The world’s first Sanskrit science film documents ISRO’s Mars orbiter mission

Don’t be surprised if you find difficult space exploration theories and technical jargon on rocket science used in Sanskrit, the ancient language of the Vedas and mantras, in a movie. A classic-language science documentary, which is considered the first such initiative in world cinema, will soon cast its spell over cinema-goers with the success story of the historical “Mars Orbiter Mission” (MOM) alias “Mangalyaan”. Award-winning national filmmaker Vinod Mankara, known for his efforts to revive Sanskrit, widely considered a dead language, comes out with the groundbreaking documentary film. The proposed 45-minute film, entitled Yaanam, is based on My Odyssey: Memoirs of the Man Behind the Mangalyaan Mission, written by former Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) director K Radhakrishnan.

Mankara said that it will definitely be a full Sanskrit docu since all of the script and dialogues will be in the ancient language.

The shooting for the film should take place in February, the world premiere is planned for April next year.

The director’s Priyamanasam, the world’s third Sanskrit feature film, won the National Award for best feature film in that language. It was also the opening film for the feature film section of the India International Film Festival (IFFI) in 2015.

“When Yanam is finished, it will be the world’s first professional documentary of its kind in Sanskrit. Science and Sanskrit may seem like an odd combination, but I have my own reasons for beating them up, ”he told Press Trust of India. .

A passionate lover of the classical language and Indian thought, Mankara said the country can boast of its achievements in space exploration as well as its Sanskrit heritage, considered the mother of many languages.

“Most of the subcontinent’s ancient texts, including space and astronomy, were written in Sanskrit, so what’s wrong with using that language as the medium in a film about the country’s mission to Mars? He explained. Inquiry.

“The aim of the film is to present the nation’s achievements in our own language to the international community. It will be funding for both linguistic and spatial performance, ”explained the director.

To prove that astronomy and cosmology are not alien subjects to Sanskrit, Mankara mentioned an ancient Indian text called Surya Siddhanta. As a Sanskrit treatise on Indian astronomy in 14 chapters, the Surya Siddhanta describes rules for calculating the movements of different planets and the moon in relation to different constellations and calculating the orbits of different astronomical bodies.

“If a text that would have been written in the second century can freely describe exclusive scientific literature in Sanskrit verse, why can’t we imagine a science film in that language? That thought led me to the concept of this documentary, ”he said.

When asked about his choice of the book by the former ISRO boss as the basis for his documentary, Mankara said it was an “incredible” book that could also be seen as a side story of the space agency ISRO itself. “The book documents Radhakrishnan’s more than four decades long career at ISRO. My film is based on one of his chapters called ‘Martian Odyssey’. It contains all the ingredients for an exciting detective story, ”says the filmmaker.

The narrative text for the film is not yet complete, and one of the biggest challenges in writing the script is finding Sanskrit equivalents for technical words in space science, he said. Not only the narration, but also the dialogues of all characters appearing in the film should be written in Sanskrit.

Realizing that it won’t be a traditional documentary format, Mankara said the film explores advanced visual technology and augmented reality techniques. “Beyond the technical aspects of the Mars mission, I want to showcase the tireless commitment of a group of hard-working scientists who have accomplished this feat for the country, and on an incredibly tight budget,” he says.

In addition to showing it to the scientific community and at universities and colleges across the country, the director is also planning a world premiere of his documentary. “I would love to Yaanam for space scientists at NASA, SpaceX, the European Union Space Agency, the United Arab Emirates Space Agency, etc. If everything goes according to plan, world scientists will follow India’s successful space saga in the ancient language of the subcontinent,” he said and added that it would have English subtitles.

DTS 4K digital film is produced by AV Anoop under the banner of AVA Productions.

Several renowned technical experts are expected for this first scientific film in Sanskrit, which is due to be released on April 12th, the anniversary of the world’s first space shuttle mission. The Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was the first person to travel to space on April 12, 1961.

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