Current Filmmakers in Residence
My Good Name is Stalin
2008-2009 Filmmaker in Residence
Kavita Pillay began her career in documentary film as an associate producer for Northern Light Productions. In 2005, she traveled to India as a Fulbright Scholar to study Kerala's independent film tradition, during which time she began encountering Keralites with Soviet inspired names. A graduate of Tufts and John Hopkins, Kavita studied film at the PCFE Film School in Prague and has worked on a number of documentaries and short narrative films. My Good Name Is Stalin is her directoral debut.
Though absent from lists of Cold War hotspots, over the past five decades the south Indian state of Kerala has maintained a unique, often confounding and seemingly contradictory affection for democratically elected Communism. Long regarded as one of the most equitable corners of the world, this verdant region of the subcontinent gained new status as an international tourist haven upon being named one of the "World's Ten Paradises" by National Geographic. Yet the high praise has generally skirted certain less fortunate truths about the state: decades of economic stagnation, unemployment rates that continually hover at 20%, suicide and alcoholism stats that are the highest in India and a pervasive and growing brain drain that has taken millions of Kerala's workers elsewhere.
Today, Kerala's longstanding romance with Communism is increasingly viewed as a factor in keeping India's best-educated population from participating in the country's economic ascent. Against the backdrop of a skyrocketing Indian economy and Russia's recent military resurgence, My Good Name Is Stalin explores Kerala's role as the world's first - and potentially last - democratically elected Communist state through the eyes of six Keralites who share one infamous name.
Chico David Colvard
2008-2009 Filmmaker in Residence
More About Family Affair:
After graduating from Boston College Law School, Colvard pursued a career in corporate litigation followed by education. For the past five years, he has offered courses at the University of Massachusetts Boston that intersect with his interests in “Race, Law & Media.” His feature-length documentary debut, Family Affair, sets out to combine his legal training with the visual arts to reveal how they function as a communicator and container of our cultural identity. He also wishes to demonstrate how social justice documentaries contribute to the ongoing definition of society and communities in which we live.
Like a scene torn from The Color Purple or Capturing the Friedmans, filmmaker Chico David Colvard’s deeply personal and uncompromising documentary examines the complex levels of pedophilia and how it can manipulate and control an entire family for life. The film is also a portrait of a family that struggles with issues we all face. Family Affair challenges the audience to take a more complicated view of child molesters like the filmmaker’s father, while fostering compassion for their victims, like his sisters. Their story is a universal one about resilience, survival and having the capacity to accommodate a parent’s past crimes in order to satisfy their longing for family.