It is very thrilling to see your film causing some change on the real ground. Yesterday was such a great day to witness something like that. Happend to participate in the final day screenings of Mundakkayam Film Festival organised by the society. Kannan Nair (Kabeer in Sexy Durga) and Roman Tscheidl, Austrian journalist were also with me. Roman is in India for his radio program about Indian films. Early in the morning he visited the office of Kazhcha Film Forum and recorded some conversation on the controversy and court cases of Sexy Durga.
Mundakkayam Film Society was formed exactly 3 weeks before with the aim to release SDurga in a theatre at Mundakkayam. It was one among the 25 groups who came forward to facilitate the local distribution of the film immediately after my facebook post regarding the plan of parallel distribution deviced by Kazhcha Film Forum. They could release the film successfully in their local theatre. The success of the film release led them to continue with many activities. They organised a film festival in three weeks and Screened films which were in IFFK along with Oraalppokkam and Ozhivudivasathe Kali, my previous two movies. Majority of the audience have not seen such films in their life time.
We reached there right after the screening of my first film Oraalppokkam. I was little scared about the reaction from the audience because I thought that the abstract visuals in the later parts of the film might cause problems for the audience. But to my surprise, there I saw one of the most active post screening discussion about the film.
The organisers of the film society are C V Anilkumar, Sunil Sebastian, Jeneesh K, George Mundakkayam, Jyothi Don, K Rajesh, Raju. The festival was in the Nayanar Bhavan, which is on the upper storey of the CPIM Party office. Local Secretary is the president of the the film society. The audience are from all political parties and without any hesitation they came and watched the movies. I wish the new meeting place created by some peoples love for art film will last long and hope that it will emerge as common space for discussion and debates about differences of opinion. This can be adapted as a model for all political parties. If our political party offices have such cultural spaces where all partymembers can access and enjoy films (or any kind of art) without any restrictions, we can reduce a lot of violent and depressing tensions between rival parties and develop a more peaceful and creative political atmosphere.
On our way back, Roman was saying that he had never seen such an active discussion after the screening in any villages. I felt really proud for a moment that SDurga distribution has kickstarted such an active film society which has already started to influence the viewing culture of people around