February 27, 2017 9:31:00 am
For his brilliant cinematic rendition of the abstruse work of a mathematical genius, city-based Nandan Kudhyadi has won three awards for the fourth docu-drama on Srinivasa Ramanujan: The Mathematician and His Legacy at the seventh National Science Film festival. Vigyan prasar, an autonomous organisation under the Department of Science and Technology and National Council of Science Museums, organised the festival in Kolkata between February 14 and 18.
The three awards include the Bronze Beaver Award, Technical Excellence Award: Direction for creating an absorbing narrative that moves with ease between documentary interviews, vivid reenactments and explanatory graphics and Technical Excellence Award: Research for its exploration into contemporary applications of Ramanujan’s abstract theories, and for his meticulous attention to its biographical detail. Earlier last December, the same film had won the Jury Award at the India International Science Festival 2016.
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An FTII graduate, Kudhyadi has more than 65 documentaries to his credit. Several of his documentaries have won top national awards, and have been screened at various international film festivals, including Cinema du Reel, Tokyo, Brussels, Vancouver, Pusan, Hawaii, Karlovy Vary. “The awards are special and coming as it does ahead of National Science Day (February 28), I am happy to contribute my bit in popularising science,” said the filmmaker.
“In Class VIII, we had a brilliant science teacher who engaged us with a lucid explanation about theories and such. However, my interest dwindled as subsequent teachers could not recreate that magic. I got training in painting and artistry. It was much later that I met an official at the Department of Science and Technology, who helped revive my interest in science. After all, completing a painting is like striking a balance with colours to make the picture complete — just as it is while completing an equation,” he said.
Kudhyadi’s cinema is known to tackle contemporary issues with a new perspectives and a keen insight into Indian culture, science and society. The engima of Ramanujan was the very first documentary project produced by NCSTC — the National Council for Science and Technology Communication, more than 25 years back, to commemorate the birth centenary of the great mathematician. This docu-drama paved the way for this genre in India. With authentic information that is meticulously-researched, the film was entirely shot at actual locations, except for Trinity College in Cambridge.
Directed by Nandan Kudhyadi, the film has Raghuvir Yadav essaying the main role and Tom Alter essaying the role of Professor Hardy. It won the Indian Documentary Producers Association’s ‘IDPA Award for Excellence’ for the Best Director and the Best Documentary for the year 1987. Srinavasa Ramanujan : The Mathematician and his legacy (2016) envisions the lifetime achievements of this mathematician with period enactments interviews and animations. Mathematicians around the world find his body of work intriguing, Kudhyadi said, adding that today, nearly a hundred years after his death, the legacy of a self-trained mathematician who straddled the world of numbers in early 20th century continues to inspire and challenge generations of mathematicians.
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