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Campus Talk: Pachathuruthukal: A Short Film By Students For The People
Nikhil Banarjee, a tenth standard student in Christ Nagar School, Trivandrum wrote the script and directed the 20 minute short film, thereby fulfilling a cherished dream | By Mukesh Venu
On Mar 19, 2012

 

Christ Nagar has been one of the foremost educational institutions in Trivandrum for the past thirty seven years. Trying to get the best out of their children and helping them find their own forte has given the school many memorable occasions to be proud of. One such is the short film 'Pachathrurthukal', made by a team of students and teachers on behalf of the Nature's Club of the school. The script for the film was prepared by a tenth standard student Nikhil Banarjee, who has also directed the twenty minute long film.

 

 

“It all began three years ago,” says Malayalam teacher, Thomas Poovattil, who also was the camera man for the film. “When he was in the seventh standard, I had asked the class to prepare a script on a particular story as assignment. We follow that procedure every year. And Nikhil always has shown a deep passion for making films. He saw it as an opportunity; three years later he approached us with this plan of making a short film on behalf of the Nature's Club.”

 

Exams –usually are right on top of  the priority list of  boys of Nikhil Banarjee's age. But he appears vaguely disinterested was and is more enthusiastic to talk about the film.

“It is a film that focuses on showing the way humans are moving away from nature. The story revolves around a village girl who forms a deep bond with her teacher.”

The 'village girl' was played by Ardra, a sixth standard student. Other than the child artiste, two teachers, Preena and Swapna and even the principal Fr Kurien Chalangady, played parts in the film, helping it turn into a reality.

 

 

“The first location was a paddy field in Punnampara, Venjaramoodu, belonging to an award winning farmer, Bhaskaran Nair. Then we shot some scenes inside the owner's house, with his permission of course, and then one at a hotel in Devaswom Board Jn. It was hard work from the beginning to the end.”

More than anything else, Nikhil Banarjee sees the experience he gained in making 'Pachathuruthukal' as a glimpse of what it is like to be a real film director.

 

“My entire viewpoint on films has changed ever since. Understanding the difficulties and limitations in making a film was a real eye opener for me.”

He credits the happening of 'Pachathurthukal' to the undying support he received from his teachers.

 

 

“Especially Preena teacher who helped with the script and acted in the film as well and Thomas sir for being the camera man.”

'Pachathuruthukal' was made simply out of a passion that Nikhil has been nursing ever since he can remember. More than anything else...

“... it will be a token of remembrance for all associated with the film to remind us of our school days.” says Nikhil.

 

 

The film directed by Nikhil Banarjee has other students like Mehendi Hussain as Production Controller, Anjana writing the dialogues, Joseph Pakkumala as Art Director and Nivedita and Ellen as Executive Producers, while Vishak S assists Thomas Poovattil on the camera.

Nikhil wants to send the film to various festivals. He also plans to join and learn Visual Communication after school and then to direct an animation film. Stumbling blocks are bound to crop up on the way, but sheer will has always found a way through them. 'Pachathurthukal' was a joint effort by a team of students and teachers to break the monotony in the academic year by creating an output that is out there to be seen and that which could be shown to everyone. More such efforts are being awaited, to bring a change to the way children are being viewed as 'mark' scoring machines whose virtue lie in sticking  to textbooks and scoring high in exams, which in fact is an indecisive and inconclusive evidence of a child's ability.

 
 
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