In post-war Sri Lanka, Sinhala cinema is all about triumphal cultural nationalism. What options does a Tamil film-maker have, faced with the twin threats of a surveillance state and a populist mainstream cinema from Tamil Nadu that dominates popular imagination? By SIVAMOHAN SUMATHY
From films highlighting moral values to those portraying “illegality as enterprise”, ethical motifs in popular Hindi cinema have undergone a tremendous change. By M.K. RAGHAVENDRA
Kailasam Balachander has carved for himself a unique place in the history of Tamil cinema as a director who explored social themes in a manner that stimulated in viewers an appetite for such bold creations. Today, at the age of 82, Balachander has expanded his creative horizon to explore the limits of television as a medium to express himself. In 2010, KB, as he is fondly called by his admirers, became the first Tamil film director to be honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award.
M. Karunanidhi, five-time Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, has made many a contribution to Tamil cinema. Apart from writing stories for several films, he has penned the screenplay and dialogues for more than 75 films and lyrics for about 20 films. His five production companies have produced more than 26 films. In his movies, he has espoused the cause of the Self-Respect Movement launched by ‘Periyar’ E.V. Ramasamy. A special article by M. KARUNANIDHI
The closure of Prasad Colour Lab, the largest commercial film laboratory in the country, spells the end of film. With this epochal shift, an entire way of life with its highs and lows stands altered.
The 9th Eurasia International Film Festival in Almaty, Kazakhstan, had a bouquet of memorable films. By MANOJ BARPUJARI
Mainstream Indian cinema’s hundred year spree makes for a pulsating narrative. Though it has gone from selling dreams in the initial days to commodifying wish-fulfilment fantasies in recent years, the journey is nowhere near its end. By SASHI KUMAR
Balu Mahendra passed out of the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, in 1969. He began his career as a cameraman for the Malayalam film Nellu in 1974 and his directorial debut with the Kannada film Kokila in 1977. He won the National Film Award for Best Cinematography for Kokila and for Moondram Pirai (1983). His Veedu won the National Film Award for the Best Feature Film.
Kamal Hassan. Having been part of the film world for 54 of his 58 years, Kamal Hassan is today an epitome of versatility. His career started with a bang: he won the President’s Gold Medal for his debut role in Kalathur Kannamma, when he was just six years old. In this interview he gave Frontline at his office in Chennai, this quintessential actor comes across not only as an artist with a passion for cinema but also as a thinker with unique perspectives on the social, political and ideological issues underlying this modern art form. By R. VIJAYA SANKAR and R. ILANGOVAN