India has released a science documentary in Sanskrit, a first in the history of world cinema. The science film, titled ‘Yaanam’, is a 44-minute-long documentary which recounts the story of India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), or Mangalyaan. The word Yaanam means ‘chariot’ in Sanskrit.
Yaanam premiered before a select audience in Chennai, on August 21, 2022, according to the Union Ministry of Culture.
India released the world’s first science documentary in Sanskrit & we can’t be prouder! Called #Yaanam, this 44-minute-long documentary tells the story of India’s #Mangalyaan Mission. It premiered before a select audience recently in #Chennai #AmritMahotsav #MainBharatHoon pic.twitter.com/IjMcFLdsX9
— Amrit Mahotsav (@AmritMahotsav) August 27, 2022 Mangalyaan, India’s first interplanetary mission, was launched on November 5, 2013. The Mars Orbiter Mission probe was launched atop a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket C25 from First Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. The orbiter reached Mars on September 24, 2014.
The Mangalyaan mission, which marks India’s first venture into interplanetary space, is exploring and observing the surface features of Mars, and also the morphology, mineralogy and atmosphere of the Red Planet. Mangalyaan carried five scientific instruments.
Yaanam is directed by National Award-winning filmmaker Vinod Mankara, and produced by Dr. AV Anoop.
The movie is based on a book by K Radhakrishnan, former chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The book is titled “My Odyssey: Memoirs of the Man Behind the Mangalyaan Mission”. Yaanam features Radhakrishnan, and also S Somanath, the current chairman of the ISRO.
According to a report by news agency PTI, Mankara said the objective of the documentary is to project the potentials of the ISRO and the capabilities of its scientists before the world. He further said the documentary explains how Indian scientists have overcome all limitations and made the complex Mars mission a huge success in the first attempt itself.
The National Award winner added that Yaanam was made with complete support from ISRO. He also said that the 44-minute documentary is a complete Sanskrit film by all means because the entire script and dialogues are in the classical language of South Asia.
Mankara stated that the majority of the ancient texts of the Indian subcontinent, including those of space and astronomy, were compiled in Sanskrit. Similarly, the Sanskrit language has been used to make a movie which highlights India’s first interplanetary mission.
The 2015 Sanskrit-language film “Priyamanasam”, directed by Mankara, had received the Best Sanskrit Feature Film Award at the 63rd National Film Awards.
Mankara also plans a global premiere for Yaanam.