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  • Film shows for the community

  • Research & documentation on cinema

  • Publication of 'Aurofilm Info'

  • Film workshops and student training

  • Film festivals and invitation of personalities from the world of cinema

Weekly film shows for the community

Once a week or more, films are shown to Aurovilians and guests in the Sri Aurobindo auditorium in Bharat Nivas, the Pavilion of India in Auroville's International Zone. The aim is to present cinema according to the direction Mother has given for Auroville. The team tries to choose films - recent or 'old' - that will have an impact on the audience in terms of artistic, cultural, social, educational or experimental values. Auroville being situated in India, priority is given to the discovery and promotion of Indian art films. For this work, we browse lists of titles available in India through various government or private parties, and rent them for an evening.

Research work

A large part of the work consists of:

  • Centralisation of published material (photos & texts) and classification of the same for the Aurofilm Library/Documentation Centre on cinema.

  • Finding new contacts with film distributors for film programming, and updating of the lists of available films.

  • Searching within these film lists to find the director, the subject, the language, etc (especially for discovery of the numerous contemporary Indian films).

  • Research for the writing and publication of the 'Aurofilm Info' newsletter distributed to viewers.

  • Making contact with film laboratories, film studios, cine-equipment suppliers and raw stock distributors for organising and finding sponsorship for the Auroville Film Workshop

  • Elaboration and writing up of projects to develop our activities; investigating possible funding sources; and actually obtaining funds for the needed equipment and materials, etc

  • Undertaking research concerning the future building of a Movie Hall and Film Institute for Auroville: the location, architectural proposals, technical requirements, budget, fund raising plans, etc.

Publication of 'Aurofilm Info'

Aurofilm Info is an in-house monthly newsletter which was started in October 1998. Normally we distribute around 70 copies only, generally in the beginning of the month to the Aurovilians regularly attending the film shows. The newsletter aims at informing people about the work of various film directors, gives information on coming films, shares articles on the cinema of India or cinema in general, informs readers about our work and research in Aurofilm, etc. It also, of course, gives the programme of film shows for the coming month.

Film workshops/training for Auroville students

Whenever possible, we like to welcome students for training sessions on cinema and filming work. Also, once a year, we try and organise a film workshop as an opportunity to work with various Auroville students on a complete film project: the choice of subject, writing of the script, film shooting, sound recording, editing and projection. While we also use video, we usually shoot in 16mm film and work with the film laboratory facilities of Chennai for the post-production. The films will be blown up to 35mm if funds are available.

Invitation of personalities from the cinema world

Various renown personalities from the cinema world in India have been invited for presentations, film appreciation classes, lectures, workshops, film festivals and seminars in Auroville. For instance, during the last weekend of January 2000, a 3-day study programme on 'An Introduction to Indian Cinema' was organised and for this Mr. P.K. Nair, former Director of the National Film Archive of India, in Pune, agreed to conduct a programme consisting of four sessions of three hours each.
Also Mr. Adoor Gopalakrishnan, one of the best known Indian film directors, whose work is internationally known and acclaimed, stayed in Auroville for some time.

Auroville Film Institute

For the time being, these different activities function on the one hand within the context of SAIIER (Sri Aurobindo International Institute of Educational Research) as regards to the film projections & research work. On the other hand, regarding the Film Workshops and special events like festivals and invitations, funds are raised from different sources within Auroville and outside.

The above are the activities the team has been working on up to now, in the hope that they can be continued and developed in the future. The projection side of the work gives a basis of awareness and knowledge regarding the qualities and potentialities of this powerful art form, and the educational side of it allows interested and dedicated students to experiment, practice and be creative through it. Meanwhile we hope to grow and enlarge our team to become the Auroville Film Institute, a place for future film appreciation, study, research and production.


Contact: aurofilm@auroville.org.in

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