Tuesday, March 26, 2013

ATN Signs "The Legend of Ponnivala" for Canadian Broadcast

ATN Signs "The Legend of Ponnivala" for Canadian Broadcast
- Animated epic series to air spring 2013 -
GORE'S LANDING, ON (March, 2013) - The Sophia Hilton Foundation of Canada and Soft Science Associates, Ltd., creators of the animated "Legend of Ponnivala" series, have signed on with the Asian Television Network for Canadian broadcast of the 26-episode series. The series is slated to launch in English on ATN in late April, with a Tamil-language broadcast planned for the summer.

"The Legend of Ponnivala" tells the story of the epic South Indian heroes Ponnar and Shankar. It also relates the origins of their family, back to the founding of the region two generations earlier. It is a surprisingly expansive tale for a local legend, and includes a wealth of historical and social insights into medieval Indian culture. It draws inspiration and characters from the great Indian epic, the Mahabharata, while keeping its focus on farming, the lifestyle central to its place of origin.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Dr. Beck at UWO

Dr. Beck was invited by the English Department at London's University of Western Ontario to deliver four separate presentations. Three of these were given to classes, and a fourth was a general lecture open to faculty and students.

A number of people in attendance expressed considerable interest in the Ponnivala project. Several even picked up the complete series right on the spot!

Since returning from London, Dr. Beck has received a number of emails from her hosts detailing some of the positive feedback and response to the lectures, and several students have since written with additional questions and requests for supplemental materials.


To book Dr. Beck for speaking and lecturing engagements via the website, use our Contact form.

[Original Post]

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Ponnivala Education Project Kicks Off in Scarborough

Dr. Beck and the Sophia Hilton Foundation experienced an excellent kick-off reception this morning for our new, semester-long program for grade six students at the Sathya Sai School in Scarborough, Ontario.

The Sathya Sai School is a private, non-denominational, co-educational day school of 160 students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 6 that balances both academic excellence and character development. The teacher of the sixth grade class there, Mr. Parthi Kandavel, has taken up The Legend of Ponnivala as a full term class project. His 19 students will be watching one video episode a day for roughly seven weeks, with each Friday allocated to discussions, assignments related to the story including various supplemental research/exploration/creative-arts activities.

The kids were really responsive this morning as Dr. Beck ntroduced the project personally. They are to be our first "test group." The reception from the whole school was very warm and welcoming. The kids were mature, and they asked good, perceptive questions. We am really excited about this initiative and it will help us think about how to expand our effort to share various aspects of Indian culture and at the same time educate kids in a multi-disciplinary fashion by drawing them into this exceptionally deep, broad and engaging story.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Ponnivala on Crossroads with Manjula Selvaraja

Here's a great clip from Dr. Beck's appearance on Crossroads on TVI. Ms. Selvaraja is clearly a fan :)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Ponnivala at the Thai Pongal Celebration Dinner

Pictured: (left to right) Art Director Ravichandran Arumugam, Dr. Brenda Beck, Technical Director Eric Harris, and CTC Board Member Kumar Ratnam.

On Saturday, January 19, members of the Ponnivala team were honoured to accept Mr. Danton Thurairajah's invitation to be guests at the Candadian Tamil Congress' Thai Pongal Dinner in Markham, Ontario.

Attended by some nine hundred people, the event was a wonderful evening of entertainment and food. The emcee for the evening was Crossroads host Manjula Selvarajah, with whom Dr. Beck had a televised interview just a week ago on TVI.

In addition to being a celebration and awards ceremony, the Thai Pongal Celebration Dinner also served as the backdrop for an important book launch: Mr. Appadurai Mutulingam's translation into Tamil of Frances Harrison's Still Counting the Dead, an account of the horrific climax of the bloody conflict between the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan government. Mr. Mutulingam is a found of the Tamil Literary Garden, and has assisted The Legend of Ponnivala project by translating the story synopses for the back covers of our two-volume complete editions in Tamil (to be released soon).

The two-volume set is already available in English from Amazon and CreateSpace.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Brenda Beck Talks Ponnivala with TVI

This past Sunday, Dr. Brenda Beck made an appearance on TVI's "Crossroads" with host Manjula Selvaraja. The topic was teaching and learning the Tamil language abroad, especially in Canada. Joining them were two students from the University of Toronto.

In other news, Series One of The Legend of Ponnivala is now available in Tamil from the Ponnivala Marketplace! This is the long-awaited print edition of the Tamil comics from Amazon and CreateSpace.