Saturday October 21, 2017

British filmmaker zooms camera on blind Indian chess players

0
18

New Delhi: The world of visually challenged but skilled and calculative chess players in India enraptured Britain based sociologist and filmmaker Ian McDonald to such an extent that he captured their lesser known lives in his documentary “Algorithms”, releasing across India on Friday.

“Blindness is not so much a disability, just an alternative way of existence. It is a more humane world,” McDonald told IANS in a telephonic interview from Chennai, where a special screening of the film was held with an audio-described theatrical preview.McDonald, who was himself a chess player, said the idea for the film was born out of “sheer curiosity”.

ian
longlivecinema.com

“I came across a newspaper report, which talked about blind children playing chess. I carried the newspaper report for two years and we did more research, and we contacted Charudatta Jadhav, the general secretary of the All India Chess Federation for the Blind.
“He invited us to the national blind chess championship in Mumbai in January 2009 where I saw hundreds of blind and visually impaired chess players playing. That’s why I thought to make a film on this subject,” he said.

The film, whose shooting began in 2009, culminated over a period of three years, said McDonald.

“January 2009 was the first shoot and then we invested three years into it. The last shoot was in January 2012. After three years, 250 hours of footage, we have a final product, which is a 100-minute film,” he added.

McDonald also stated that “Algorithms”, which was first premiered in India at the International Film Festival in Goa in 2012, is “very much an Indian film”.

“We took it to international festivals. We got selected in 30. It picked up quite a few awards and now we are bringing it to India again,” he said of the movie, which is being released in theaters across Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kochi by PVR Director’s Rare.

Talking about his experiences with the blind chess players while shooting the film, McDonald said: “I don’t direct, I don’t take interviews, I just capture the events as they unfold. I spend enough time with my subjects so that I can capture the drama. Even though they are aware of my presence, they are less conscious of the camera. They have a realistic response.”

As a filmmaker, McDonald believes he is “dependent” on technology, but the blind people are not.

“I’d follow them in hotel rooms, which would be poorly lit. And I needed lights for the shoots. To that, they would say, ‘That’s your problem, Ian. We don’t need light, you are the disabled one’,” he said.

“As a filmmaker, I am dependent on technology, but they are not. This was a revelatory moment. Of course it is a disability. We use technology to empower us, to overcome our inabilities. If the same technology would be used for the blind people, then I don’t see how they can’t participate in society,” he added.

(IANS)

Next Story

Israel government awards 1 million USD to Indian-origin British sculptor

Kapoor would like to use the award prize to help alleviate the refugee crisis and try to expand the Jewish communitys engagement in a global effort to aid Syrian refugees

0
98
Indian-origin
Anish Kapoor, Credits-(Wikimedia)

Jerusalem, Feb 6: A renowned Indian-origin British Sculptor ‘Anish Kapoor’ was awarded 1 million USD Genesis prize by the Israel government for his towards the Jewish values.

With this award in hand, Kapoor has joined the league of awardees such as Itzhak Perlman- former New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, and actor/director Michael Douglas.

Kapoor, 62, spoke out against “abhorrent government policies” towards refugees as he was named the recipient of this years Genesis prize, dubbed Jewish Nobel, mentioned PTI

NewsGram brings to you current foreign news from all over the world.

The prize committee’ led by Jewish Agency Chairperson- Natan Sharansky, recognized Kapoor as “one of the most influential & motivated artists of his generation”.

Kapoor would like to use the award prize to help alleviate the refugee crisis and try to expand the Jewish communitys engagement in a global effort to aid Syrian refugees.

“Jewish identity and history have witnessed recurring conditions of indifference, persecution and Holocaust. Repeatedly, we have had to repossess ourselves and re-identify our communities,” Kapoor said.

“As inheritors and carriers of Jewish values, it is unseemly, therefore, for us to ignore the plight of people who are persecuted, who have lost everything and had to flee as refugees in mortal danger,” he added.

NewsGram brings to you top news around the world today.

“Outsider consciousness resides at the heart of Jewish identity and this is what motivates me, while accepting the honour of the Genesis Prize, to re-gift the proceeds to refugee causes.”

“I am an artist, not a politician, and I feel I must speak out against indifference for the suffering of others. There are over 60 million refugees in the world today ? whatever the geography of displacement, the refugees crisis is right here on our doorstep,” he added further.

Stan Polovets, chairman and co-founder of the Genesis Prize Foundation, said the profoundness of Kapoor’s work remarks the long history of Jewish endowment to the arts, while his social activism reaffirms the diligence of the Jewish people to humanitarian causes.

Check out NewsGram for latest international news updates.

“We particularly admire how, in an age frequently characterized by cynicism and indifference, Anish continually advocates for the world’s disadvantaged & challenging all of us to do more to help wherever and whenever we can,” Polovets said.

