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Award-Winning Documentary ‘Yakshagana’ Shines at International Film Festival

Bengaluru, 7th December 2023 – The Centre for Intercultural Studies and Dialogue (CISD) of Manipal Academy of Higher Education proudly announces that its acclaimed documentary “Yakshagana” has received the Jury Award at the prestigious Sixth International Short Film Festival on Cultural Tourism, held from 1-3 December 2023 in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. Competing against 94 short films from 44 countries, “Yakshagana” stood out for its vivid portrayal of the rich cultural tapestry of Tulunadu.

“Yakshagana”, produced under the CISD project ‘Discerning India: Living Cultures of Tulunadu’, explores the vibrant traditional art form native to the coastal districts of Karnataka and Kasaragod district of Kerala, India. The documentary beautifully captures the essence of this dance-drama, which combines dialogue, music, and intricate costumes, bringing to life the stories from the Indian epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana.

The Jury Award at the Sixth International Short Film Festival on Cultural Tourism underscores CISD’s commitment to preserving and promoting the rich cultural heritage of India. The film’s success highlights the global appeal and importance of India’s regional art forms.

Additionally, the documentary ‘Discerning India: Yakshagana’ has been selected for the 7th International Folklore Film Festival (IFFF), organized by the International Film Festival of Thrissur (IFFT). This recognition follows its previous accolade of the ‘Best Script Writing Award’ at the 24th CEC-UGC Educational Film Festival in Hyderabad, further emphasizing its impact and excellence in cultural representation.

Yakshagana Poster

Lt. Gen. (Dr.) M. D. Venkatesh, Vice Chancellor of Manipal Academy of Higher Education, commented, “It is a matter of great pride for us at Manipal Academy of Higher Education to see ‘Yakshagana’ receive such prestigious international acclaim. This documentary not only showcases the artistic brilliance of Yakshagana but also serves as a bridge connecting global audiences to the rich cultural tapestry of Tulunadu. We are committed to fostering global understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity through such endeavours in cultural education”.

Prof. (Dr.) Madhu Veeraraghavan, Pro Vice-Chancellor – Management, Law, Humanities, and Social Sciences, added, “This award is not just a recognition of our team’s hard work but also an acknowledgment of the cultural richness of Tulunadu. It inspires us to continue our mission of documenting and sharing India’s diverse cultural traditions”.

CISD, housed in the Manipal Centre for European Studies, focuses on promoting intercultural dialogue and understanding. The award-winning documentary is part of their broader initiative to create a repository of local cultural knowledge and educate people about the unique traditions of Tulunadu.

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