Ashoke Viswanathan (born in 1959), a mathematics graduate from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata, is a post graduate in film direction from the Film and Television Institute of India (Pune), having finished his specialization in 1985. Subsequently, he completed a certificate course in video production from the same institute in 1986. Since then, he has been active in both film and video media as a director, screenplay writer, actor and presenter, having directed more than 150 films and television programmes including feature films, documentaries, telefilms, music videos, and teleserials. He has won three National Awards and one International Award. Three of his feature films and one of his short features have been included in the INDIAN PANORAMA sections of IFFI ’94, 1999, 2001, 2002.One of his documentaries was selected in the Indian Panorama of 2006. His films have been shown at the Commonwealth Film Festival, Manchester, the Pyongyang International Film Festival, the Dhaka International Film Festival, and the Ipswich Film Festival, among others. Viswanathan has represented India at the Cambridge Seminar on contemporary British writing, held at Downing College, Cambridge (1997). He has also been an Assistant Professor and Head of the Department of Direction at the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute and a Visiting Professor at Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, at the Dept. of Cinema and Theatre, Tufts University, Boston, Dept. of Film Studies, Jadavpur University, and Dept. of Film Studies, St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata. He has presented papers and illustrated lectures at Monmouth University, New Jersey, Tisch School of Arts, New York University, and at Downing College, Cambridge. Ashoke Viswanathan 108, Raja Basanta Roy Road, Kolkata – 700 029, India. Mobile : (0) 98310-33782/98904-61008 Dial : (91) (33) 2466-4315 Fax : (91) (33) 2466-7632 E-mail : [email protected] Curriculum Vitae Among the significant films directed by Ashoke Viswanathan are: A) FICTION 1 SUNYA THEKE SURU (A RETURN TO ZERO) A feature film in Bengali, 35 mm (colour), 127 minutes (1994), National Award (1994), Indian Panorama (1994), Silver Torchlight at the Pyongyang International Film Festival (1994), Dishari Award (1996). 2. KICHHU SANGLAP DELIRIUM) KICHHU PRALAP (DIALOGUE AND A feature film in Bengali (colour) 117 minutes (1999), National Award (1999), Indian Panorama (1999), Rainbow Film Festival, Dhaka (2000), B.F.J.A. Award (2001). 3. SWAPNER SANDHANEY (DREAMHUNT) A feature film in Bengali (colour) 126 minutes (1999), produced by National Film Development Corporation and Ministry of Information and Cultural Affairs, Government of West Bengal, Indian Panorama (2001), European Premiere at Commonwealth Film Festival, Manchester (2002), Ipswich Film Festival, selected screenings at Cambridge, Luton, Norwich, Southend and Watford. 4. ANYA SWAPNA (The alternative dream) Short feature in Bengali, 52 min., 35 mm, colour, Indian Panorama (2002), New Jersey Mini Film Festival (2002), special screening at Monmouth University, New Jersey (2002). 5. BYATIKRAMI (The exception) Feature film in Bengali, 108 min., 35 mm, colour (2003), screened at Cinefan-the Asian Film Festival organized by Cinemaya (2003). 6. ANDHAKARER SHABDO (SOUNDS OF DARKNESS) – Feature Film in Bengali, 125 minutes, 35 mm, color, cinema scope dolby SR (2006), screened at OSIAN – The Asian Film Festival (2006). 7. SESH SANGHAT (THE LAST BATTLE) – Feature Film In Bengali, 150 minutes, 35 mm, color, cinema scope Dolby digital (2009). 