New Delhi, Aug 10: For the first time ever in the history of Indian cinema, a film will show exactly what goes on behind closed doors of a political party. Directed by Khushboo Ranka and Vinay Shukla, ‘An Insignificant Man’ is a non-fiction political thriller that chronicles the spectacular rise of Arvind Kejriwal from a social activist to a controversial politician. The 95 minutes long film has been painstakingly distilled from 400 hours of real behind-the-scenes footage shot through a year. It sneaks us into the middle of heated arguments, inside jokes, campaign strategies and the true events and ideologies that inform the rhetoric, as we follow the birth of the newest political party in India – the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
After 2 years in post production, the film will premiere at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival, this September. Produced by Anand Gandhi, director of the internationally acclaimed and National Award winning contemporary cinema classic Ship of Theseus, ‘An Insignificant Man’ unfolds like a political thriller that promises to bring viewers to the edge of their seats and keep them there. Imagine a real life Indian ‘House of Cards’, but only with true events, recorded as they happened, and real life people we have all seen on news reports, campaign spots, and Parliament TV. (ALSO READ: As Arvind Kejriwal looks at busy campaign season, Manish Sisodia’s clout ‘set to rise’)
The documentary feature, unlike any before, deftly untangles complex political mechanisms that have traditionally belonged to the realm of psychologists and pundits. It follows activists, politicians, and academics on their best days and their worst, as they navigate the absurdities, trials, and chaos of Indian politics; and as they reveal their agendas, intentions and ambitions. “India is the biggest consumer of news and film, and yet journalism informs so little of our cinema,” says Khushboo Ranka.
The intent to bridge journalism and cinema earned the filmmakers the Bertha BritdDoc Grant for excellence in journalism. ‘An Insignificant Man’ (previously titled ‘Proposition for a Revolution’) was supported by the biggest crowdfunding campaign in India for a film. It received support from nearly 800 people. The film has also gone on to win several prestigious international awards including the Sundance Fund, the IDFABertha grant and the Busan fund. It has been lauded for adopting the editing conventions of a fiction film, evolving the grammar of traditional documentaries.