Story behind a Story : Directors Indrani Chakravarty, Jesse Alk and Jitendra Rai talk about their films screened at MIFF 2020

Indrani Chakraborty

Ladakh Chale Rickshawala by Indrani Chakraborty tells the tale of a rickshawala in Kolkata, who travels to far away destinations in his cycle-rickshaw. Initially when Indrani conceptualized the idea of filming his journey to Ladakh, the film got shelved away owing to lack of finance, time and equipments required in filming his journey. “It was only after I handed over a handy-cam to shoot his journey on his own, did the film start getting made”, Indrani Chakravarty said during the joint press conference with directors Jesse Alk and Jitendra Rai at the festival.

“I never looked at this film with a profit motive. I wanted to record only this incredible man’s journey and showcase it,” she said. The documentary is spun around the struggles of the protagonist, his wife and the crew who passionately wanted to capture this wonderful journey. The documentary is short listed under National Competition category of MIFF2020.

Jitendra Rai

Baitullah by Jitendra Rai is a short fiction film featuring under National Category at the festival. Jitendra’s first short film Cup of Tea got critically acclaimed and received overwhelming response on social media and one of the comments about the film inspired him to make this film. Millions of children in India are engaged in child labour, whose dreams are thwarted due to lack of education. Baitullah is the story of one such child, with a dream, surviving in the maddening metropolis of Mumbai, waiting for someone to notice.

Jesse Alk

Pariah Dog, by Jesse Alk is a film that portrays a lyrical, kaleidoscopic picture of the city of Kolkata, seen through the prism of four outsiders and neglected street dogs they love. The film gains intimate access to the lives of its subjects as they both care for the stray animals around them, and struggle to find their own place in this crowded megacity. Jesse mentioned that the crew had a 165 hour footage which was for challenging at the editing table. The documentary featured under International Competition of MIFF2020.