‘Chai Darbari’- Entry to Oscars 2020
Prateek Shekhar’s Chai Darbari was India’s entry to the Oscars in the Documentary (Short Subject) Category. The film was made as a part of 6-month filmmaking program, 'Moving Image: Open Form' (MIC) that ran in SACAC from January to June 2018.
Film Synopsis: A search for ‘truth’ stumbles upon varied textures of conversations. Conversations carrying echoes from print, electronic, social media; redolent with the local atmosphere and the context of the city’s past. Since 1992 Ayodhya has been a crucial ground for electoral politics and debates. Unverified and politically motivated videos, circulated on an ever growing WhatsApp web, have complicated the issue a little more. These videos are one-way dialogic conversations, encoded with an ‘us versus them’ subtext. Parallel to this, all arguments around Ayodhya overlook multiple lived realities of the residents. While these realities transmute into endless conversations over chai (tea) in Ayodhya, the nature of the discourse is significantly different in the cities. Chai Darbari is a small tapestry of a few such conversations.