Strasburg Film Festival film Adavi depicts the Adavi Nainar forest of the western Ghats of India. A new law, the ‘Indian Wild Life Act’ was passed to protect wild life in 1972, but resulted in eviction of all the tribal groups from the Adavi Nainar. While most left Adavi, a man called “Moottukkaani” refused and instead moved deeper into the forest. In his mind, the laws were destroying human identity and their connection with the natural world.
As he grew older, Moottukkaani began searching for a successor to his forest kingdom. One day a bird guides him to an infant washed ashore at a river bank. Named ‘Kutty Raja’ by Moottukkaani, the infant grows amongst nature and gains the tacit knowledge gathered by Moottukkaani during his long life.
Director Biography – VELMURUGAN PERIAVAN
Velmurugan Periyavan Hailing from Cape Comorin in the southern end of India. He is a versatile traveler and photographer grown up in forest and ocean surroundings; it makes him doing research in nature, heritage and culture. Graduating from his native, he then got in to a Diploma course in CINEMATOGRAPHY at India’s pioneer film school, “MGR Government Film and Television Institute”. Employed with the same institute in the year 1999, he is teaching Film making till now. He worked as the Cinematographer for different TV Commercials, TV Serials and Feature Films. In 2017 he authored and published his research work in Tamil language on South Indian Feature Films with the title “Tamil Thiraipada Nootrandu – 2018 (Tamil Film Centenary – 2018). As a mark of South Indian Film Centenary, ADAVI is his debut directorial venture in world common language Silence. This silent movie is the only recent attempt; the last one was made 85 years before in South India.
In the recent few years, exploring into the forest, capturing the lives of forest and keen on birds through photography has been one of my hobbies. Enhancing the enchanting experience through this travel and meeting with feather touching souls, as a maiden step, I have striven to broadcast it through an art form. This silent film is a picture form depicting the exploitation of forests by the so called modernization of the human race, while the forest and its bio diversity is contained and saved over centuries by the evolution of biological regeneration of the nature.
Care has been taken to avoid the distraction of attention to the viewers through the density of dialogues while exhibiting the content with moving pictures. World most audible sound is silence. The power of silence is more powerful than the sounds of thousand voices; this paved the way for making this movie a mute one. Secondly, While, India being the world’s largest film producing pool, this year especially south Indian film Industry witnesses the hundredth year of film making. It was Mr. R. Nataraja mudaliar who initiated the revolution of film industry in the year 1918 in south India by producing the silent film “Keechakavatham”. To commemorate this revolutionary start and to celebrate this centerary anniversary of that memory, This film is specifically made as silent and in monochrome as well. As this film’s subject focuses on the environment, I presume, this film would be a success if it could make a trace of environmental awareness on the minds of viewers.
In this film Adavi, except the character of Moottukkaani, all the other casts in the reels are real. In reality, they are captured into the celluloid as they live every day. They are exposed to a camera for the very first time ever. Especially the boy who is cast as Kuttiraja is a tribe, who has never ever seen a film ever before.