“Footprints in the Desert” (India) (In production)

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Title: Footprints in the Desert

Synopsis:

The film will be a human story of the India and Pakistan Border lying across the vast expanse of rolling golden sand of Rajasthan through the footprints in the desert.

The ancient wisdom of finding a person or a lost camel tracing the footprints lies with a community residing along the border of India and Pakistan and it is a spontaneous art coming down through generations. Previously patronized by the Royalty, now the Border security force uses them to trace the terrorists or smugglers who cross the border illegally. But the footprints that imprint the undulating sand and gorgeous landscape is not only of terrorists and anti-socials but of people with emotions, people who share a history now divided by an artificial line, people who have left back memories and near and dear ones when they crossed the border. They are ordinary people who do not have passports or do not understand the need of one.

Through the magical prayer-like reading of the footsteps by Abdul Kandahari the 84 year old Afghanistan born footprint reader we weave the stories of the people whose footsteps are imprinted in the desert. The footsteps on the desert have a different story to tell. They are very different from the statistics of terrorism & smuggling in the official documents of both the governments. The footprints say the stories of real people and real emotions which cannot be contained by drawing a line of artificial separation. It may be a musician, a son coming to visit his sick mother or a pregnant newly married girl who gives birth in the wrong side. Abdul can tell about them all. The Afghani man builds the human bridge between India and Pakistan Border.

Alladeen a much younger man who is like Abdul’s son and a Muslim Aulia(saints who try to bring peace and brotherhood) takes us to the people giving faces to the footprints. He himself has relatives on both sides and helps the cause of these poor unfortunate people. He and Abdul have been together in many expeditions along the Border.

With them we travel to the border villages who have given shelter to a girl who had to come this side to get married, the sick woman who pines for his son in Pakistan who has made several failed attempts to cross the border to reach his mother or a nomadic musician. These people along the border do not ask you which nationality or religion you are before offering you food, shelter and water. Even if you are from the other side they don’t turn you away. They know they are tied by bondage of poverty, misfortune and a history.
It is a story of love and humanity along the border weaved and imprinted by the footprints in the desert.

Director / producer’s intention:

The times are troubled. There is too much tension, hatred, fear and betrayal in the air. Between people and countries. So much of mistrust. And…here were people struggling with the harsh realities of living, probably the worst sufferers of the partition between the two countries, yet they nurture in their hearts so much love, trust and peace. They suffer because of these feelings in the hands of the state yet that doesn’t deter them from extending friendship to the so called enemies.

A beautiful and inspiring tale in the diseased times. Almost unbelievable. A kind of surrealistic existence. A strong story that will inspire many and give a rare insight into the actual feelings of people co-existing in the border of two countries (India and Pakistan) we love to call enemies. This is probably the first time the actual voice of these voiceless people will be heard.

Production company: NEXT STORY

Producer: Kumud Ranjan

Country of production: INDIA

Technical Information:

Length: minutes -95
Stage of development: Japanese version complete. Other version on the verge of completion
Production format: HDV
Original language: Sindhi, Marwari, Rajasthani, Hindi
Production date: 2012
Shooting location: India Pakistan Border in the deserts of Rajasthan

End of production :
Date of release: End of 2012

Existing Partners:
Broadcaster: NHK
Co-Producers: na

Authors/Directors:

BALAKA GHOSH

Budget/Financing Plan:

Total Budget – 176 000 euro

Self Funding -
Looking for Co-producers/buyers

Production contacts:

P 55 CIT ROAD SCHEME VI M

KOLKATA 700054

INDIA

mail Tel: +919830694751

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