Internationally acclaimed Indian filmmaker visits UWM

Adoor (right) in action.

The Adoor Gopalakrishnan Film Archive and Research Fund was established in 2012 by the Peck School’s Department of Film, Video, Animation and New Genres – in part to expand the understanding of Indian culture through film.

Gopalakrishnan, known popularly as Adoor, is internationally acclaimed for his artistic, independent style. He will be in Milwaukee in April to screen one of his most famous films at the Milwaukee Art Museum and meet with UWM undergraduate and graduate students on campus.

The screening of Adoor’s award-winning “Elippathayam (Rat-Trap)” will take place at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 15, in the Lubar Auditorium of the Milwaukee Art Museum, 700 Art Museum Dr.
It is free and open to the public.

Adoor will be introduced by Rochona Majumdar, a faculty member from the University of Chicago, whose teaching and research includes Indian cinema. Adoor’s films also are being celebrated April 11-13 at UC during a conference and retrospective.

The UWM archive is acquiring, preserving and screening the filmmaker’s works in the original 35mm motion picture format, while the research fund enables and encourages students to study Adoor’s films as well as create their own original films. The initial encouragement and monetary

support for the archive and research fund came from an individual in the Milwaukee area who is originally from the same Indian state (Kerala) as the filmmaker.

Rob Yeo, chair of the Department of Film, Video Animation and New Genres, gives the background. He describes how the donor invited him to a screening of a film by Adoor at MATC.

“This was the first film I’d seen by Adoor, and I was impressed by his direct style and the power of his images – characteristics that we teach here at UWM,” Yeo says. “His compositions, pacing and attention to detail stand apart from most cinema, especially today. Given his involvement with landscape, culture and social issues, plus his independent spirit, I felt that his was a kindred spirit with our department.”

So, when the donor suggested a project supporting Adoor’s work, “It seemed like a natural fit,” says Yeo.

In a career spanning four decades, Adoor has made 11 feature-length films and more than 40 documentaries and short films. He is the winner of numerous national and international awards, and has received honorary doctorates from several universities.