The film company of Calculus Dogbertus and A.K. Thavaraj

About

I began my film-making career in 1999 as an editor at Tellywallah, a film company in Calcutta, where I lived and worked for a decade. I edited around 20 films and wrote two books during this period.

Calculus Dogbertus — a Labrador retriever — adopted me in 2003. A few years later we decided to conquer new territories, and moved to Poona.

Outsider Films is our film studio: Calculus runs the company and charms labrador mulgis while I make films on subjects that he and I find interesting. We make documentary films; we gig our skills in editing and location-sound for Indian and foreign producers; we make industrial and corporate films; we write scripts; we help young film-makers with their projects in our spare time.

Calculus left me in 2019, and Outsider Films ceased to be... I miss him; I miss his feedback from under the editing desk. He kept me honest: he would not allow dodgy jump-cuts, arty-farty montage, or any flavour of pretentiousness while he was in charge.

I now work as a writer-for-hire.

Writing

Book Details
From a Person to a Professional. Occupational Health and Safety in Solid Waste Management.
A comprehensive textbook on OHS designed for use by solid waste management workers. Written for Hasiru Dala for use in its workshops. A PDF version is available for free under the CC-BY-SA licence. Download here.
2019-2021, 592 pages.
Horticultural Biotechnology
A manual for horticulturists and nursery-owners on the various techniques of plant propagation. It is used as course material for students taking a Certificate Course in Agricultural Biotechnology at the Vivekananda Institute of Biotechnology.
2007, 186pages.
Biofertilizer Technology.
A manual on biofertilizer production for small farmers. Content includes: how to grow and use azotobacter, blue-green algae, azolla, vesicular arbuscular mycorrhiza, and vermicompost; soil-testing, and the use of basic laboratory equipment. It is used as course material at the Vivekananda Institute of Biotechnology.
2004, 208 pages.

Documentary Films

Year Film Details
2018-2020 Laxmi's World.
7 films and a handbook on Health and Safety.
40 minutes. Direction, editing and script.
2017 Krishna's Waiting Room.
On the widows of Vrindavan.
90 minutes (director's cut), 54 minutes (broadcast).Editing and sound.
2013 Between the land and the sea.
The web of life and tides in the Sunderbans.
90 minutes. Editing and sound.
2012 Mary Jane’s Fan Club.
The use and abuse of marijuana as a recreational drug.
54 minutes. Script.
2012 The next big thing from Bhusaval.
Small town life and aspirations.
90 minutes. Script.
2011 We, SWaCH.
Three women and a tipper-truck — solid waste management in Pimpri Chinchwad, India.
14 minutes. Direction, cinematography, editing, sound, and script.
2010 Purna Chakra.
The life and times of Pune's waste-pickers and their trade union.
24 minutes. Direction, cinematography, editing, sound, and script.
2009 Ticket to Learn.
On an NGO-run,coupon-based primary education programme.
38 minutes. Editing and Sound.
2008 Ek Din.
A report on the National Literacy Mission's programmes in West Bengal.
45 minutes. Direction, editing, sound, and script.
2008 The price of prawn.
A report on the farmed shrimp industry in Bangladesh.
27 minutes. Editing and sound.
2007 Vendor of Dreams.
The life of Mrinmoy Pramanik, a'farm-doctor' in West Bengal.
45 minutes. Editing and sound.
2007 Nijeke Khonja.
On the Pratichi Trust's report on primary education.
45 minutes. Editing, sound, and script.
2006 Born to run.
How a tyre is made--a journey from a rubber plantation to a road.
30 minutes. Editing and sound.
2006 Chasing the sun.
Solar-electrification projects in Calcutta slums.
14 minutes. Editing.
2005 I am.
A report on primary schools run by an Janasanskriti in West Bengal
14 minutes. Editing and sound.
2005 Taking Charge.
On the women who run the horticulture laboratory at the Vivekananda Institute of Biotechnology in West Bengal.
14 minutes. Editing and sound.
2005 A passage to India.
A group of Dutch executives visit Pradan's field offices in Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh.
24 minutes. Editing and sound.
2004 Playing for Change.
Janasanskriti and the Theatre of the Oppressed.
28 minutes. Editing and sound.
2004 Platform.
A report on the children who live beside the railway tracks in Ghutiari Sharif, West Bengal.
10 minutes. Editing.
2004 Seeds of Change.
On the work of the Vivekananda Institute of Biotechnology in West Bengal.
30 minutes. Direction, editing, and sound.
2004 Turning the tide.
On how Self-Help Groups have empowered women in the Sunderbans in West Bengal.
14 minutes. Editing and sound.
2002-2003 Along the Mekong.
An exposé on the impact of globalisation on farmers and fisher-folk in Cambodia presented as a report to the Gender and Trade Workshop, Cambodia
28 minutes. Editing and sound.
2001 When we walk the Streets.
A 'participatory video' collaboration with sex-workers in Bangladesh.
24 minutes. Editing.
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