Riyaaz

2016, 5 screen video installation

11th Shanghai Biennale DSC_0037

‘Riyaaz’ references musical learning through repetition, interruption, persistence, and dis- and re-engagement. When in Riyaaz, one reflects on one’s practice, with an attention to how one is moving through music. This work rehearses moments of listening, reflection, and self-instruction through which musical habits are honed.

 

Jury Citation for ‘Can we see the baby bump please?’

Special Mention: CAN WE SEE THE BABY BUMP PLEASE? at the 2013 Jeevika: Asia Livelihood Documentary festival held in Delhi 
Director: Surabhi Sharma

JURY CITATION
‘Can we see the Baby Bump please’ is an even-handed film about a contentious issue. While raising questions regarding regulation and explanation, it sets the larger socio-economic context in which women choose to play the alienating role of surrogate mother. We commend it for its quiet, careful exploration of a complex issue.

Bidesia in Bambai

BIDESIA in BAMBAI

86 minutes/ 2013/ Bhojpuri and Hindi/ with English subtitles/ INDIA

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Synopsis:
Bidesia is Bhojpuri for ‘the one who leaves home’. One in four migrants in Mumbai is Bhojpuri, a people from the north Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Bambai is their name for Mumbai/Bombay.


The Bidesia in Bambai, like most migrants in this ‘global city’, inhabit its precarious edges. Mobile phones bridge a tenuous connection between home and the city. Along with his meagre belongings though, the migrant brings with him a vibrant musical culture. This music is frequently sexually charged, at times religious, often lyrical and occasionally political.


The Bidesia is both the subject of, and the audience for this music. Bidesia in Bambai is a feature-length film that attempts to make the migrant visible, in a city that renders him illegal and unwanted, in and through the musical sphere that he inhabits. This is a story of music, migration and mobile phones.


Produced and Directed by: Surabhi Sharma
Cinematography : Avijit Mukul Kishore
Additional Cinematography: Ajay Noronha
Sound : Suresh Rajamani
Editing: Monisha R. Baldawa
Sound Design: Mohandas V.P.
Titles and Poster Design: Chitra Venkatramani
Special thanks to Sudheer Palsane, Shanti Bhushan Roy, Indranil Mukherjee and Setu

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/70196507″>Trailer – Bidesia in Bambai</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user5794134″>surabhi sharma</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Official Selection in the Muhr AsiaAfrica Competition at

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The Dubai International Film Festival ,

 

 

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Press Coverage:

” ‘Bidesia in Bambai’ innovatively tackles its subject- showing us how the migrant makes his experience his own, easing the uncertainty of the ‘bides’.” IBN Live

“Bidesia in Bambai is not an exotic, romantic take on the city.  Surabhi Sharma’s documentary is a sharp, gritty account of the numerous faceless Bihari migrants—battling for space, identity, and empowerment—and the ways in which music gives them a sense of purpose.” Riff Diaries

“Just like the sound of Bhojpuri music is transformed after entering the cellphones, so too does the meaning of what you are watching shift constantly from observation to interpretation, ethnography to philosophy.”  Mint

“Bidesia in Bambai is as much a story about Bhojpuri music as it is about a constantly churning city. At times the music is the hero, at times the city. It is a look at Mumbai through the lens of the migrant worker and his music.” DNA

Bidesia In Bambai then doesn’t contain an in-depth analysis of the workings of Mumbai’s Bhojpuri pop scene, but rather places you front and centre in a typical music concert” Mumbai Boss

“In Sharma’s able hands, Bidesiya in Bambai captures the power of music as both a political tool in sustaining the hardest-working migrant populations in India, and the fulfilment of the great Indian dream.” Tehelka

“The film explores the Bhojpuri migrant experience through their music, taking us to the hidden corners of the city where this community lives, works and celebrates. It takes us to makeshift stages running on stolen electricity and to bigger events like the annual Chhath Puja celebrations on Juhu Beach. ” Yahoo! News

“Bidesia in Bambai is the latest example of a growing trend — that of looking at music as more than just a cultural artefact. It is now viewed as a carrier and capsule of that very culture from which it emerges.”  The Sunday Guardian

Bidesia in Bambai is a journey to seek stories of history, contemporary politics and their desires through a community’s musical culture. Indian Express

The documentary taps into the vibrant and energetic sphere of Bhojpuri music in Mumbai. The Hindu

Can we see the baby bump please?

2012/ HD/ 49 mins

Routine Skype conversations with the parents of the child growing in her womb does not make the surrogate’s condition less alienating. This often exploitative and stigmatised labour of the marginalised woman is the keystone of the rapidly expanding fertility industry.

The global reach of medical tourism and commercial surrogacy spawns a range of clinics and practices across big cities and small towns in India.Anonymous, often with limited choice, woman’s labour is yet again pushed into the background. A whiff of immorality, the absence of regulation and the erasure of the surrogate’s experience collude to produce a climate of callousness. May we see the baby bump please? meets with surrogates, doctors, law firms,agents, and family in an attempt to understand the context of surrogacy in India.

Producer: Sama, Resource Group for Women and Health

Executive Producer: Magic Lantern Foundation

Research and Assistant Director: Ishani Roy

Camera: Pooja Sharma

Sound: Suresh Rajamani, Gissy Michael, Anita Kushwaha

Editing: Diksha Sharma

Sound Design and Sound Mixing  :Mohandas V.P.

Titles and Special Effects: Siddharth Gautam Singh

Direction :Surabhi Sharma

Director’s note:

I hoped that the core of my film would be the women who opted to be surrogate mothers in the booming fertility industry which catered to both international and national clients. I found easy access to the women only within the four walls of the fertility clinics. Clinics requested that the women remain anonymous.

We shot the women as shadows in the clinic. And found that the bulk of the material was articulate, informative interviews with the doctors and clinic personnel. We kept these interviews aside and worked on creating a presence of the women through the NG part of shots, the part meant to be discarded. We dislocated sound, repeated it. We broke down images. My film needed to create a presence. Although incomplete, often ambiguous, the film stays with this rather than etch out and define those who represent the industry.

Special Mention: CAN WE SEE THE BABY BUMP PLEASE? at the 2013 Jeevika: Asia Livelihood Documentary festival held in Delhi
Director: Surabhi Sharma

JURY CITATION
‘Can we see the Baby Bump please’ is an even-handed film about a contentious issue. While raising questions regarding regulation and explanation, it sets the larger socio-economic context in which women choose to play the alienating role of surrogate mother. We commend it for its quiet, careful exploration of a complex issue.

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