Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Rickshaaa! - A Film on Three Wheels

January 15th, 2005, Mumbai, India - the residents of Mumbai witnessed a race unlike any other – the Formula One for Rickshaws. Organized for the Mumbai Festival, the race, first of its kind around the world, attracted hundreds of rickshaw drivers who wanted a shot at the prize money, and the fame. “I want to participate because it is fun and my chance to move ahead in life, and be known” says one competitor. “They think they are the Michael Schumachers with their personal Ferraris... on the goddam roads!!!” claims a Mumbai resident annoyed with the chaotic driving. “Designed to rule the roads” annouces Bajaj, one of the biggest three wheeler manufacturers. Auto-rickshaws are the motorized three wheelers which serve as the daily mode of transport for a majority of Indian cities. On the roads of populated Mumbai, they weave through the chaos while adding to it. In the hearts of the city's residents, they find themselves in the ever conflicting juncture of love and hate. And through it all, they continue to evolve, just like their enigmatic drivers, to keep up with the pace of a rapidly changing nation. This quirky music-heavy documentary dives into the crazy world of the Mumbai Auto-rickshaws, and tries bring out their joys and frustrations, their music and their daily struggle for bread, and their fights against a largely chaotic system. This film is a collaborative effort between several filmmakers, all of who reside in different continents (check website for details). In other words, its being shot in India and US, and edited in the UK. The soundtrack for this film is provided by the outstanding Musician-DJ Swami, whose music has been creating waves in the UK and Indian music scene (also check: The film is scheduled for completion in mid-Feb, after which it would hit the festival circuit. The promotional artwork is the brainchild of Matti Pohjonen. Website: