India - 2021 - Shaunak Sen
Synposis Against the backdrop of escalating violence against Muslims in Delhi, India, the story unfolds of two brothers who take care of the pollution-threatened black kite, a common bird in the city. Airborne provides an unprecedented picture of life in the world's most dangerous environment where the toxicity in the air threatens humans and animals.
There are two urgent social issues that the film is in conversation with. Firstly, the film snapshots the turbulent contemporary political situation in India. The second issue is the catastrophic air of Delhi. By 2017, Delhi’s air quality was almost 30 times over the safe limits set by the World Health Organization
“My interest is not in making conventional ‘nature-based’ programming, nor an ‘animal/wildlife’ documentary. My focus is not limited to the life of the human protagonists nor the avian ones, but to map broader changes that are happening to the city itself. The city itself - replete with the many human- animal ensembles in it – features in the film as a character”
IDFA Bertha Fund support
Support will allow us to shoot and edit a first roughcut, a requirement to confirm the support of broadcasters who have expressed great interest in the film. This will not only be a financial operation, nor just a seal of credibility. We cherish IBF’s support with three objectives: mentoring during production and editing (this will be key for this project), finding the right partners to complete the budget, and getting support on our distribution and impact campaign. In other words, helping us to find ways to make the most powerful, honest and universal film, ensuring that it reaches its global audience.
Filmmaking in India
A quote from Isabel Arrate Fernandez (director IDFA Bertha Fund):
"In the past 6 years, freedom of expression in India has come under increasing pressure and there is also no financial support for film in India. Filmmakers depend on financial support from abroad. Increasing repression makes it increasingly difficult for filmmakers to access that funding. India is currently one of the countries where filmmakers, media journalists are all under heavy pressure. There is no free press anymore and it is dangerous to fight for the free word."