Crusz :The man behind ‘Short Notes’
Along with Ashley and Ranjanee Rathnavibhushana of Asian Film Centre,
the man who took up the uphill task of organising "Short Notes"
was Robert Crusz.
Robert Crusz is also a writer, and film and video maker, and was
a founding member, in 1983, of the U.K. based Sankofa Film and Video
Workshop, which produced critical documentaries for British television
companies like Channel 4 and feature films based on issues related
to the lives of Asian, African and Afro-Caribbean people living
in Europe and North America. The workshop was actively involved
in media education and training for Black British youth, sponsored
by the British Film Institute and the U. K. Arts Council.
Crusz was on the editorial boards of SCREEN and FRAMEWORK, two leading
film journals in the U.K. and was the British Council sponsored
Visiting Filmmaker in Australia in 1989, conducting training seminars
for members of the indigenous Aboriginal community in Sydney. He
is currently on the editorial board of the inter-faith journal DIALOGUE,
edited by Fr. Aloysius Pieris and published by the Ecumenical Institute
for Study and Dialogue in Sri Lanka.
is also editor of the English language international film journal
CINESITH, published by the Asian Film Centre, in Sri Lanka. Among
his filmography as writer/director is a docu-drama INBETWEEN produced
for Channel 4 TV in the U.K. which also toured the world as part
of the 1992 biennial package of the Best of British Independent
Film and Video under the auspices of the British Council and the
Institute of Contemporary Arts (U.K.). His most recent production
was THE CENSUS, a short film based on a short-story by the late
Kerala writer Karoor Nilakantha Pillai.
spoke to the TV Times about the courageous step taken up by him
for the development of Sri Lankan cinema… What gave you the
idea of organising this type of film festival? I wanted to provide
an opportunity to the Sinhala speaking rural youth who have the
potential to be creative film makers. Giving this opportunity to
then is also a way of contributing towards the Sri Lankan Cinema.
And this is also an effort to highlight the work of some of our
talented young filmmakers and to help create a viable culture of
short filmmaking in this country which we feel is an essential first
step towards rejuvenating Sri Lankan cinema.
you tell us about Tulana?
Our objective is awareness-the awareness of making the voices of
the minority heard in the public arena.
What are the qualities that you admire in these amateur filmmakers?
It is their love of filmmaking which makes them tenacious. They
have used basic equipment in filming, used low budget locations
effectively. Post production, too was done at places with minimum
facilities and thus they surely deserves accolades and applause.
This festival is a small effort in recognition of their unfailing
courage and brave endurance.
What do you hope to gain with from exposure?
due to financial and other constraints, we can only show about a
dozen films here today. There are many more young filmmakers in
Sri Lanka who have made short films and are desperate to screen
them for the public.
We seek sponsorship- the government taking an active interest with
the National Film Corporation organising Annual Short film festivals
and competitions and award ceremonies. We also seek the sponsorship
of kind philanthropists and film enthusiasts.