Homage to a Fearless filmmaker:C Saratchandran
C. Saratchandran was born on 16 February 1958. Had his education in MG College, Trivandrum and at Dharmadam. During his student years, was involved in the resistance/movement against emergency. After obtaining his graduation, he traveled all over India, working as an accountant in a construction Company. His apprenticeship in filmmaking was from Late Sri. G Aravindan, and the Late John Abraham. During the 1980’s he was involved with Samkramanam, a radical magazine published from Kochi. He was also involved with the agitation for conservation of Silent Valley .For ten years; he worked in Saudi Arabia as Education Promotion Consultant for the British Council.
He was one of the first to realize the potential of the new electronic media in the 1980s. In the late eighties he started making documentary films on VHS. He also took it as a mission to screen his own films and others’ films on people’s issues throughout the length and breadth of Kerala and the neighbouring states. Saratchandran often become an active participant in the struggles he documented. His screenings played a pivotal role in raising public awareness on environment and giving focus to the debates on environmental issues and people’s struggles in Kerala.
He was the co founder and active organizer of the VIBGYOR film festival. He was the artistic director of ViBGYOR 2010 at Trisshur which concluded recently. He was also a prominent supporter of VIKALP, a platform to defend freedom of expression and to resist censorship.
At the time of his demise he was working on documentaries on industrial pollution due to a gelatin factory near-- Trichur, and a film on the current state of “Chaliar River”
He Learnt film making from John Abraham and G. Aravindam Worked in Saudi for British Council as Education promotion consultant. Started documenting social struggles in '80s and was often involved in the struggles he set out to document. His documentaries were focused on environmental issues. He passed away on April 1st 2010 when he fell out of a train near Kodakara
Films of Saratchandran
Films of Saratchandran
Save the Western Ghats March: The Kerala Experience (1987)
No to Dams A Pooyamkutty Tale (1988).
Ellam Asthamikkum Munpe (1989)
Co-directed with P Baburaj, ‘Chaliyar…The Final Struggle’ in 1999.
Special Mention, MIFF 2000
The Bronze Tree Award, Vatavaran 2002
Kanavu (Dream), a film on a tribal children’s commune in Wynad of Kerala 2001
Co-directed with P Baburaj, ‘The Bitter Drink’ 2003. on the Plachimada struggle
Evicted from Justice – a video report on Muthanga massacre 2003.
Co-directed with P Baburaj ‘Only An Axe Away’ 2005. – on Silent Valley
Jeevan TV award for Best documentary.
Jury Prize, Mumbai International Film Festival, 2008
Co-directed with P Baburaj ‘1000 Days and A Dream’. 2006 on Plachimada struggle
10th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) Indian Jury Award Winner.
Directed Your’s Truly John (2008), a video essay on John Abraham, the film maker.
Directed To die for land – the ultimate sacrifice – on Chengara land struggle.
He was also, involved in the making of: Living in Fear (K P Sasi) 1985; The Eighteenth Elephant – 3 Monologues ( P Balan)2001 Purooravas a Malayalm feature film (Sivaprasad)1986; Narmada A Valley Refuses to Die (K P Sasi in 1989); Ek Alag Mausam a Hindi feature film (K P Sasi ) 2000; The Turtle People( Surabhi Sharma) 2002. Express Highway: The Road to Destruction (Sanju Surendran) 2004.
A known Under Construction filmmaker, C. Saratchandran was known for films like Save the Western Ghats March: The Kerala Experience (1987); No to Dams: A Pooyamkutty Tale (1988); Ellam Asthamikkum Munpe(1989); Kanavu (Dream), a film on a tribal children’s commune in Wayanad (2001); Evicted from Justice – a video report on Muthanga massacre (2003); Your’s Truly John, a video essay on John Abraham, the film maker (2008); and To die for land – the ultimate sacrifice, on Chengara land struggle.
His association with P. Baburaj resulted in films like Chaliyar…The Final Struggle (1999), which won The Bronze Tree Award, Vatavaran 2002; and The Bitter Drink (2003) on the Plachimada struggle against Coca-cola plant, and Only an Axe Away, a film on the struggle to save the unique ecosystem of Silent Valley
The bodies of environmentalist and filmmaker C. Saratchandran, 52, and Sebastian, 45, were found on a railway track near Nelluvai. The police say that the duo fell from the general compartment of the Guruvayur-Chennai Express around 10.30 p.m. Sarath was traveling from Thrissur to Ernakulam and Sebastian to Angamaly. According to his friends, he had come to Thrissur from Kochi on Wednesday to attend a wedding reception.
Saratchandran was born in 1958 to N.Chandrasekhran Nair, renowned Hindi scholar and founding president of Kerala Hindi Sahitya Academy, and Sarada, daughter of social activist and Gandhian M.P. Manmadhan. He was married to Sudha, administrative staff at Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam. At the time of death, he was working on documentaries on industrial pollution caused by a gelatine factory in Thrissur and on the present condition of Chaliyar River.
C Sarat is known for documentaries like Save the Western Ghats March: The Kerala Experience (1987); No to Dams: A Pooyamkutty Tale (1988); Ellam Asthamikkum Munpe(1989); Kanavu (Dream), a film on a tribal children's commune in Wayanad (2001); Evicted from Justice – a video report on Muthanga massacre (2003); Your's Truly John, a video essay on John Abraham, the film maker (2008); and To die for land – the ultimate sacrifice, on Chengara land struggle.
His association with P. Baburaj resulted in films like Chaliyar…The Final Struggle (1999), which won The Bronze Tree Award, Vatavaran 2002; and The Bitter Drink (2003) on the Plachimada struggle against Coca-cola plant.
The 10th Filca International film festival, organized by the Film Lovers Cultural Association in collaboration with the Directorate of Film Festivals, National Film Archives of India, Department of Culture and Federation of Film Societies of India, to be held from May 7 -13 will be paying homage to the Filmmaker
The week-long festival will screen 35 feature films and 6 films in the documentaries and short film sections. As a Homage tribute to activist documentary film-maker C Sarath chandran--To die for land, the ultimate sacrifice is a key attraction at the fest.
At New delhi Friends, colleagues and Filmmakers are organizing a one day retrospective of Saratchandran Films on 8th May, 2010 at India Habitat center’s Gulmohar
An activist and his films: Remembering Sarat
Date: Saturday, May 8, 2010
Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: Gulmohar, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi
Activism and Films:
Speakers include Professor A K Ramakrishnan, Vijayan MJ, Aanchal Kapur and Sanjay Kak
The Bitter Drink (2003)
26 mins/ English
This film documents the formative days of a David and Goliath battle. The people of Plachimada (in Kerala), a majority of them tribals, launched a struggle against one of the most powerful corporations in the world - the Coca Cola Company.
To die for land – the ultimate sacrifice (2009)
30 mins/English subtitles
This film captures the dalit-adivasi land reclamation struggle in Chengara, Kerala. Located in Pathanamthitta district, Chengara is witness to the occupation, by some 5000 dalit-adivasi families, of over 2000 acres of land illegally claimed by the Harrison Malayalam Company Ltd. For the people who took over this commercial rubber plantation, the occupation is a defiant way to highlight their situation - over the years, plantation companies in collusion with state agencies have ensured that dalits and adivasis are now alienated from their ancestral homes.
Tags: C Saratchandran , Alternate Cinema , Documentaries , G Aravindam , Trivandrum , Late John Abraham , India Habitat Centre , New Delhi , Sebastian And Sarat
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