1 x 25’
A 15 years old slum kid Aadil aspires and hustles to one day rise to become a “Bollywood” star.more images
“Slumdog Actor” shows the audiences an unlikely path to stardom in India's city of dreams, Mumbai. These aspiring actors from Dharavi slum, mostly living in dismal conditions, live with the hope that someday they will be able to make it in movies like “Slumdog Millionnaire” or Bollywood’s commercial cinema. While many of them do realize that they have absolutely no chance, there are others who are not willing to give up. This is the story of a such kid, Aadil – who are aiming to win over the world with their talent – and talent alone.
|Human Interest / Children
|ヒューマン・ドキュメンタリー / 子ども
|Hiroshi SERITA (Group Gendai Films)
|Carrot Films / GROUP GENDAI
|Carrot Films / グループ現代
|©Carrot Films / GROUP GENDAI
I met Aadil, a 15-year-old boy, in an extremely shambled state in Dharavi, India's largest slum in the city of Mumbai. He was crazy enough to nurture a dream - to be a part of the Bollywood Film industry someday. This was his way out – to escape the harsh realities of his life, which included an absconding father and a psychotic mother.
I found his story to be intriguing; I thought to myself I must video document his personal journey and perhaps through him understand the hardships of young adults living in oppressed condition in urban shanties. I had one primary quest - how do they manage to harbour dreams that go way beyond their means? What is it that keeps them ticking?
In the process, I met Aadil’s mentor, Baburao, a failed actor who now runs an acting class for slum children. Baburao has taken Aadil under his wings, and despite his limited resources, he trains him to earn a living and to pursue his dreams. The story I documented involves around the relationship between Aadil, his father figure Baburao, and many other slum children who want to be part of the film industry. Despite their squalid surroundings, their enthusiasm knows no bounds when it comes to picking up tips on acting – and I feel there’s so much to learn from them about life.
Director: Ishani Dutta
Ishani K Dutta comes across as an activist in the garb of a film-maker. Her intrepid nature and keen sense of regard for all things human gives her a unique social perspective – that reflects in her films. She has been making documentaries for close to two decades now, primarily on three domains that interest her the most – children, gender issues and the environment. She also loves making films that deals with unique twists and turns of history; but even in those ‘period’ films, her ‘people’ perspective storytelling becomes a paramount expression.
A trained researcher, she ensures that her stories are backed with credible data, and reflect the true conditions of underserved India. Her depiction of unique human stories of hope and despair, laden with impeccable imagery and globally appreciated aesthetics, has won her numerous awards and accolades over the years, and participated in key domestic and global festivals.
Nonetheless, Ishani considers her greatest achievement to be the ground impact of her films – which has led to changes in policy decisions, and resulted in the success story of many of her key protagonists. With boundless energy, she continues her storytelling journey with unmatched enthusiasm, with no signs at all of slowing down.
Producer: Hiroshi SERITA
Takeshi After backpacking in Europe and studying mass communications in the US, Hiroshi Serita joined Group Gendai Films in 1998 and has served as a director for documentaries. Currently he is producing a variety of television programs on topics such as travel, nature and science for NHK.