr Lucas
KOLKATA (C.M. Paul) – It came as consensus on the concluding day of the Open Forum – a daily opportunity for visitors to Mother Teresa International Film Festival (MTFF) 2010 to interact with film directors and other Mother Teresa experts. Directors Petrie and Belanger from USA and Canada joined two Indian Mother Teresa film directors (Mohanka & Jindal) for the daily sessions along with Mother Teresa experts Frs. Brian MC and George Pattery SJ. I also had the privilege of being an expert on Mother Teresa and joining panel discussions which would run into some 90 minutes each day.
Mother Teresa fans included believers from all faiths, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Parsi and others.
A Hindu lady was insisted that MTIFF officials provide screening facility for more people in Kolkata to view Mother Teresa films. She wished that MTIFF could travel to more palacesin Bengal and other parts of the country.
It was at this time, I hit upon the idea of making MTIFF as a regular feature of the annual Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF).
Sitting between the Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity Sr Prema and the CEO of Nandan Nilanjan Chatterjee, I felt that it was time that Mother Teresa the living Legend be aprt of the regualar Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF).
At my brief speech as founder-director of the first two previous MTIFFs, I put forward an appeal particularly to Nandan CEO and the eminent audience to have one hall at Nandan to screen MTIFF films at least for a day at KIFF.
Mr Shah gets outstanding service award at MTIFF.
The Nandan CEO fascinated by the way MTIFF2010 profusely complimented the organizers for the entire festival organization, screening schedules in four halls for some 50 shows, a dedicated hall for the specially challenged (wheel chair bound persons), special parking arrangements for visitors at neigbouring St Paul’s Cathedral grounds, the MTIFF official website, the Video Journalists going live on Fest TV channel 3 with MTIFF2010 opening and closing ceremonies, the open forum and press conference each of the four days, as well as providing live broadcast of the MTIFF mood at the changed venue (Saturday & Sunday) Nandan 1 evening shows at Don Bosco Park Circus.
MTIFF2010 Report Card
In 2003 we had 10 foreign films with some 16 shows in two halls and reached out to some 15,000 visitors. This year the festival showcased 18 films about Blessed Teresa, with 64 screenings, for some 45,000 people. All the shows were packed with people sitting in the aisles or standing at the back. Besides the two special screenings for 500 disabled people, there were also more than 7,000 residents from Missionaries of Charity care centers. I had two special outstanding contributors award from Italy for the festival director Mr. Sunil Lucas and the festival web designer Mr. Farrell Shah.
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 College, Chitrabani 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
Auxilium parish keeps Tagore's 150th birthday
KOLKATA (C.M. Paul) – A Kolkata parish kept a cultural event marking 150th birthday of India’s and Bengal’s first Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, 22 August. The Sunday evening’s three-hour long cultural extravaganza consisted of dance, songs, story telling and recitation, all from the prodigious Tagore collection in Bengali language. Children and adults vied with each other to render homage to the Bengali legend.
“We want to hold the celebrations in a fitting manner giving opportunities for young people to display their cultural talents,” says parish priest of Auxilium parish, Salesian Fr. Joseph Pellissery.
“Kabi guru Rabindranath was inspired by several passages from the Bible which he readily used in the composition of his songs popularly known as Rabindra Sangeet,” says former Bengali language teacher of Don Bosco School Park Circus Mr. Ranjit Biswas. He delighted the audience recounting anecdotes from Tagore’s life especially narrating Rabindranth’s childhood experiences as well as his first poetry at the tender age of seven years.
Tagore (1861 - 1941)
May 9, 2011 marks the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, one of India’s most important cultural touchstones. He was born in Kolkata in 1861 the youngest of thirteen surviving children, in the Jorasanko mansion in Kolkata of parents Debendranath Tagore (1817–1905) and Sarada Devi (1830–1875).
Tagore family patriarchs were the Brahmo samaj founding fathers. He was mostly raised by servants, as his mother had died in his early childhood; his father travelled extensively. Tagore largely declined classroom schooling, preferring to roam the mansion or nearby idylls: Bolpur, Panihati, and others. For a short period Tagore studied at St Xavier’s School Kolkata. Upon his upanayan initiation at age eleven, Tagore left Kolkata on 14 February 1873 to tour India with his father for several months.
Tagore became a novelist, playwright, poet, musician, artist, social reformer and a central figure in the Indian modernist movement. He was a revolutionary educationist who set up the concept of an open-air university in 1901 with the Visva-Bharati in Santiniketan, West Bengal. He also composed Indian national anthem. And it was also from his poem “Gitanjali,” often cited as a key component of his Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913 that India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru quoted, to usher in independence in 1947.
When Tagore won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913 he was the first non-European to win it. Tagore died , 7 August 1941.
