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Drawing inspiration from Bollywood

By K. Santhosh



Students from Georgia who are on a visit to Thrissur to watch traditional performing arts.

THRISSUR, JUNE 8. A group of students from different colleges in Georgia has shot a 15-minute film in India. The untitled film has been shot in North India. The editing and sound recording will be done in U.S.

"The film has been inspired by Bollywood. The story: a poor boy falls love with a rich girl. They face a lot of problems before walking off into the sunset. The film, being made as part of our university project, includes a song-and-dance sequence, the kind of which we see in Hindi films,'' says Briana Green, a member of the group.

She had watched films such as `Pather Panchali', `Bandit Queen', `Sholay' and `Bollywood-bound' before coming to India as part of the university study programme. She interviewed the veteran Tamil director, N. Krishnaswamy (`Padikkatha Medhai'), in Chennai, to get an idea of the way the Indian film industry functions.

"We also visited a film set in Chennai. We watched the actor, Vikram, in action,'' she says. The students visited Thrissur on Tuesday to watch Kathakali, Koodiyattom and other traditional performing arts.

Under the six-week study programme, the University System of Georgia offers introductory courses in Indian history, literature, cinema, performing arts, and Hindi language and literature. The students visited places of historical interest in New Delhi, Agra, Chennai, Mumbai and Aurangabad, and interviewed experts in different disciplines.

"The programme is a part of expanding our curriculum and giving it an international feel. In all, 34 colleges and regional universities are attached to the University System of Georgia,'' says Salli Vargis, associate professor of the Georgia Perimeter College and coordinator of the programme.

Another guide for the programme is Farley Richmond, who has done extensive research on Koodiyattom. The group consists of students of journalism, cinema, biology and music.

Cathy Parrott studies costume design and will do a project on Koodiyattom and Kathakali costumes. "The costumes are amazing,'' she says.

Eric Berg, another member of the group, is a composer and a part of the rock band, Japan Cakes. The fifth album of the band, `Waking Hours', was released recently. He loves sitar and has attended several concerts by the maestro, Pandit Ravishankar, in U.S. "I'd love to study sarod and tabla,'' he says.

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