8. GUMSHUDA (THE DIAMOND MURDERS) – Feature Film in Hindi, 113 minutes, 35 mm, color, cinema scope, Dolby digital (2010) 9. ROOP (FORM) - A telefilm in Bengali based on Ramapada Chowdhury’s novel, U-Matic video, a Doordarshan commissioned programme of 93 minutes, (1988). 10. HENRY IV A telefim in Bengali based on Pirandello’s famous play. U-matic video, 47 minutes, part of a long running Doordarshan sponsored serial entitled, “Theatre through the ages”, (1989). 11. AMLAMADHUR (SWEET AND SOUR) A 3 part serial in Bengali based on Sanjib Chattopadhyay’s short stories, U-matic video, (29+26+34) minutes, a Doordarshan commissioned serial, (1991). 12. PAGLA DASHU (DASHU : THE CRAZY ONE) A 4 part serial in Bengali based on the stories of Sukumar Ray, UMatic video, (18+14+16+17) minutes, a Doordarshan commissioned serial, (1988). 13. BAD BAD JOJO A short film in English, 35 mm (black and white), produced by F.T.I.I., 13 minutes (1984). 14. NIYATI KE VIRODH MEIN (Fighting against destiny) A short film in Hindi, 35 mm, (black and white), produced by F.T.I.I., 33 minutes (1985). 15. MASTER AND ARTIST A short film, U-matic video, produced for exhibition at the Festival of India in Moscow, 19 minutes, (1987). 16. THEATRE THROUGH THE AGES A 9 part English serial, Betacam SP, documenting 200 years of theatre in Bengal, produced for Doordarshan, India, (1996). 17. BLIND LANE A 13 part Bengali serial, commissioned by ZEE TELEFILMS PVT. LTD., Betacam SP, Awarded Best Director Prize by Lions International, (1994). 18. ADHOORA SAPNA (THE UNFULFILLED DREAM) A 30 minute telefilm, commissioned by Doordarshan, Betacam SP, (1995). 19. KUASHA GHERA KURSEONG (MISTY KURSEONG) A 39 part serial in Bengali, commissioned by E-TV (Bangla), Betacam SP, (2000), presented the Best Serial Award by Kalakar Awards. 20. CELL THREE (TARKASH : A quiver of arrows) – A serial in Hindi, Made for ZEE TELEFILMS PVT. LTD. (1999). 21. AGANTUK (The outsider) A telefilm in Bengali, made for E-TV (Bangla), 105 minutes, Betacam SP, (2000). 22. KALO COFFEER KELENKARI (Coffee and Scandal) A telefilm in Bengali, made for E-TV (Bangla), 105 minutes, Betacam SP, (2000). 23. DOST HO TO AISA (Friends, indeed) A telefilm in Hindu, commissioned by Doordarshan (National Network), 90 minutes, Betacam, SP (2000). 24. AANDHI MEIN CHIRAAG (A light in the storm) A telefilm in Urdu made for E-TV (Urdu), 90 minutes, Betacam SP (2000). 25. SOFA-CUM-BED A serial in Bengali for Alpha (Bangla), Betacam SP, (2000). 26. – TRIKON KA CHAUTHA KON (The fourth vertex of a triangle) A short film in Hindi, colour, 16 mm, produced by S.R.F.T.I. minutes) (1998). 27. (13 USHA (Dawn) A short fiction film in Hindi, colour, 35 mm, 22 mins, 35 mm, colour (2004). 28. JAKHAN ANDHAR (When it is dark…) A telefilm in Bengali, Tara Bangla, 80 mins, DVCam (2003). 29. BHODORI A serial in Hindi, seven episodes, Doordarshan (2003). 30. KASHINATH A telefilm in Bengali, Betacam SP, 110 mins., Doordarshan (2004). 31. DOMRU CHARIT (The stories of Domru) A telefilm in Bengali, Betacam SP, 30 min., Doordarshan (National Network, 2004). 32. SARAL NAAMER SARTHAKATA (Justifying the simple name) A telefilm in Bengali, Betacam SP, 80 min., Aakash Bangla, 2001. B) DOCUMENTARY 1. ARE THEY POTTED PLANTS? A PSBT commissioned documentary exploring the loneliness of “gulf wives” 30 min., digital video (2006). 2. THE FOLK THEATRE OF BENGAL – A documentary financed by the Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre on the dying and disappearing theatrical forms in Bengal, 60 min., digital video (2006).Selected in the Indian Panorama of IFFI, 2006. 3. THE LEGEND OF MANASA – A 30 min. educational documentary based on the Manasa Mangal Epic, made for Central Institute Of Indian Languages, digital video (2006). 