As part of our Film & Documentary Screening series this month we bring to you Tungrus by Rishi Chandna and Neon by Sakshi Gulati. Looking at the absurd in the every day, with a pet chicken and a gigantic billboard, these two films explore disturbing urban truths. Programmed by Vasudha Wantu.
Tungrus is a short documentary that observes a week in the peculiar lives of a middle-class household in Mumbai, which turns topsy-turvy when the eccentric patriarch brings home a baby chick for his cats to play with.
What follows is an alternatingly absurd, nerve-jangling and heart-warming set of accounts about the latest addition, from each member of the family. The once adorable chick has survived his early days and grown into a tyrant, willful bird – forever taking up too much of their space and generally making life in the apartment unlivable.
The film follows the thoughts of each person to their inevitable conclusion – the rooster’s got to go. And as his fate hangs in the balance, the family debates the question that lingers in the air: should he be given the gift of life, or served for dinner?
Duration: 13 minutes
Language: Hindi and English
Rishi Chandna is an independent filmmaker based out of Mumbai and Tungrus is his first short film. In December 2018, he was awarded Best Director Non-Fiction at the first CCSFA (Critics Choice Short Film Awards), put together by the Film Critics Guild, India. Reviews of Tungrus have appeared in top publications such as New York Times, The Globe and Mail, The Hindu, Indian Express, Scroll.com, Film Companion and more. As a director and producer, Rishi has played a key role in finding a worldwide audience for Tungrus by licensing it to major platforms such as New York Times Op-Docs, Atlantic Selects, Amazon Prime, Criterion FilmStruck, RTL and Aeon Magazine.Rishi is now developing the screenplay for his first feature length fiction film.
Neon – Having recently moved to Mumbai, a working-class family rents out their balcony to an advertising company in order to supplement their meagre income. A gigantic billboard that reads “Add value to your life” now blocks all-natural sunlight to their cramped apartment, disturbing the family’s natural rhythms and forcing them to adjust to life suspended in a permanent evening illuminated by a strange neon glow. As the parents struggle to bear their compromised present in hopes for a better future that appears increasingly elusive, the children, hopeful and resilient, find comfort in each other and look for cracks through which the light creeps in.
Duration: 27 minutes
Language: Hindi, Marathi & English
Sakshi Gulati recently graduated in Film Direction from the Film and Television Institute, Pune, with NEON being her diploma film. She was Festival Director of Chinh India Kids Film Festival from 2008-2010 and has worked with grassroot initiatives, fiction and non-fiction films, and documentation of Folk Cultures & Media literacy initiatives.
Door:20:00 Film:20:30 Entry: Free