“Anishs commitment to alleviate the plight of Syrian refugees will resonate with the Jewish community, especially young Jews, everywhere.”

-Edited by Ashish srivastava of NewsGram Twitter @PhulRetard

Next Story

The way Kohinoor was projected by British, made it the World’s most Famous Diamond, says Historian William Dalrymple

The Koh-i-Noor is a large, colourless diamond that was found near Guntur in Andhra Pradesh.

0
122
Kohinoor Diamond, Wikimedia

Delhi, Dec 15, 2016: Renowned historian and writer William Dalrymple has given a statement that it was the “British Bragging”  that made Kohinoor famous. And, the way the Kohinoor was projected by them, made the gem world’s most famous diamond.

Dalrymple, in his new book titled, Kohinoor: The Story of the Worlds Most Infamous Diamond, argues that “Kohinoor becoming the gem of gems was British creation. Bigging up their conquest, they consciously put it on show at the Great Exhibition of 1851, and made it into a symbol of what they had taken from India.

NewsGram brings to you top news around the world today.

That has now turned against the British themselves.” The Scottish writer claims that “there were other bigger Mughal diamonds – the Dari-a-Nur which was taken by Nadir Shah to Iran and the Orlov, now in Kremlin, also taken by Nadir Shah and later passed on to Russia. Why is no one calling their return? The answer is that the Great Exhibition made the Kohinoor the most famous diamond in the world.”

Dalrymple’s book, co-authored by noted UK-based Indian journalist Anita Anand, tells the story of how Kohinoor came to be regarded as the “supreme gem”. Through his book, Dalrymple unravels exquisite information about the diamond as it moves from the Mughal courts to Persia to Afghanistan; from Maharaja Ranjit Singhs durbar in Punjab to the Queen of Englands Crown.

Check out NewsGram for latest international news updates.

“It is a very interesting history. We try to trace in the book how it became an icon, when it was never the most famous diamond. When it wasnt the biggest diamond. When the Mughals didnt refer to it anywhere in their writings. Nor did any of the Sultanates,” he said.

According to the PTI reports, Dalrymple quotes, “there is not a single, clear, definitive and unambiguous reference to the Kohinoor before 1750 when it appears in Muhammad Marwis account of Nadir Shah’s campaign. He says, in a Persian passage we translated in this book, that it was attached to one of the peacocks on the Peacock Throne. There is no other reference.”

– prepared by Shambhavi Sinha of NewsGram. Twitter:  @shambhavispeaks

Next Story

Toy Train Stories: Darjeeling adds three more steam engines to its list of rides

Tourists get to relive the romance of British era steam engine after Darjeeling Himalayan Railway decides to add three additional pairs of toy trains

1
492
Train toy Darjeeking. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
  • Darjeeling adding three pairs of toy trains to compliment its Himalayan beauty 
  • At present, only six pairs of the British-era steam engine are being run in the town
  • However, it should be noted that the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway has of late been facing many challenges in the form of frequent landslides during rainy seasons

Guwahati, September 1, 2016: In cheering news to those planning a vacation in Queen of Hills, Darjeeling, the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has decided to introduce three additional pairs of toy trains between Darjeeling and Ghum in the world famous Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR), a UNESCO World heritage Site.

Chief Public relation officer of the NFR, Pranav Jyoti Sharma said on Wednesday that the additional three pairs of trains will be started from September 10 this year to enable tourists to relive the romance of British era steam engine hauled narrow gauge railway tracks without much hassles.

Follow NewsGram on Twitter

At present only six pairs of tourist trains are being run between the six km stretch from Darjeeling and Ghum and return.

“With this introduction scheduled to be operational from September 10, there will be nine pairs of toy trains playing on the 6 km distance between Ghum and Darjeeling. All the three new trains would be hauled by steam Locomotives which have a high heritage appeal among tourists,” he said.

Three of the current six pairs are hauled by steam engine while the rest three are being hauled by Diesel locomotives, he added.

Sharma further said that NFR has recently refurbished as many as 14 narrow gauge coaches by which the seating capacity of these coaches has also been increased to as many as 28 seats from existing 12, 14 and 16-seater coaches.

Follow NewsGram on Facebook

“Such refurbishment and restoration has been very difficult because Narrow Gauge rolling stock is no longer produced and spares, component etc. are also not easily available. With each diesel locomotive hauling three coaches and steam loco hauling two, these 9 trains will haul as many as 21 coaches during the peak season catering to the large festive season rush,” Sharma added.

It may be mentioned here that DHR has of late been facing many challenges in the form of frequent landslides during rainy seasons especially in the portions near Paglajhora and Tindharia. Preservation and conservation of this railway which has been recognized as an asset and accorded World Heritage Status by UNESCO is a task being undertaken by NFR in right earnest. (IANS)

ALSO READ: