She directed ‘Catharsis (Silencing Revelations)’, a short film on the political killings of Kannur, which won several awards.

Short-film director and social activist Indira Zen passes away she was 54Image Courtesy: Indira's Facebook Page
news Death Sunday, June 10, 2018 - 19:37

Short-film director and social activist Indira Zen passed away at the Medical College in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday at the age of 54. 

On May 25, Indira had put a profile picture on Facebook wearing an oxygen tube. Her mortal remains have been shifted to her home at Thiruvallom in Thiruvananthapuram. She will be cremated at 10.30am on Monday.

The director had been undergoing treatment for lung-related ailments for several months.  

From Tirur, Malappuram, Indira shifted base to Thiruvananthapuram to learn and to be a part of films. She also studied at the Southern Film Institute in the city. She then moved to Thiruvallom for many years, after beginning her association with the Kerala Chalachitra Academy.

Indira began her journey in the film industry two decades ago, and she went on to assist ace filmmakers PA Backer, Surasu and Ali Akbar —  famous names in Malayalam’s parallel film world. She also used to be an associate of film editor Beena Paul. Indira entered the world of cinema at a time when women were not common in the field. She faced many challenges during her initial days.

She was the associate director of Athyunnathangalil Koodaram Panithavar, a movie made by AA Aziz. She was assistant director of noted director Lenin Rajendran's movie Kulam. Indira directed scores of short films for various government departments under CDit (Centre for Development of Imaging Technology).

She also doubled up as a cinematographer. Indira was the cinematographer for Vaha Insan Ko Mara, which won the state government's award for the best contemporary television programme. 

After a while, she had even abstained from the field owing to the discrimination she had to face as a woman. After returning to the industry,  she directed Catharsis (Silencing Revelations), a short film on the political killings of Kannur. Catharsis won the special jury award for the best short film and Prathap P Nair won the best director of cinematography at the 5th National Documentary Short Film Festival (NDSF) held in Thrissur.

The film was also selected as the best short film at the Contact (organisation of artists and technicians of Malayalam television industry) film festival in January and was selected to show in the competition section of the Mumbai International Film Festival of India held in December.

Indira is survived by her sister Sathyabhama and brothers Madhu, Unnikrishnan and Ravi.

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