The MIPMC Research Group at Northumbria University provides a hub for staff and postgraduate researchers who are engaged with the analysis of the moving image and popular media in all its forms, from theoretical, historical, practice-based, industrial and empirical/sociological perspectives
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Research Seminars and Events

Amma Ariyan/Report to Mother (dir. John Abraham, 1986, Malayalam with English Subtitles) followed by a conversation with Bina Paul, the editor of the film.

Venue:  Northumbria University, City Campus, Ellison Building, Block B, Room 003 

Time: 2 to 5 pm (film + discussion + refreshments)

Amma Ariyan is a pathbreaking film in many ways. It is experimental aesthetically and the way it was made and screened beyond the commercial production/distribution practices. In an effort to create “People’s Cinema” actively engaging the masses, John Abraham and a few of his friends established Odessa Collective in 1984. Amma Ariyan is the first production of Odessa Movies that was made with money collected from its audiences. The film wasn’t theatrically released. The Odessa people took the film directly to its audiences by organising thousands of screenings among communities in all corners of Kerala.  The film begins with a mission statement: “Most films portray reality by exploiting its economic, cultural and political aspects. Odessa’s ‘Report to Mother’ fulfills the ideal of film as a medium of art.”

Amma Ariyan painstakingly chronicles the debates among the left politics while documenting the trials and tribulations of Indian revolutionaries, and tremendous state violence applied to annihilate the left radical movements in India through the 1970s. Noted film scholar and John’s friend  CS Venkiteswaran points out – “Journeys are a recurring metaphor in Abraham’s films – from the personal to the socio-political, from the inside to the outside, from theory to practice, from biography to history, from death to life, from son to mother and vice versa, from guilt to redemption and, sometimes, from guilt to violence.” One witnesses this journey in Amma Ariyan, the last film of John Abraham made just a year before his untimely tragic death. This is the only South Indian film to feature on British Film Institute’s Top 10 Indian Films list in 2011.

We are very excited to have with us Bina Paul who not only edited the film but also travelled throughout Kerala with the filming crew. So, please join us to hear the first hand behind-the-scene accounts about a classic in transnational political cinema.

A national award winning editor and documentary filmmaker, Bina Paul edited over 50 documentaries and feature films and directed four documentary films. She has been the artistic director of International Film Festival of Kerala since its inception in 1996, a deputy director of Kerala State Chalacchitra (Film) Academy and the co-founder of  Women in Cinema Collective, the first organisation in India promoting gender justice, equal opportunity, and safety in workplace for women in film industry.

You are welcome to join us for refreshments after the screening.

Please direct queries regarding the event to: sanghita.sen@northumbria.ac.uk

Past events

4 March 2020
Media@NU PGR Lightning Talks
A series of short presentations by current Northumbria PhD students
Craig Clark: Early Interventions in the Depiction of Psychedelic Culture in US Screen Media
Stuart Frazer: Positive and Negative Representations of Tyneside’s Working-Class in ITV’s The Dwelling Place
Tom May: Aesthetics and Style in Play for Today
Ami Nisa: Remakes, Recycling and the Paranormal Activity Meme in Found Footage Horror

19 February 2020
Cecilia Stenbom (Northumbria)
Screening and discussion of recent and current projects

5 February 2020
Melanie Hoyes (British Film Institute)
The Power of Data: The True Landscape of Diversity in the UK Film Industry

11 December 2019
Becky Bartlett (Glasgow)
Hey Hey, We’re Not Monkeys: Gorilla Men in the Movies

24 October 2019
Evelyn Preuss (Yale) 
Have No Illusion: Konrad Wolf’s Cinema of (Dis)Affect

16 October 2019
Sarah Bowman (Northumbria)
The unfathomable and liminal practice of organisational communications’ 

30 October 2020
Ben Lamb (Teesside)
Assessing changes to the welfare state:  An investigation into the effects of alternative regional media on local services and recipients of care in North East England.