India In a Day

Richie MehtaIndia / United Kingdom86 minutes2016GColourHindi English

Directed by Richie Mehta, executive produced by Ridley Scott and powered by Google, India in a Day is a new form of non-fiction filmmaking that uses footage shot by millions of people in India on one single day to assemble a lyrical portrait of modern India.

October 10, 2015 was a day like any other. It wasn't a national holiday or anniversary, and it held no major religious significance. But on this day, through an initiative backed by Google, millions of people across India turned on their cameras and smartphones and recorded their lives, then uploaded their footage to a website. From these thousands of hours of footage, director Richie Mehta has constructed a lyrical portrait of modern India that allows for a multitude of voices — male, female, transgendered, young and old, rural and urban — to make themselves heard.

Set to an upbeat score, by Stephen Warbeck (Proof, The Other Man) India in a Day is a celebration of a diverse nation. Mehta edits the varying perspectives into a film that's sometimes a fast-paced symphony of traffic jams, and sometimes as quiet and serene as a scenic pastoral landscape. It's a country of women demanding their rights with steadfast determination, of children relishing the opportunity to learn — and, of course, of men taking a break for a game of cricket. In one affecting scene, a mother takes a momentary break from childcare to express her deepest thoughts to the camera.

Executive produced by Ridley Scott, India in a Day uses crowdsourcing to create an exciting new form of non-fiction filmmaking. The result is not only a breathtaking, kaleidoscopic view of a fascinating country, but a testament to the ways in which the internet and the digital realm are reshaping our view of the world, one day at a time.

CAMERON BAILEY

This film has been selected for the next generation of film lovers by the TIFF Next Wave Committee.

Social ChangeGlobalizationRelationshipsScience + TechnologyDocumentarySouth Asia