The National Award will be handed over by the President of India in a ceremony in Delhi on May 3rd. The jury released a statement saying that “For its cutting edge investigation into the life of a typical Indian city, the film uses strong characters, juxtapositions and humour to create a visual arch that delineates the haves and have-nots of power.”
The feature documentary, directed by Fahad Mustafa and Deepti Kakkar, is set in Kanpur, India’s former leather capital where blackouts frequently take up more of the time in some districts than hours of normal electrical service.
That is why Loha Singh – a latter-day Robin Hood – has made it his life’s task to supply the poorer families and ruffled small-time entrepreneurs with power in such a bizarre manner. His direct adversary is the woman at the top of the state energy supplier Kesco, but Mrs. Ritu Maheshwari is by no means the villain in this film. In fact the two protagonists are merely the lead dancers in an absurd operetta.
The film premiered at Berlinale in 2013 and has been going from strength to strength.
Go to the Powerless website for more information about the film and for details about upcoming screenings.