4. BANGLA WRITING SYSTEM – A 30 min. educational documentary on the Bangla Script, made for Central Institute Of Indian Languages, digital video (2006). 5. WALLS A PSBT commissioned documentary exploring the phenomenon of physical walls existing between Hindus and Muslim, 30 min. (2003), inaugural film of the PSBT Film Festival, 2003. 6. THE AHOM SAGA A four part documentary serial on the history and import of the Ahoms in India, Betacam SP, (2003). 7. SCULPTING IN TIME A documentary on the archaeological section of the National Museum, (2004). 8. PASCHIM BANGLAR JELE (The Fishermen of West Bengal) A 2 part serial, U-Matic video, commissioned by Doordarshan, (28+26) minutes, (1988). 9. MEANING AND MELODY A 4 part serial documenting the life and times of famous young musicians from Bengal, U-Matic video, commissioned by Doordarshan, (20 + 19 + 24) minutes (1989). 10. SHADES OF SOCIETY A 2 part serial documenting the lives of the Anglo Indians and the Parsees in Kolkata, U-matic video, commissioned by Doordarshan, (20 + 20) minutes, (1989). 11. CALCUTTA : EK DIN (One day in Kolkata) A 22 minutes documentary dealing with 24 hours in the city of Kolkata, made as a sponsored programme for Doordarshan (metro Channel) Betacam SP, (1996). 12. SAMPARK (Relationships) Two episodes of a long running women’s magazine programme, made for Doordarshan, Hindi, Highband U-Matic, (1995). 13. SILVER A 12 minutes documentary produced by Alsoc, 35 mm, (2003). C) EDUCATIONAL 1. SENSES OF TIME A 20 minute programme based on an illustrated lecture by Ken McMullen, the British film-maker, produced by E.M.R.C., Kolkata, for the U.G.C. countrywide classroom project, (1991). 2. TEACHING SHAKESPEARE IN TEXT AND PERFORMANCE A 27 minute programme based on a talk by the Shakespeare expert, Dr. Thomas Matheson, produced by E.M.R.C. (Kolkata) for the U.G.C. countrywide classroom project, (1991). 3. BYRON ……….. BYRON …………. BYRON ………… A 2 part serial documenting the life and times of Lord Byron as performed by John Watts, produced by E.M.R.C. (Kolkata) for the U.G.C. countrywide classroom project, (1991). 4. THE PIED PIPER OF WIMPOLE STREET A 2 part serial documenting the life and times of Robert Browning as performed by John Watts, produced by E.M.R.C. (Kolkata) for the U.G.C. countrywide classroom project, (1991). 5. THE KHAYAL AND BEYOND A 2 part serial introducing the KHAYAL as a significant Indian classical vocal form, produced by E.M.R.C. (Kolkata) for the U.G.C. countrywide classroom project, (1992). 6. ARMS AND THE MAN A 2 part serial that provides insights into Shaw’s famous play, produced by E.R.M.C. (Kolkata) for the U.G.C. countrywide classroom project (1993). 7. ENGLISH ROMANTIC POETRY A 3 part serial covering some of the works of Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Keats, and Shelley, produced by E.R.M.C. (Kolkata) for the U.G.C. countrywide classroom project, (1993). 8. WAITING FOR BECKETT A 30 minute programme on the life and times of Samuel Beckett, produced by Kolkata Doordarshan, (1987). 9. RAAGSANGEET A 6 part serial, illustrating the intricacies of several Ragas, made for the U.G.C. countrywide classroom project, Betacam SP, National level Award (UGC) for best sound recording, (1995). 10. SOPAN (The ladder) A 22 part serial on career counselling, made for E-TV (Bangla), Betacam SP (2000). D) INDUSTRIAL 1. THE VITAL LINK A corporate video on Hindustan Cables Ltd., (1989). Awarded 2nd Prize by Public Relations Society of India, (1991). 2. THE PAPER STORY A series of 5 films on the different units of Hindustan Paper Ltd., (1990). Awarded 3rd Prize by Public Relations Society of India, (1991). 