S5A_24342/10/15  The opening of the AVFF ’15

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION& Rain…couldn’t dampen the spirits of the film buffs and well-wishers to the Auroville Film Festival 2015! This year’s film festival started under gray skies and forecast of rain. Organisors and workers eyes turned towards the overcast skies throughout the day. As evening neared lots of dark fore brooding skies made threatening gestures.

However the show must go on. So it did with African singing and dancing, the ‘act’ was billed as Drum & Dance, but the drummers must have been seeking shelter – for they were a no show. However it was a great opening act even without the drummers. Then the director and art director of the film festival took the stage to welcome, explain, and thank everyone who assisted in making this year’s festival happen. There were problems with the mike but the show must go on…and as the last act was performing on stage the heavens opened up and drenched the band of merry men n women. The audience and onlookers headed for some shelter.

S5A_2520Meanwhile as the opening was happening centre stage, nearby the Jolly Kimbap crew were dishing out cost price kimbap (with long queue), the Maduram crew provided tasty south Indian dishes, but the hottest eatery was the AV Pizza (more on this later) courtesy of the great and hard working volunteers from the Youth Centre… so a large and hungry crowd also was gathered around the eateries and tables (provided by Marc and crew) chowing down… when the heaves opened up… most were under the shamianas but the shamianas are not waterproof! Then the power was shut down! So wet turned to darkness, but luckily the power was restored and the show must go on… but the pizza oven needed to be stoked and so a lag time of 30 min was needed to the rescue, in perfect timing came the Sadhana Forest crew with yummy Palestinian (there is some debate on the origins of hummus and falafel) vegan nutritious food! The rain stopped but drizzle continued… however this didn’t dampen the spirit of the crowd who continued to eat, drink (water) and converse, a perfect venue for the rest of the festival. And a great start to the AVFF ’15 film festival.

Events like the film festival bring out the co-operative spirit of our collective, just as it does for countless other endeavors and activities within Auroville. This year’s Auroville Film Festival started in October for the first time (to coincide with school vacation). October is usually the start of our monsoon. Organisers, helpers and others checked their weather reports and kept turning their eyes towards the heavens.
One can’t pray for any rain because we need the waters for our parched lands.

S5A_2516Auroville Pizza: I said that I would give you more info on the Auroville Pizza, so I will… this was the brainchild of Tom, who was first offered Antonio’s portable Pizza oven, then Tom identified the blood sweat and tears (labor) for making pizza every night of the festival…the great and hard working volunteers from the Youth Centre… then we went to the bakery and secured 50 kg of flour + yeast, then to La Ferme Cheese and received a large amount of cheese, then Tom contacted FoodLink and a number of AV farms to all donate their goods.
Tomatoes are not in season so we had to purchase them to make the sauce but everything else was supplied by a great collective effort from AV to AV!

And the taste? GR8! I asked a number of persons and they all said it was great!

Some facts about AVFF ’15:

  • category by Aurovilians: 47 films (10h 33m)
  • category about Auroville: 31 films (11h 45m)
  • category by students: 17 films (1h 48m)
  • category Human Unity: 55 films (43h 34m)
  • Our selection panel (Alain, Doris, Raman) for the international category of films that develop the theme of Human Unity watched more than 216 submitted films over the past one and a half years. We received 250 submissions directly from people visiting our website.

(more photos and a video of day 1 to come…)

photos by Marcos:


photos by Koteshwar: