- Title: A Google feature film lays bare life in India
- Date: 23rd September 2016
- Summary: TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA (RECENT - SEPTEMBER 14, 2016) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, RICHIE MEHTA, SAYING: "One thing that surprised me the most was the sense of humor. People were talking about really really big issues and brutal and tragic issues as well but the humor that they were doing it with is really very very special. Indians have a special sense of humor and a lightness in how they approach things because it's their everyday life. They have to."
- Embargoed: 8th October 2016 20:02
- Keywords: India in a Day cameras documentary Richie Mehta crowd funding Google YouTube
- Location: TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA; UNIDENTIFIED FILMING LOCATIONS
- City: TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA; UNIDENTIFIED FILMING LOCATIONS
- Country: Canada
- Topics: Film
- Reuters ID: LVA00650SG02H
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Technology company Google has made a foray into feature films with the crowd contributed film "India in a Day".
Produced by British film maker Ridley Scott and Indian independent director Anurag Kashyap, the production invited people living in India to talk about their daily lives on October 10, 2015.
The film, which is due to be released on YouTube for free soon, had thousands of contributions which were supervised by executive producer Richie Mehta.
Speaking at the Toronto International Film Festival where the film was shown, Mehta explained "One of the questions we posed if you needed to think about something is talk about life in evolving India and it was a general question. You could do anything you want, you show yourself brushing your teeth or you could talk about this and this and a lot of people addressed and a lot of people addressed it in very clever ways and overall what I found the footage was doing and I think you would have watched it and found the same thing was really being reflective and introspective about the nature of progress."
The concept was to get a broad view of India from all walks of life and the film follows Indians through the hours of the day with the spine of the film being a farmer living an idyllic life. "An interesting aspect of this film is nobody from what you and I would call the economically wealthy class submitted a scrap of footage for this film. It was all coming from what we would label as the middle class, lower middle class, labor class in a way. So you look at that and the thousands of submissions that came in - I can't help but think at the risk of generalizing who was it that had something to say and never had that vehicle to say it before?"
'India in a Day' tackles issues of caste, sexuality, motherhood and aspirations and Mehta praised the contributors for their eloquence.
"The thing here is that Indians are expressing themselves," he said. "Obviously, we've done the curation and the presentation of it because... What I hope we've achieved in that presentation is allowing the purity of what is expressed to stand and allowing the patterns we perceived in the footage come together. Indians I know that have seen it and including the censorship board have been very moved by it and in fact when I was told the board watched it, they were very very moved and vocal about how moved they were."
"The layman, the lay-person on the street has addressed many of those issues in a more genuine and creative way just using their phones and speaking than we have been able to do in years of thought, millions of dollars and hundreds and hundreds of people coming together. They're doing it in a more interesting way," he added.
"The language they engage with narrative in media has advanced so much and their understanding of it than normal Joe Schmo on the street has advanced so much that they're able to address it so we have to change our game now. What we offer has to be better than what they are capable of doing. I think according to this film - I can say this because I didn't shoot it - they're doing it better than we are."
'India in a Day', which is premiering on Friday (September 23) in India, will first have a cinematic release in India before being available worldwide on YouTube.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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