3. TOWARDS TOMORROW An export documentary for Hindustan Cables Ltd., shown at the Communications Festival in Geneva, (1987). 4. IN DEFENCE OF OUR NATION A profile of the Gun and Shell Factory, Cossipore, (1990). 5. THE ARM OF THE SOLDIER A profile of the Rifle Factory, Ishapore, (1992). 6. TOWARDS QUALITY IN ELECTRONICS A promotional documentary for STQC (India), shown at the CEBIT FAIR, Hanover, (1989). 7. THE SPACE SAGA A 20 minute promotional film on the proposed RAJARHAT HOUSING COMPLEX, English, Betacam SP, (1995). 8. Comprehensive corporate videos for BALMER-LAWRIE, DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANTS LTD., WELLMAN INCANDESCENT and McNALLY BHARAT. TELEVISION WORK Ashoke Viswanathan has been associated with Calcutta Doordarshan since 1978 as a scriptwriter, presenter, actor and commentator. He has interviewed several film and theatre personalities on television including V. Shantaram, Shyam Bengal, Govind Nihalani, Buddhadev Dasgupta, Goutam Ghosh, Soumendu Roy and Rudraprasad Sengupta. Among the notable programmes scripted and compered by him are documentaries on the Andaman and Nicorbar Islands (1986), the Calcutta Odessa Space Bride (1988), a report on the International Film Festival of India (1990), and a report on the death anniversary of Satyajit Ray (1993). He has acted in several teleserials including Saikat Bhattacharya’s “RAAG ANURAAG” (1988), Anjan Dutta’s “RUDRA SENER DIARY” (1988), Nitish Mukherjee’s “ANDARMAHAL” (1987), Kamal Roy’s “AVASESHEY” (1999), Pinaki Chowdhury’s “WAJOOD” (1995), Monindra Mondal’s “ALEYA” (1996), Partha Das’s “SAMUDRA TEEREY” (1997), Ajit Gupta’s “BHOR” (1997), and in telefilms such as Shyamal Sengupta’s “SAANP SHIRI” (2001), and “RAATER ISTANBUL” (2001). FILM PERFORMANCES Viswanathan has played significant roles in the following films : 1. Utpalendu Chakraborty’s “BIKALPA”, (1987). 2. Ashoke Viswanathan’s “SUNYA THEKE SURU”, (1993). 3. Chris Morahan’s “THE PEACOCK SPRING”, (1995). 4. Madhavi Chakraborty’s “ATMAJAA”, (1996). 5. Ashoke Viswanathan’s “KICHHU SANGLAP KICHHU PRALAP” (1998). 6. Tony Tew’s “A CANDLE IN THE DARK” (1998). 7. Rituparno Ghosh’s “BARIWALI” (1999). 8. Ashoke Viswanathan’s “SWAPNER SANDHANEY” (1999). 9. Satarupa sanyal’s “ATATAYEE” (1999). 10. T.V. Chandran’s “KATHA-AVASHESHAM” (2004). 11. Kamal Roy’s “ABISHWASHI” (2004). 12. Ashoke Viswanathan’s “ANYA SWAPNA” (2002). 13. Ashoke Viswanathan’s “BYATIKRAMI” (2003). 14. Gaurav Pande’s “ Spagetti 24/7(2011) 15. Shyamal Karmakar’s “ Chokher Pani”(2011) TEACHING EXPERIENCE a) Viswanathan has been an Assistant Professor and H.O.D. of Direction at S.R.F.T.I., (1996 to 1997). b) He has been a Visiting Professor of Direction and Film Appreciation at F.T.I.I., Pune (2004). c) He has been a Guest Lecturer of Cinema at the Dept. of Film Studies, Jadavpur University, at the Department of Film Studies and Videography, St. Xavier’s College and at Tufts University, Boston. d) He has participated in several seminars on cinema including the ones organized by Tufts University, Boston, Monmouth University, New Jersey, Downing College, Cambridge, F.T.I.I., Pune, St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata, S.R.F.T.I., Kolkata, Indira College of Communication, Pune, Calcutta University and Symbiosis College of Mass Communication, Pune. THEATRE WORK Among the plays he has directed and/or acted in, are the following : 1. Erwin Sylvanus’ “Dr. Korczac and the children” – English, and Bengali, (1982 – 1986). 2. Eugene lonesco’s “The picture” – English, (1983 – 1984). 3. Max Frisch’s “The great fury of Philip Hotz” – English, (1984). 4. I.S. Johar’s “Bhutto” – English, (1986). 5. Arthur Miller’s “All my sons” – English (1986). 