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Film on Travelling Cinemas

May 21, 2013

"Like ants for sugar", a documentary film on traveling tent cinemas of India, by Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya, is being pitched at international festivals this year. The film unfolds as a visual journey, constructed through encounters with showmen and exhibitors striving to keep their place in the vanishing world of the touring talkies.

Shirley and Amit will pitch like ants for sugar at Meet Market at Sheffield Doc/Fest in June. Now in its 20th Year, Sheffield Doc/Fest is one of the top three documentary festivals and markets in the world. Speaking about the film selection, Charlie Philips, the Director of Meet Market said, “it's a beautiful and important documentary bringing a side of Indian society to the rest of the world that is rarely seen in documentaries which travel internationally. This is a real and positive story of Indian cinephilia, and I can't wait for the international market to hear Shirley and Amit pitching it in Sheffield. The project was selected on merit as one of 63 projects from 614 applications, and I'm so pleased for the team."

The team has also been invited to Sunny Side of the Doc in La Rochelle, France, later in June. Sunny Side is a landmark meeting place for international coproductions, where producers, buyers and key decision makers from all the over the world converge. The invitation came as part of the Special Jury Award that the film pitch won at Asian Side of the Doc in Kuala Lumpur in March. Speaking about the film’s trailer and pitch, Yves Jeanneau, the Managing Director of Sunny Side of the Doc lauds the captivating magic of cinema in the film, saying that it’s a ‘brilliant, universal story’.

Earlier this year in February, like ants for sugar was also pitched at Asian Forum for Documentary, Docedge Kolkata, winning the Best Project Award.

Amit Madheshiya and Shirley Abraham have been fellows of the Cluster “Asia and Europe”. In 2009, they presented their work “Film technology as cultural import: The restructuring of the domain of religious fairs in India by the arrival of travelling cinemas” through seminars and workshops. Amit Madheshiya´s photographs of traveling cinemas received the World Press Photo Award in 2011. His work was later exhibited at the Karl Jaspers Center and the South Asian Institute in Heidelberg in 2011 and 2013. This year in January, Amit and Shirley also conducted a workshop on ethnographic photography at the Cluster.



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  • Amit Madheshiya and Shirley Abraham at the exhibition in the Karl Jaspers Centre in 2011