About

Self educated filmmaker with more than a decade of experience in participatory, collaborative and intercultural filmmaking in a community based context.

One of the recipients of 2016 next generation bursary and 2015 Artist in the community scheme awards from Arts council Ireland.

Films screened in international film festivals including Uruguay international short film festival and winner of best film and best director award at Fokana film festival, Illinois, USA.

Wrote, directed and did post production for 7 short films and one feature length tele-film collaborating with groups, families and individuals in Ireland.

I have lived in Ireland since 2006 and arrived with a background informed by Indian Keralite culture where I had been immersed in a tradition of Kerala filmmaking.[1] Over the last ten years I have produced and directed seven short self-funded films and in later films with support from the Arts Council. Following the tradition of diasporic or ethnic cinema by filmmakers in Europe [2] in themes and subject matter and utilizing participatory practices of community filmmaking, while collaborating creatively in a similar way to socially engaged art practice methods. I will argue that I have developed a unique practice, possibly as  the only culturally diverse socially engaged filmmaker in Ireland, focused on reflecting experiences of migration, displacement, and diasporic dwelling by way of exploring identity, belonging and intergenerational relationality among migrants from a Keralite, Indian origin.

I work collaboratively with communities and families reflecting the constant need for an immigrant to redefine her/his identity, by ‘seeing many sides of every question without abandoning conviction, and allowing for a chameleon sense of self without losing one’s cultural center’ (Slimbach, 2012: 211). Befitting this shifting sense of self, my practice borrows from and identifies with many filmmaking practices from art house to community filmmaking; including Third, Intercultural, Amateur, Ethno, Accented, Slow and Metamodern cinema, with influences from practices of Docufiction, One-person filmmaking, and Radical film culture.

Central to my practice is an urge to narrate the lives of Indian Keralite migrants living in Ireland and explore the vulnerability and transition of a group of people (the community of which I am part of) in coming to terms with a new culture. My filmmaking methods connect directly with the lives of family, friends and neighbours in a spirit of participation and collaboration to enable zero budget productions which challenge hegemonic commercial film productions and encourage agency in people who are struggling to maintain their own belief systems whilst accepting the inevitability of transitioning into a hybrid acculturalised version of their former selves.    

The films can be framed within amateur (Shand, 2009), diasporic cinema (Naficy, 2001) with ethnographic content delineating the politics of transculturism (MacDougall, 1998) and hybridity (Bhaba, 1994). From an ‘ethnographic cinema’ (Marks, 2000) perspective, though fictionalized, all the films depict the day to day lives of members of the community, giving the films a scope for being cultural texts.

Collaborative community filmmaking is political activism of the artist’s variant. My method essentially, focuses on the filmmaker curating his own response to the experiences with the people he interact with in the collaboration process. Typically the filmmaker identifies interesting personalities first and then investigates their life and environment. This contextualized personalities become the content creators of the project. It is an information system – consisting of the people involved in the project and their lives- the filmmaker imbibes fully and allows himself to be influenced by when devising the form

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