6. Badal Sircar’s “Sara Rattir” (Through the night) – English and Bengali, (1986 – 1987). 7. J.B. Priestley’s “Dangerous Corner” – English (1987). 8. Eugene lonesco’s “The Killer” – English and Bengali, (1986 – 1987). 9. Jean Paul Sartre’s “Dirty Hands” – English and Bengali, (1988). 10. Badal Sircar’s “Jodi aar ek baar” (If only, one more time) – Bengali (1987). 11. Bernard Shaw’s “The millionairess” – English. (1987). 12. Samuel Beckett’s “Endgame” – English (1987). 13. Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for godot” – Bengali (1988). 14. Badal Sircar’s “Sesh nei” (No end) – Bengali, (1989 – 1993). 15. Neil Simon’s “The Apartment”. (1995). 16. Neil Simon’s “Chapter Two” (1996). 17. Ariel Dorfman’s “Death and the maiden” – English, (1997). 18. Agatha Christie’s “The unexpected guest” (1998). 19. Oscar Wilde’s “The importance of being earnest” (2004). 20. Tom Stoppard’s “Travesties” (2004). 21. Harold Pinter’s “The Lover” (2006). 22. Mahesh Elkunchwar’s “ Party”(2007) 23. Dario Fo’s “ We can’t pay! We won’t pay! “ (2011) SCRIPTWRITING Has scripted and/or narrated several documentaries, serials, feature films, and corporate videos including SUNYA THEKE SURU, KICHU SANGLAP KICHU PRALAP, SWAPNER SANDHANEY, ANDHAKARER SHABDA, WALLS, ARE THEY POTTED PLANTS?, BAD BAD JOJO, HENRY IV, MEANING AND MELODY, WAITING FOR BECKETT and the corporate films relating to DPS, DPL, BALMER-LAWRIE, WELLMAN INCANDESCENT, CPWD (EASTERN ZONE), McNALLY BHARAT, HINDUSTAN PAPER AND HINDUSTAN CABLES. FREELANCE WRITING Has been writing fairly regularly on the arts, particularly on cinema, in various journals and some daily newspapers like THE STATESMAN, THE TELEGRAPH, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, AMRITA BAZAR PATRIKA and ANANDA BAZAR PATRIKA. Has been a regular contributor to the Bengali bimonthly magazine, DESH, as a drama critic. Often writes for the ANANDALOK, SANANDA and AAJKAL. Is a regular writer for the film journal CHITRABHAS. PUBLICATIONS a) An article in English entitled “Strategies of subversion” in the journal published by NANDAN on the occasion of hundred years of world cinema, (1995). b) A companion article in Bengali entitled “Face to face with Adoor Gopalakrishnan” in the Bengali journal brought out by NANDAN on the occasion of hundred years of world cinema, (1995). c) An article entitle “A problematic interface” in the journal, “RASA”, published by ANAMIKA KALA SANGAM, (1995). d) An entry on Television Drama in the OXFORD COMPANION TO INDIAN THEATRE. e) The complete screenplay of “SUNYA THEKE SURU” (A return to zero) brought out as a book by AAJKER RAKTAKARABI, (1997). POSITIONS HELD i) President, EASTERN INDIA FILM DIRECTORS’ ASSOCIATION (2010 – 2011) ii) General Secretary, EASTERN INDIA FILM DIRECTORS’ ASSOCIATION (2003 – 2009) iii) Sometime member, Academic Council, Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (2003 to 2004). iii) Member, Academic Council, Film and Television Institute of India (2005 to 2006). iv) Working President, Federation of Cine Technician and Workers of Eastern India (2004-2005). v) Sometime General Secretary, St. Xavier’s College students Union, (1981). vi) Member, Doordarshan panel of directors for fiction and documentary programmes. vii) Sometime Executive Committee Member, CINE TECHNICIANS AND WORKERS UNION OF EASTERN INDIA. viii) General Secretary, BOHUBRIHI KALAKENDRA. ix) Member, SHORT FILM MAKERS ASSOCIATION OF EASTERN INDIA. x) Founder-Member, CALCUTTA DEBATING SOCIETY. xi) Member, panel of documentary film makers, nominated by the Dept. of Information and Cultural Affairs, Government of West Bengal. xii) Sometime Assistant professor and head of the department of Film Direction, Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute. xiii) Sometime Visiting Lecturer at the Department of Film Studies, Jadavpur University, and at the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute. xiv) Member, panel of producers for the West Bengal Film Development Corporation. xv) Member, Entertainment Sub-committee, Confederation of Indian Industries, (2003 & 2004). xvi) Member, Executive Committee, FEDERATION OF CINETECHNICIANS AND WORKERS OF EASTERN INDIA, (2003 & 2004). AWARDS AND HONOURS i) Received the Indira Gandhi National Award (Golden Lotus) for best first film : SUNYA THEKE SURU, (1994). ii) SUNYA THEKE SURU was selected in the INDIAN PANORAMA at IFFI ’94, Kolkata. iii) SUNYA THEKE SURU was awarded the DISHARI award for BEST FILM (1996). iv) SUNYA THEKE SURU was awarded the SILVER TORCHLIGHT at the PYONGYANG INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, (1994). v) Awarded the Special Jury Prize (National Award) for “KICHHU SANGLAP KICHHU PRALAP” (1999). vi) KICHHU SANGLAP KICHHU PRALAP was selected in the Indian Panorama of IFFI ’99, Hyderabad. vii) KICHHU SANGLAP KICHHU PRALAP was awarded the B.F.J.A. Prize (2001). viii) KICHHU SANGLAP KICHHU PRALAP was screened at the Kolkata Film Festival (1998). ix) KICHHU SANGLAP KICHHU PRALAP was screened at the DHAKA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, (2000). x) SWAPNER SANDHANEY was screened as a European Premiere at the COMMONWEALTH FILM FESTIVAL, MANCHESTER, (2002), at IPSWICH FILM FESTIVAL and at five centres in the United Kingdom : Cambridge, Luton, Norwich, Southend and Watford. xi) SWAPNER SANDHANEY was selected in the INDIAN PANORAMA section of I.F.F.I. 2001. xii) SWAPNER SANDHANEY was screened at the Kolkata Film Festival (1999). xiii) SWAPNER SANDHANEY was screened INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, (2000). xiv) Awarded the best play of the year award for BHUTTO by GENTLEMAN magazine, (1986). xv) Outstanding young person award presented by North Kolkata Jaycees (1987). xvi) Adjudged director of 2nd best corporate film for THE VITAL LINK – presented by Public Relations Society of India, (1991). at the DHAKA xvii) Adjudged director of 3rd best corporate film for THE PAPER STORY – presented by Public Relations Society of India, (1991). xviii) The serial BLIND LANE was awarded the BEST DIRECTOR Prize by Lions International, (1994). xix) The serial KUASHA GHERA KURSEONG was awarded the BEST SERIAL Prize by KALAKAR, (2002). xx) Awarded the special prize for Vocational Excellence by Rotary Club of Kolkata, Inner City (2000). xxi) Awarded the best presenter certificate by UGC-CEC for the long running TV series on FILM EDITING PRODUCED BY EMRC(2008) LECTURES, TOURS AND TRAVEL Ashoke Viswanathan has lectured widely on cinema and theatre in India and abroad. Among some of his tours abroad are those that relate to : i) The Cambridge seminar on contemporary British Fiction where Ashoke was an overseas fellow (1997). ii) The North American Bengali Conference (N.A.B.C.) where the film “SUNYA THEKE SURU was presented (Valley Forge, 1997). iii) A visit to South East Asia (Malaysia and Singapore) as part of research work for a possible book on Asian Cinema (1996). iv) A tour as an International Visitor organized by the State Department, Washington DC, with interactions at Temple University, Philadelphia, New York University, and Columbia University, (2002). v) Lecture tours to Boston and New Jersey along with screenings of his film, “THE ALTERNATIVE DREAM”, (2002). vi) A visit to the Banga Mela (2005) in Chicago to present the film BYATIKRAMI and to Washington and New York for a series of play readings.