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Speakers

Indie Filmmaker, Published Poet, Advertising Professional, Entrepreneur & Guest Lecturer
Co-founder, Silver Talkies
Interlocutor

Date & Time

Saturday Sat, 10 Feb 2024

Location

Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bangalore, Karnataka 560071 India

Marathi & English with English Subtitles | 64 minutes | 2023 | India

In the bustling city of Mumbai, where life never stops, a couple decide to end theirs. Becoming India’s first couple to jointly appeal for Euthanasia (illegal in India). Their quest to die, breathes new life into their existence!

In a century-old chawl we meet Ira and Narayan who have lived together in a 12ft x 12ft partitioned room for 53 years. Without affluence or influence, these unconventional octogenarians not only legally petition the highest authorities in the country, but actively engage the media to have their voice heard in a world that often overlooks them. Attention brings the watchful eye of the police to their door.

Within their walls they bide their hours in restless quietude, silences, occasionally broken with banter and wry quarrels that hark back to their arranged marriage, love, patriarchy and social taboos. Indeterminable waiting, for official response, causes time to hang heavy inside their room. Outside their front door, we are transported from their island of isolation, to the frenetic rhythms of chawl life where seasons, festivals, events, rush by. The couple’s ageing bodies and minds, juxtaposed with the relentless march of progress of city and its dwellers, tell parallel stories of transience. Within this narrative, a neighbourhood sculptor, crafting Ganesha idols, symbolises the eternal cycle of birth, life and death. Through this ethnic microcosm, universal themes of love, loss, freedom, ageing, are uncovered. An unforeseen crisis brings the couple to a crossroad. In this interplay of life and death is the desire for one actually the yearning for the other?

Credits:
Director: Sumira Roy
Producers: Sumira Roy, Monisha Advani,  Apoorva Bakshi and Monisha Thyagarajan (Awedacious Originals)
Co-Producers: Uma da Cunha and Siddhant Sarin (Teh Films)
Cinematography: Ishani Roy
Editor: Enis Saraçi
Sound Design: Mohandas VP
Film Characters: Irawati Lavate, Narayan Krishnaji Lavate, Prakash Joshi

Director’s Statement:
This film began with the story of my mother.

A fiercely independent woman, she was shattered when she couldn’t drive anymore. She began to talk about dying with dignity. Petrified at the thought, I glossed over it, didn’t really hear her.

When my mother passed away, I met the film’s couple to understand their wish for ‘the right to die with dignity’ and get closure. I stayed back, over 4 years to film them.

This film is an exploration of the emotional aspects of growing old, that sense of feeling distant from everyday life, feeling unable to contribute to the world anymore.

I wanted to immerse audiences in this micro universe, to experience the interior worlds of ageing minds. To viscerally be in a place unfamiliar to most of us till we get old ourselves.

The porous nature of the chawl which merges the private and public life through a shared corridor allowed me to explore a cinematic dialogue between their personal narrative and the ever-evolving world they inhabit.

I was also interested in depicting how we Indians make our gods play out the cycle of life during festivals!

In today’s urgency culture, are we having meaningful conversations with our aged? Has Google killed the thirst for their lived wisdom? India considered a young country has the elderly growing 3 times faster than the youth, with negligible geriatric and palliative care. My intent is to make the invisible, visible. And have audiences rethink the ways we engage with this section of society and with our own loved ones in it.

Speakers

Sumira Roy

Indie Filmmaker, Published Poet, Advertising Professional, Entrepreneur & Guest Lecturer

Sumira is experienced in different formats of storytelling. Her passion lies in changing mindsets, provoking reflection and fuelling imagination.

Her newest release is Bhangaar 2023. She has a documentary in production and is writing a screenplay for a doc fiction.

Her previous film Last Days. Last Shot. won Best Medium Length at the Scandinavian International Film Festival, was invited to the NY premiere at the Museum of the Moving Image and had an Europe premiere in Stuttgart, Germany. It was also selected as one of seven Asian films for a DOK Leipzig mentorship workshop. Official selection in various festivals across Europe, UK, and Asia. She is a recipient of the prestigious Crossing Borders Grant from The Literary Colloquium of Berlin and Robert Bosch Foundation, Germany.

In her other avatar Sumira is an award-winning Creative Director. She worked at Ogilvy and JWT (VMLY&R) on many multinational brands like De beers, Cadbury’s, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg’s and Unilever amongst others. She went on to be become Co-founder and Creative Head at PS Advertising and later founded SOW films and Design Company. She is a post graduate from Rikkyo University, Tokyo, Japan.

Sumira is a yoga enthusiast and meditation practitioner, dance floor burner, Reiki master, addicted traveller, lover of Haiku and 35 mm.

Nidhi Chawla

Co-founder, Silver Talkies

Nidhi Chawla is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Silver Talkies. She has several years of experience in the financial services sector and has received leadership awards for her work in the eldercare space. She is a member of the CII Seniorcare Committee.