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City anchor: Forgotten Memories: Camera’s tryst with dementia

This is how Rajeev Raj,a former city student and filmmaker,describes the protagonist of his new film,Forgotten Memories,which is based on those suffering from dementia.

Written by Garima Mishra | Published: April 30, 2013 1:35 am

“He loses his memory for a day. He sees and feel things that are not even real.”

This is how Rajeev Raj,a former city student and filmmaker,describes the protagonist of his new film,Forgotten Memories,which is based on those suffering from dementia.

Around nine months ago,Rajeev Raj casually chatted with Velayudhan P,who is the coordinator of Vakdevatha,a city-based Malayalam literary and cultural organisation,on collaborating efforts to make such a socially relevant film. Two months later,Raj was done with the film’s script.

Now,Vakdevatha and Raj’s Delhi-based Bats and Crows Productions are ready with Forgotten Memories.

The 1-hour-10-minute film will be screened on May 1 at Sumant Moolgaokar Auditorium on Senapati Bapat Road at 3 pm.

Raj owes the story idea to a meeting with a friend from Kerala,who narrated to him the story of a person suffering from dementia. “He mentioned about a person whom he knew closely and who was suffering from dementia. I was moved by the way my friend narrated the story of a certain patient and how his life was thrown off balance due to dementia. But,my film is primarily a love story in which the protagonist has dementia,” says Raj,adding that nowadays this disease is increasingly becoming common among urban people.

“It is probably the result of post-modernism and people leading a shallow trance-like life,” said Raj,who passed out from Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in 1997 and won the National Award for his short film Repentance in 1998 in the Best Non-Feature Film category.

Shot in Manali and Delhi within a span of just two months (June-July) 2012,the film was made with a budget as low as Rs 3 lakh.

This was the third film made by Vakdevatha that makes movies only on social issues. “We make low budget films,but try to highlight big social issues. Our earlier films include a silent film called Lonesome,made in 2010,and a Malayalam film Thankamaniyudechiri,made in 2007,” Velayudhan said.

Prior to the film’s shoot,its writer-director,Raj,had done a thorough research on dementia,its patients and spoken to various doctors regarding this condition. He had also visited a number of medical institutes in the capital.

Forgotten Memories is Raj’s first full-length feature film. The film’s main cast includes newcomers Dilip Singh and Puja Chaudhary. Currently settled in Delhi,Raj also teaches at a prominent film institute in the capital.

To mark 100 years’ of cinema,P K Nair,the founder of National Film Archive of India,will be felicitated before the screening of the film.

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