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-- Juror-- Shaji N. Karun


Born in Perinad Taluk, Kerala in 1952, Karun graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India in 1974 and became the cinematographer for over 30 feature films including those of the world acclaimed director G. Aravindan. He won the National Film Award for Best Cinematography in 1979 for G. Aravindan's The Circus Tent ("Thampu"), and made his directorial debut in 1988 with The Birth ("Piravi" which was followed by My Own ("Swaham," 1994). Both works received critical praise at International Film Festivals in Cannes, Locarno and London. Currently in pre-production of his third feature film co-production with France. He has also made many short films and documentaries.

Juror's Statement

Vision has limitations but mind is far free of these limits: it becomes a creative tool for any Documentary filmmaker. The individuals try to experience things and in return they receive passion and sorrows.

The filmmaker identifies what is required and chisels out that which is not wanted. We identify him as a sculptor: always working on hard surfaces and deciding what pressure he should use on his tool to discard the portions not wanted. By this process he brings out the soul that is hidden. The limitations of vision can thus be described as the tool to the creator. His mind becomes a sharp implement to penetrate this faulty boundary.

For example, the simple natural phenomena--Death. The northern and southern hemispheres have two entirely different ways of "seeing" death. Differences can be found in the East and West, too. The visualization of death varies from person to person, locale to locale. They are the sum of social inputs plus memories inherited from the "past." Here the documentary filmmaker turns into an author and a philosopher. He should blend like creator. The Indian concept of God is as the ultimate, as a creator. The next position is occupied by the artist. And of what is this position composed? Whenever a genuine artist decides to create his precept, he must deal with many delicate layers: judgment, opinion, concern, considerations, thoughtfulness and affinity to "Spirituality." Who ever perceives this, "spirituality" can be called a Documentary filmmaker.

What is this "spirituality" ? It is the search for truth. A filmmaker searches for this via his own means, by the way of photography, sound, etc. Life is something not be composed in frames of cinema, but Cinema is one that understands and sympathizes with the images of life. The Filmmaker, now finds his position next to God.

My Own

(18k) The modest happiness of a family running a coffee shop in a rural village suddenly falls apart with the death of the father. The business goes under, and the family is forced to move out of the home they have lived in for years so that the landlord can sell it. Even through such sufferings, the family stands close together, truly united by love. Then the eldest son decides to enlist in the army for a better future for the family, but. . . . Depicting the agony of the people of the "Third World" (a term of the so-called developed countries) in their cruel reality of life, this film was acclaimed at the Cannes Film Festival, and on other occasions, for its astonishing realism.
Director: Shaji N. Karun
Script: Reghunath Paleri, Shaji N. Karun
S. Jayachandran Nair
Photography: Hari Nair
Editing: Raman Nair
Music: S. Raghavan
Art Director: Padmakumar C.P
Cast: Venmani Vishnu
Aswani, Sarath, Praseetha
Producer: S. Jayachandran Nair
Production Company: Film Folk
Piravi 15/222 Udarasiomani Road, Vallayambalam, Trivandrum 695010, Kerala
INDIA Phone & Fax: 91-471-323111
Source : Fukuoka City Public Library
3-7-1 Momochihama, Sawara-ku, Fukuoka 814 JAPAN
Phone: 81-92-852-0608 / Fax: 81-92-852-0609
INDIA / 1994 / Malayalam / Color / 35mm / 141 min


Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee