Natural Sciences

Unearthing The Treasures Of Ariyalur – A Documentary

poster first look

Early July 2015, a bunch of us from CAFF gathered to discuss and reboot ‘Nirmukta Videos‘ project. It was also to deliberate on the idea of making the most out of our in-house paleontologist’s visit to TN. Nirmal Rajah, has hosted a talk about fossils and paleontology, and it was a runaway hit – so the decision to make this documentary film about fossils in Ariyalur, coinciding with his visit, was rather easy!

Around August, after days of shooting and weeks of toiling to put the final product together, the film premiered on 26th of January in Chennai and is now open for public consumption. Highly indebted to the generosity of funders, both financial and otherwise (no documentary team would have the luxury of working in the beautiful post production suite in Make Real Media, generously offered by Bala Bhaskar).

The documentary is about 26 minutes long and it gives a glimpse of various fossils available in Ariyalur. Although we have tried to cover a lot of information via this film, it is important to note that, it is not exhaustive. We have tried our best to fit in key points, that could be explained using visual medium – with its limitations. With other concerns such as permissions, funds, time, and various other variables, it is possible that a scientific concept can’t be explained entirely. A lot of further study and research is highly recommended for those who wish to delve deep into the subject. To aid the same, we would like to point you towards a lot of useful resources and links, in this page.


How would one travel time, traverse a chasm spanning millions of years to stare into the past? In the little town of Ariyalur, you can do the impossible. Standing in the midst of a mass grave of prehistoric ocean life, one gets a glimpse of mother earth in her Cretaceous prime and comes face to face with a physical incarnation of time and life of the planet.

Note: This is an absolutely non-commercial project, so if you wish to screen it anywhere, please let us know, we will be happy to help. A couple of quick list of crew members & funders first:


Director & VOA: Vaishnavi Sundar | Cinematographer: Pradeep Padma Kumar | Sync Sound: Dhanush Nayanar | Editor: Alisha Gopiraj and Keerthana Murali | Sound Mixing: Keerthana Murali | VFX: Make Real Media | Colorist: Raja Rajan | Music: Deva McEnrow | Asst. Director: Soorya Sriram | 2nd Camera: Vishwajeet Chandrashekar | Production: Lime Soda Films

Creative Content:

Bala Bhaskar, Balasubramaniam, Geetha TG, Nirmal Rajah, Soorya Sriram, Vaishnavi Sundar


Nirmal Rajah, Anurag Amin


Arun, Beena, Balu, Vijay Krishna, Senthamizh Selvan, Geetha, Balaji, Ganesh, Prema, Madhavan, Rajavel, Anitha J, Cheziyan, Saranya Senguttuvan, Ankit, Kanad Kanhare, Neethi, Thara, and a bunch of anonymous funders. Thulir Learning Solutions Pvt. Ltd, RJP Infotek Pvt. Ltd., Alfa Weighing Systems Pvt. Ltd., Concolor Works and Designs.

Here’s the documentary:


Further Reading:

For screening it in your school, academic institution, documentary club or just a gathering of people interested in science, please get in touch with us us at

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