November 21, 2016
The Kovai Film Society aims to educate and inspire. Started by documentary filmmaker SPB Bhaskaran, the Society organises regular screenings of award-winning films, including the timeless works of master filmmakers Satyajit Ray, Vittorio De Sica and Akira Kurosawa.
“I am passionate about good cinema, so much so that I have changed my name to ‘Ulaga Cinema Rasikan’ (connoisseur of world cinema),” said Bhaskaran, who produced and directed ‘Sakalakala Vallavar’ a 52-minute documentary on actor Kamal Haasan, which was telecast on Raj TV. He also has over 50 ad films to his credit.
The Society aims not only to expose movie buffs and connoisseurs to amazing global celluloid works, but also to inspire youngsters to do similar work. “The Society successfully organised a children’s film festival in October in the city, which featured 100 world-class children films, including ‘Children of Heaven’, ‘Red Balloon’ and ‘Spirited away’. Hundreds of children took part in the festival and benefited enormously,” said Bhaskaran, who is Secretary of the Society.
“Director Balaji Shakthivel, who inaugurated the festival, regretted that the Indian cinema is yet to produce good children’s films and also urged the Tamil filmmakers to do so,” Bhaskaran recollected.
Kovai Film Society debuted with a screening of ‘Taxi’ by Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi, which won the Golden Bear at the Berlin International festival in 2015. “Taxi” was filmed within a taxi as its only location, when the director was a fugitive due to political pressures from Iranian government.
The Society clubs a film’s screening with a documentary based on the films. “The documentaries carry interviews and information on actual film-making, the subject etc,” said Bhaskaran. “The audience can enjoy the film better if they know more about its director, his thought process, and hardships he had gone through to make his pet project. So it becomes a complete cinema education for the connoisseur.”