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The end of the affair

RV Ramani's 90-minute documentary, My Camera and Tsunami, is a nostalgic tale about the filmmaker's most prized possession: the handycam that he lost to the 2004 Tsunami

Somewhere in the devastation of the Tsunami of December 26, 2004 that claimed thousands of lives, and displaced more, lay a handycam once owned by filmmaker RV Ramani. "I was on the beach facing the huge Tsunami," says Ramani, who followed his instincts and filmed the earthquake.


Picture for representative purpose only. Pic/ AFP

The image was the last that his camera would capture, but which would eventually be lost, despite his having eventually recovered the camera. "In a way, all that I was doing with this camera over a period of four years, collapsed into the notion that the image doesn't exist," says the filmmaker, who would further explore the theme in My Camera and Tsunami.

The 90-minute impressionist documentary details Ramani's fondest recollections of his camera, and is also an exploration of the construct of reality. The film includes the last recorded image on the camera which, the director claims, is an elusive one, evoking multiple perspectives.

Speaking of his bond with his "partner", the camera, Ramani says, "It became a constant companion and was also a professional tool. I used the camera in negotiating and dialoguing my preoccupations and concerns." The filmmaker adds that he went on to "resolve certain personal situations and relationship woes" by engaging in the "image-making process".



Ramani, who has 25 independent films to his credit, admits that most of his movies are independent of fixed notions or ideas. "I work largely in the plane of experience, rather than of information. I emphasise subjectivity, and also incorporate the process of making into my film," he explains.

The Mumbai-born filmmaker's love affair with the image can be traced to his love of photography, which he took up as a hobby while still in college. After working as a photojournalist in the city, Ramani went on to learn Motion Picture Photography from the Film and Television Institute of India, in Pune.

After working in Mumbai for four years, he moved to Chennai, where he worked as a cinematographer and documentary filmmaker. Next up, Ramani plans a film on the area he grew up in. He says, "It looks at Worli from a historical and contemporary perspective."

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