Recently the cast/crew of the Indo-British collaboration film “Ramanujan” shot vital portions of the film at Cambridge and London. Very few films get a chance to shoot at Cambridge University and ‘Ramanujan’ is one of them. The film is directed by award winning director Gnana Rajasekaran and produced by Camphor Cinema, an independent film production company.

Set in early 1900’s British India and England, the film tracks the journey of the Mathematical prodigy ‘Srinivasa Ramanujan’ from Kumbakonam, where his peers were indifferent to his genius, to Cambridge, where Englishman Prof. G. H. Hardy facilitated his research in mathematics. Ramanujan was at Trinity for five years, where his quintessential contribution to mathematics got him elected a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge and Fellow of The Royal Society, London.  

Focusing on the authencity of the film and with an aim to portray the genius mathematician’s real life incidents, the film aims to acquaint the international audience along with the life and times of the mathematician, and intends to demonstrate the humanism that existed between two culturally different people during imperialistic times. The film is being simultaneously shot in English and Tamil. 

Sindhu Rajasekaran (from India) the Producer/Assistant Scriptwriter of Ramanujan and Roxane de Rouen (from the UK) Assistant Scriptwriter/First Assistant Director for the English version, have collaborated on the English dialogues bridging the gap between the east and the west, allowing the film to do justice to its Indian and English characters.

Sindhu Rajasekaran, producer/Assistant Scriptwriter, says To make a period film set in British India where Indian characters speak in English that comes naturally to them is quite a chore. Roxane de Rouen and I are working with GnanaRajasekaran, the director of ‘Ramanujan,’ to make the characters speak words that make them real. No, you wouldn’t find roadside urchins who speak in Queen’s English here; people would speak what comes to them naturally: Tamil, English, Indian English, even Tamenglish.  Two schedules of the film were shot in India and the third in England: where a reversal of languages and cultures and translations conquered. What a delight it is to live in this world where languages are not borders, but an element to experiment with…”

Roxane de Rouen, Assistant Scriptwriter/First Assistant Director, says “My role was to bridge the gap between the East and the West with SindhuRajasekaran. When we started discussing how to translate GnanaRajasekaran’s script into English, we wanted not only to keep the integrity of his words as the Screenwriter, but also the feeling that this was an Indian script, for an Indian movie about an Indian hero. So a lot of our discussions with concern to the screenplay in particular would surround whether something sounded right in English, or Indian-English, an example I always like to use is that in English, you would say “my head is hurting”, but in Indian English you would say “my head is paining”, and for Sindhu and I it was important for our characters to sound very Indian even if the language in which they were speaking happened to be English.”

Roxane further adds, “As for working on set that was a very eye opening experience. People outside of India tend to view India as a whole, when within India there are so many different languages, and cultures and cinema and cuisine. There were about 4 languages being spoken at any time on set, and yet, despite that the crew worked seamlessly. Everything would get done, and everyone had a great time doing it, even in the frankly scorching conditions of a South Indian summer! If I was asked again to work on an International project, I would accept it all over again in a heartbeat, except this time, I KNOW the experience would be amazing. ”

 The film stars Abhinay Vaddi, the grandson of the legendary couple Savitri – Gemini Ganesan from the Indian film industry, who plays the role of ‘Ramanujan,’ and established British stage /screen actor, Kevin McGowan, who plays the important role of Prof. G.H. Hardy. It also features immensely talented British actors– Michael Lieber, Richard Walsh, Cloudia Swann and Elizabeth Bourne along with Indian actors -Bhama, Suhasini Maniratnam (wife of the renowned director Mani Ratnam), Abbas, Nizhalgal Ravi, Delhi Ganesh, Y. G. Mahendran and Sarath Babu, also playing imperative roles.

Camphor Cinema, co-founded by four young entrepreneurs: Srivatsan Nadathur, Sushant Desai, Sharanyan Nadathur and Sindhu Rajasekaran, has roped in renowned award winning personalities; Screenwriter and Director Gnana Rajasekaran, Editor B. Lenin, Cinematographer Sunny Joseph, Art Director P. Krishnamurthy and Music Director ‘Ramesh Vinayagam,’ and an international crew including aSouth African production designer, Caroline Story, and British-Pakistani Line Producers for their first venture.