Toronto International Film Festival saw a whopping total of 296 features unspooled this year, with hundreds of film buffs and famous Hollywood moguls sweeping through the already bustling Canadian city.
Some of these films are already being seen as Oscar contenders by prominent film critics. Natalie Portman as Jacqueline Kennedy in Pablo Larraín’s Jackie has won critical acclaim for the Chilean director’s depiction of the days
This year’s edition of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), which ended on Sunday, screened three Indian documentaries. One of them, ‘An Insignificant Man’ is on anything but insignificant, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. The other two were ‘The Cinema Travellers’ by Shirley Abraham and Amit Madhesiya and ‘India in a Day’ by Richie Mehta.
The filmmakers of ‘An Insignificant Man,’ Khushboo Ranka and Vinay Shukla have been documenting the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi since the time of its inception. “We were curious about Kejriwal and the anti-corruption movement. When we heard the rumours about a political party, we wanted to know more. So we went to Delhi in 2012,” said Shukla, as reported by the Hindustan Times. From then on, they have been shooting AAP at close quarters, even getting access to their top-level meetings.
Ranka also revealed that they had an understanding with AAP about sharing the footage with the party but what the duo did with the footage was at their own discretion. They claim to have tried to study the rise of AAP as a perspective into participatory democracy in the world’s largest democracy. With over 400 hours of footage, the editing process took over two years. There are no voiceovers or narration in the documentary and it just observes this phenomenon as it unfolds.
Anand Gandhi, producer of the documentary also famous for directing ‘Ship Of Theseus’ was all praises for what Ranka and Shukla have managed to achieve in their 95-minute long documentary. He said, in a report by Huffington Post India, “This film is a fantastic document of what has been the singular biggest problem for democracy anywhere in the world: making it more participatory.”Without trying to portray the party or Kejriwal in any particular way, the film captures public rallies and meetings along with exploring the most important stakeholder in the democratic process, the voter.
Being a crowd-funded project, it received 600 per cent of his estimated budget from about 800 donors collecting a whooping Rs. 71,00,000 and became the largest Indian crowd-funded project of 2014. As reported by the Hindustan Times, Vinay Shukla said, “Media channels couldn’t address everything that needed attention. I think people realised the importance of having filmmakers and citizens come forth and shoulder that challenge.”
‘An Insignificant Man’ is definitely going to be a much-awaited release in India. After winning accolades across the globe, the subject has managed to steer public attention to itself.