Design, shoot and direct at DB IMAGE, Kochi
KOCHI, Kerala (C.M. Paul) – A Don Bosco communications institute in Kochi, Kerala is launching a new college of multimedia engineering at Vennala on the birth day of Don Bosco, 16 August. While the auxiliary bishop of Ernakulam Mar Sebastian Adiyantharath will bless the institution, provincial superior of Bangalore province Fr Thomas Anchukandom will inaugurate the first academic year. Mr. T.K. Rajeev Kumar award winning director of Malayalam and Hindi films will deliver the key note address and inaugurate the Preview Theatre. Mr. Sahadevan senior editor of India Vision TV channel will speak on behalf of media persons.
This new visual communications centre is the first Don Bosco Media Institute in the southern India state of Kerala popularly known as “God’s own country”. The other DB media institutions in the state are: DB IGACT for printing and graphic arts and DB College for Masters in Communicative Journalism (MCJ) at Angadikadav, Kannoor.
Vennala’s Don Bosco Institute of Multimedia, Animation, Graphics and Effects (DB IMAGE) has an added boon as there are two other media institutes on campus, namely: DB IGACT as well as a school for performing arts.
“We have gone out of the way to invest in a state of the art facility for our students,” says DB Image director Fr Jiji Kalavanal showing around the fully furnished 20,000 square feet facility on the third floor of the Don Bosco Communications building.
72 seater Preview Theatre of DB IMAGE, Kochi
“There is still a fourth floor being prepared with shooting floors and classrooms ” quickly adds Fr Jiji a first rank holder in film making as well as winner of two international film awards (Rome 2009) and Warsaw (2010).
One thing that strikes the visitor is the LED light bulbs used in the entire institute. Fr Jiji explains that “besides being highly economical due to its low consumption of electricity, these bulbs have a far higher life span and will light up the entire centre four hours when electricity fails.”
The institute’s maximum capacity is for 30 students per course. Currently the institute offers Diploma courses in film making.
Training is offered in audio & video editing, scriptwriting, direction, animation, graphic design, web design, photography, videography and offset printing.
From 2011 the institute hopes to launch degree course and a post graduation diploma in the above disciplines with possibility also for distance learning.
The 7.2 high tech Preview Theatre offers world class film projection system as well as gallery style seating arrangements for 72 people. Besides offering students the best screening facilities, the institute offers budding film makers the opportunity to show case their production for world premiere.
DB IMAGE also has a Saturday Movie Club for serious movie goers. The state’s film production companies and channels are in seven kilometer radius of the new Don Bosco institute.
The special feature of the institute is that each student will have his or her own lap top and class room is fitted with wi-fi connections.
The economically backward students will have easy bank-loan facility which they need to pay back only after they begin to earn.
Fr. Jiji’s email id email@example.com
Signis Video Journalist jacket (MTIFF 2010)
KOLKATA (F.S.) – In the run-up to the Film Festival honouring Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, media students of three city institutes will be undertaking a novel exercise – filming the woman and man on the street as they recount their brush – and love for Mother.
The 3rd Mother Teresa International Film Festival, MTIFF 2010, starts 26 August, and SIGNIS India, the Catholic Church’s international organization for communication has designated the students “Video Journalists.” You can hope to catch these VJs all over the city in the coming weeks, as they follow the 93.5 RED FM, MTIFF 2010 Roadshow crew, capturing recollections and testimonies of the Kolkatan; and the visitor to Mother Teresa’s city.
Participating VJ institutes are St. Xavier’s College, Chitrabani 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 will do my best for it!” says Shonali Rice, one of the VJs and presenter for the videos on the Festival’s website, www.mtiff201.org.
Besides the edited video displayed on the website, all the recorded testimonies of Mother’ love will play at the festival venues, before finally being archived and a copy formally handed over to the Missionaries of Charity, Mother Teresa’s religious order. In their edited form, they will also remain on YouTube, where they will reach out to a global audience.
Information on the 93.5 RED FM Roadshow/VJ venues, can be had daily by calling the Festival Hotline at +91 9830970005. Any member of the public can participate, if they have a testimony or interesting personal anecdote related to Mother Teresa.
Book Cover of “Summer Priest” with Prof Thuruthiyil’s photo in set.
LAMMERSPIEL IN MUHLHEIM AM MAIN, Germany (C.M. Paul) – It is rare that an Indian priest celebrates 25 years as summer priest in a German parish. Not only, he has also published a book to mark the occasion. Salesian priest Prof. Scaria Thuruthiyil former dean of the Philosophy Faculty at the Salesian University (UPS) Rome is currently in Lammerspiel in Muhlheim near Frankfurt. He celebrates the silver jubilee of his arrival in St. Lucia parish, Lämmerspiel, Saturday 17 July, with a solemn Eucharist at 6 P.M., followed by reception open to all the parishioners of both St. Lucia and St. Sebastian (Dietesheim) parishes.
“I have been coming to this parish each year since 1985 at least for one month,” says 63 year-old Prof Thuruthyil who heads a massive fan club in the region.
