Urban Short - Maidservant

This film is an inclusive narrative of a city in transition. This film is a polycentric journey to revisit the impressions of iconic spaces that represent various classes in the city. Every growing city with its high rises and sky scrapper gets balanced with its adjoining urban poverty. The interdependency of these two spaces has grown to be stronger and blurred with tides of urbanization and globalization. The slum or the adjoining urban poverty is that unintended city, the city that was never a part of the master plan but was always implicit in it. The official city cannot survive without its unintended self but cannot own that self either.
This other city consists of a huge mass of technically discarded obsolete citizens that provide the energy and the cheap labor that is literally the engine of civic life. This engine here the domestic maids, women, is the subject of this film. The previous vulnerability that existed while India was a third world country now exists no more. The domestic maids used to remain a kind of embarrassment to the rest of urban breathing. With tides of globalization and consumerism, these parts of population are no more passive objects or mere tools in economic map of a city. With the change of social, economic and political contours, the domestic maids have become conscious of their position in society and have understood that they play a very important role in shaping the urban middle class existence. With their exposition to the urban-industrial world, media network that supports the global connection and pan-Indian homogeneity, the domestic maids are now demanding to give a structural industrial makeover to their profession with the help of International labor law. But the problem lies in the fact that the global & commercial tides could not change the emotive response of this urban consciousness. The family value system that still rules the domestic space of an Indian household and does not allow the professional structure of this ‘domestic help’. India is no more a very poor country, and its rising GDP has penetrated into the cultural consciousness of its citizens. But, could this change the cultural behaviour of the modern Indian minds? Can the awareness in all the civic rights override the moral value system of the family or deluge the emotional interdependencies of two women (the employer and employed in household domestic structure) from two different classes? The film exposes this dilemma embedded in the pulse of every Indian city with its modern economic climb.

  • Mrinmoy Nandi
    Director
    Khelnabati (Playthings), Animar Aakash (On the way of recognition)
  • Mrinmoy Nandi
    Producer
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    শহরনামা (Shohornama) - কাজের লোক (Kajer Lok)
  • Project Type:
    Documentary
  • Genres:
    Social, Introspective
  • Runtime:
    19 minutes 19 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 2, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    5,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    India
  • Country of Filming:
    India
  • Language:
    Bengali
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
Director Biography - Mrinmoy Nandi

Mrinmoy Nandi completed Graduation in Science from University of Calcutta in 1993.
In 1994, he started his art- practitioner’s career as theatre worker in a famous theatre production “CARE KORI NAA”, a German GRIPS Theatre production in Bengali, produced by Goethe-Institute, Max Mueller Bhavan, Kolkata. He was especially interested in the back stage and decided to work from behind as a technical person than an actor. Probably that provoked him to get into the light design in theatre and from that he took off to cinema imaging with movie camera.

At the beginning, he started assisting cinema directors, sometimes writing for them also as a co-script writer. He joined Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute in Cinematography in 1997 and that was really a turning point for him to see the word with new eyes. As a result he finished his course with his diploma film “SUNDER JIBAN” winning a Rajat Kamal (Silver Lotus), National Award in 2002.

Though he started his career in Mumbai joining Ram Gopal Verma’s team as assistant to his main cinematographer, his independent mind started rolling with shooting for the promotional of MTV channel programmes as a chief visualizer and cameraperson.

By now he has seven feature films – Purple Haze, Pa Ma Ga Re Sa, Ghente Ghaw, Tobey Tai Hok, Jhumura, Basanta Utsav, Barood; many TVCs, & Corporate Films for major national and international brands and Promotional A/Vs for television channels; quite a big volume of television work and many documentaries for international TV channels like BBC, etc. in his bouquet of work.

He has concentrated in making his own films now. KHELNABATI (Play Things) is his first directorial endeavour. He directed and written for Piklu (short fiction), Shohornama (short documentary), Kaajer Lok (long documentary) and other ongoing projects. He recently completed an extensive research based audio-visual documentation project for Cultural Research Institute, Kolkata on art, culture and crafts of 10 scheduled tribes of North Bengal.

He is the editor of www.kaahon.com, the leading web portal researching, documenting and archiving art & cultural activities of present and past.

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Director Statement

The tendencies or push towards social and cultural homogeneity in the consumerist globalised world is highly objectionable and should be protested.