Have you seen the arana?

Ningal aranaye kando?
Director: Sunanda Bhat
English (subtitled), 73 min, 2012, India
The film interweaves contemporary narratives with an ancient tribal creation myth to explore the effects of a rapidly changing landscape on lives and livelihoods.
Have you seen the arana?
A still from Have you seen the arana?

The film interweaves contemporary narratives with an ancient tribal myth to explore the effects of a rapidly changing landscape on lives and livelihood. Set in Wayanad, part of a rich and bio-diverse region in South India, we journey through a region that is witnessing drastic transformation in the name of ‘development’.

A woman’s concern over the disappearance of medicinal plants from the forest, a farmer’s commitment to growing traditional varieties of rice, organically and a cash-crop cultivator’s struggle to survive amidst farmers’ suicides, offer fresh insights into shifting relations between people, knowledge systems and environment.

As hills flatten, forests disappear and traditional knowledge systems are forgotten, the film reminds us that this diversity could disappear forever, to be replaced by monotonous and unsustainable alternatives.

Producer: Sunanda Bhat, Songline Films
Director: Sunanda Bhat
Camera: Saumyananda Sahi
Editing: Tanushree Das, Bina Paul
Sound: Christopher Burchell, P. M. Satheesh
Cast: M. P. Kalan, P. K. Kariyan, Jochi N. P., Raman Cheruvayil, George Joseph
  • Golden Conch for the Best Documentary Film (above 40 minutes), Mumbai International Film Festival, 2014
  • Best Cinematographer (Saumyananda Sahi), Mumbai International Film Festival, 2014
  • Best Sound Recordist (Christopher Burchell), Mumbai International Film Festival, 2014
Select Screenings:
  • International Film Festival of India, Goa, 2012
  • 23rd African, Asian and Latin American Film Festival, Milan, 2013
  • International Film Festival for Environment, Health and Culture, Jakarta, 2013
  • 6th International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala, India, 2013
  • Female Eye Film Festival, Toronto, Canada, 2013
  • Ladakh International Film Festival, September 2013
  • 10th Salento Film Festival, Tricase, Italy, September 2013
  • India Film Week, Hamburg, Germany, September, 2013
  • Jeevika Livelihood Film Festival, New Delhi, September 2013
  • Signes de Nuit International Film Festival, Paris, October, 2013
  • 6th Kuala Lumpur Eco Festival, October 2013
  • 8th Seattle South Asian Film Festival, October 2013
  • Jean Rouch Film Festival, Paris, November 2013
  • 14th Annual Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival, Nov 2013
  • 2nd International Film Festival of Fiji
  • Signs Films Festival, Trivandrum, Kerala, 2013
  • Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival, Noida, India
  • International Film Festival of Trissur, Kerala, India
  • Nashik Film Festival, India, 2013
About the Director:

Sunanda's interest in documentaries is to represent people living on the margins of a fascinatingly intricate and stratified Indian society. Unraveling these layers reveal glimpses of lives that are often far more interesting than fiction.

She started Songline Films in 1996 inspired by Bruce Chatwin’s book by the same name. She has made several commissioned films for NGOs on social issues. Her short film 'Ini Oru Vidhi Seyvoam’ (‘Let's make it right') on rural sanitation won the 'Gold Drop' award at Marseilles in France, while ‘Bol Ayesha Bol’ (Speak Ayesha Speak) was screened at the International Film Festival, Amsterdam.

Posted by Magic Lantern Foundation on April 29, 2017

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