“My book in German will be released during a reception held in my honour to celebrate 25 years as “summer priest” (sommerpfarrer),” says Prof Thuruthyil who was recently appointed rector of the professors community, St Dominic Savio at the UPS Rome.
“When I come here [in Germany], I substitute the parish priest who goes for his holidays. Since last 15 years this parish has been amalgamated with neighbouring parish (St.Sebastian, Dietesheim) and I look after both the parishes,” says Prof Thuruthyil who has been honoured in 2006 with “Ehrenplakette in Bronze der Stadt Muhlheim” by the Mayor Bernd Muller of Muhlheim which has over 28,000 inhabitants.
“I thought of writing a small book of memories (entitled Sommerpfarrer) for this memorable occasion,” says Prof Thuruthyil.
Author of 14 Books
Giving details of the book, he says “it contains 47 anecdotes with a sketch drawing for each anecdote, besides a forward and a dedication.”
Incidentally, the cartoonist is the parish priest of the neighbouring parish of Sts. Markus and Maxmillian Kolbe. An excellent cartoonist, Fr. Dekan Schmitt-Helferich, has done the sketches in homage to Prof. Thuruthyil.
The 100-page book contains remembrances of persons and interesting events, both joyful and laughable experiences of these past 25 years.
“It is meant as my personal gift to the parishioners who have been very friendly to me for all these past years: a celebration that could last for a while with some good laughs and cheery anecdotes,” says Prof Thuruthyil hoping his writing would also inspire hope and optimism.
There has been an overwhelming response to the venture and the first edition of 850 copies of the book is already running short and I am thinking of ordering a second edition to be at hand soon.
A couple of people who read the manuscripts are highly appreciative of the book and have already asked for the second volume of the book to be written.
Author of 14 books in English, Italian and Malayalam, Prof Thuruthiyil’s latest 358 page book in Italian is entitled “Principi e valori educativi, nella tradizione Indiana.” It is due for release in September 2010.
Born in Pala
Born in the diocese of Pala, Kerala in 1947, Fr Thuruthiyil studied in Bandel, Salesian College Sonada Darjeeling, UPS Rome and Jnanadeepa Vidyapeeth Pune. In 1972 as professor of Philosophy at Salesian College, Yercaud, Tamilnadu, Prof Thuruthiyil founded the SSGY (Social Service Guild Yercaud) – an organization of Religious men and women formed to coordinate various initiatives for the poor. The SSGY continues to be a well-run organization to date.
He was ordained priest in Pala (1977) and was appointed Administrator and vice Rector at Don Bosco Tech New Delhi and became professor of Philosophy at Salesian College Sonada (1981-1984). After completing doctorate in Philospohy from UPS Rome, Fr Thuruthiyil returned Kolkata where he worked as assistant parish priest at Kalyani and professor of Philosophy at the Morning Star College regional seminary Calcutta where seminarians from 28 dioceses studied.
From 1988 Prof Thuruthiyil has been at the UPS Rome as well invited professor at the Università di Roma, La Sapienza, Dept. of Ethnic Religions (2003 onwards). From 2004 he also lectures at BEDA Pontifical College (Philosophical Anthropology and History of Modern and Contemporary Philosophy) Rome.
Contact email id for greetings: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fr Jim Borst MHM
Dutch missionary Fr Jim Borst, the only Mill Hill Missionary serving in the Kashmir Valley since 1963 has been served a notice by the Foreigners Registration Officer, Kashmir to quit India by July 2010. There has been a systematic campaign not only of calumny but also terror against Fr Borst as terrorists attacked his educational institution Good Shepherd School, Pulwama on two occasions in a row in 2003. It is only too well known that a section of the Muslim intelligentsia which is also running many schools in the same vicinity where the Catholic missionary has been running his school, have been campaigning against Good Shepherd School. Its underlying grudge is that the schools run by them are not in a position to compete with the school run by the missionary. Since there would be no purchasers of that grudge, it has been giving currency to the idea since 2003 that Good Shepherd School was carrying out conversions of the local population in the name of providing education.
The Mill Hill Missionaries have been pioneers in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in the field of arranging education and health care facilities since 1891-92 and there is no trace of evidence yet to confirm that the percentage population of Christians has grown to more than what it was a century earlier. Fr Borst has been Principal at the St. Joseph’s School, Baramulla and the Burn Hall School, Srinagar.
It is true that Dr.Farooq Abdullah to Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and the present Chief Minister Omar Abdullah all are the products of the schools started by the missionaries both the Catholic and Protestant.
I am reminded of the days of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi when the Swiss Augustinian missionaries in St Augustine’s school Kalimpong (N.Bengal) were served quit India order on the pretext of “national security”. When their appeal to reason and hallowed constitutional rights did not prevail, the missionaries approached their home department which deftly intervened by threatening to freeze Indiraji’s Swiss Bank accounts… And presto, the missionaries were served a fresh letter from the Home Ministry praising their work among the hill tribe!!!