‘This Land is Mine’

I came across this video through Harini’s blog today. The video is an animated short by Nina Paley. It illustrates a brief history of the land that is now called Israel/Palestine. Nina Paley also has a viewer’s guide in her blog. Check out them both.

I was a bit sad and depressed after watching this video, staring at the amount of violence that goes on in the world we live in. Then Aashik sent me this link of a TED talk by Steven Pinker in which Mr. Pinker claims that ‘our ancestors were far more violent than we are, that violence has been in decline for long stretches of time, and that today we are probably living in the most peaceful time in our species’ existence.’ Checkout his excellent talk below.


The following video of Indian Border Security Force soldiers treating a Bangladeshi cattle smuggler is now going viral in the Internet and making news. What was shot as some sort of ‘souvenir’ has brought out the ugly face of the force. But has the Abu Ghraib style torture shaken the Congress government? No. Instead, Pranab Mukherjee says that the incident must not be ‘hyped’. But is that response surprising?

For a moment, let us put aside the matter of how we treat the neighbors and look into our own yard. We have implemented an inhumane law called AFSPA in our own states. This special privilege has allegedly let our men in uniform to rape women and kill those who oppose and orchestrate encounter killings. And how have we reacted to it? Even with the mothers from Manipur going naked in protest with holding the banner “Indian Army, rape us“, we still keep that law intact. There is Irom Sharmila who has been fasting for over a decade, but nobody cares. Some people justifies what goes on in Manipur or in other parts of North East India as we must not let our soldiers’ spirits down. That it must not be ‘hyped’.

Imagine – if the following is what our forces are doing to our neighbors, where there is no special privilege act, what would be happening to the people of North East India with a special act like AFSPA to back the army? Any why is our social conscience not outraged by this?

Think about it on this Republic Day.

A homemade short film

I usually try and find some time to spend with my nieces and nephews when they come home. So one day they were at my place and wanted to check out my phone. I asked them if they would be interested in making a ‘movie’. They were excited and I made them say some nonsense dialogues and captured it on the video. When I showed it to them, their excitement knew no bounds. So they wanted to do another ‘movie’. But I wanted to catch up with my sisters and have a chat with them downstairs. So just to get rid of the kids, I told them to come up with a story of their own, write down the dialogues and then I would shoot the movie. I gave them an hour, so that I could be free for some time. But I never thought that they would take it up seriously and return with a written storyline and dialogues in just FIFTEEN MINUTES! πŸ™‚

I was totally surprised and impressed when I looked at the story line. They had a title, dialogues, an interesting ‘horror’ story and even a twist at the end. All these from two kids (Kevin and Anthony) who are just about 10 years old (I have not changed a thing in their story and dialogues). So I called up the other nieces and nephews, asked them to do something or the other. So Divya took care of the make-up, my wifey Sony helped with costumes, Neenu and Minna were hesitant but thenΒ  agreed to play the roles of the vampire and mom respectively. So within 20 minutes, the shoot was complete. Even though this was meant to be some fun work for the kids, I was equally excited as them because this is my first experiment in making a short movie (if you call this a short movie). I had some fun time with post-production experiments too. πŸ™‚ I just finished editing the movie and just uploaded on YouTube. The original cast & crew are yet to see the final product; I intend to show it to them in the coming weekend.

So here comes “The vampire and a family”. The kids would appreciate your comments and I intend to show it to them. πŸ™‚


Story, Screenplay: Kevin, Anthony
Make-up: Divya
Costumes and dubbing assistance: Sony
Starring: Kevin, Anthony, Minna (the mom) and Neenu (the vampire)
Cinematography, editing, sound & visual effects, direction: Their uncle pandit πŸ˜‰

Camera: Nokia E7
Softwares: Windows Live Movie Maker (video), Audacity (audio)

‘My Fellow American’

Here is “My Fellow American“, an online film and social media project, that is trying to do something about Islamophobia with sharing stories of people and trying to raise awareness. Checkout their website My Fellow American and also watch the teaser video below.

In all the material I have seen and read about Islam and the common perceptions about it, I have never seen or read a convincing speech like the TED talk given by Mustafa Akyol which makes a lot of sense. A must watch.

Wilson Pereira

Wilson Pereira is a short film by Dhaneesh Jameson and it has vocal narrations of Mohan Lal (Malayalam), Nasirudeen Shah (Hindi) and Tom Alter (English). The film tells the story of Wilson Pereira, a cemetry keeper. The story that unfolds take you for a mystery ride. Beautiful animation, music and voice overs by some very talented actors. Check it out.

Wilson Periera (Malayalam) from Dhaneesh Jameson on Vimeo.

Manju Pole Oru Swapnam: Song video

Back in 2008, I had an interesting music project to work on. Those of you who follow my blog would have read about it. The opportunity was to compose and sung for a Malayalam telefilm project but the song was never officially released. This is a UK Malayalee production and was entirely shot in the UK. You can read more about it in this blog post. Now the song video is complete and it will soon appear in the Malayalam TV channels. So here is an exclusive online release of the song. Do check it out and let your honest comments pour in. πŸ™‚ Thanks much!

Song video credits:

Lyrics: James Bright
Composed and sung by: Joseph Thomas
Camera: Chris Stevens
Editor: Prem & Xian
Director: Jayaram Sthanumalayan

Music credits:

Orchestration: Ajit Gopalakrishnan
Rhythm Programming: Bharath Venkatesan
Mixing: Nandu Mahadevan

(My thanks to Dr James Bright and Jayaram for making this happen!)

“The Juniors”

Got the link to this shortfilm through an email from someone I don’t know. I don’t have any details, but this is a brilliant work. I could see glimpses of a Quentin Tarantino style in this movie and the guys who did this really deserve a thumbs up! Watch it.

Gandhi in “Chatroom”

A friend of mine drew attention to a 2010 British film “Chatroom” which seems to have depicted Gandhi in an insulting manner. By the way, I am not a hardcore Gandhi fan so you know that is not the reason I am posting this here. I would not have bothered if it was some creative criticism on Gandhi but this seems to be pure sleaze which is totally uncalled for (and let me add, I have not seen the film, but just the clip, and I also hear from those who have seen the film that this has nothing to do with the story line).