India In A Day: Google’s Crowdsourced Documentary on India

One day in the life of the world’s biggest democracy. | By NGT Staff  
A still from the documentary. Photo: Srishti Lakhera, courtesy of Scott Free Films
A still from the documentary. Photo: Srishti Lakhera, courtesy of Scott Free Films

India In A Day is all about the numbers. The documentary tells the story of the world’s second-most populated country—as recorded by its own residents. All footage for the film was crowdsourced from locals, and shot on cameras and smartphones on a single day. Entries were then submitted on a Google website, and edited together by Canadian-Indian film director Richie Mehta, with executive producers Ridley Scott and Anurag Kashyap.

The 90-minute feature-length documentary is the sixth in a series of films backed by Google; other editions include Japan in a Day, recorded a year after the tsunami. India in a Day received over 16,000 videos, including entries from Rajasthan, Kerala, even the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Snippets from the trailer highlight how vibrant and varied one day in our country can be. There are Kolkata’s famous yellow Ambassador taxis driving along the Howrah Bridge, models walking the ramp, ladies plucking tea at a plantation, scenes from a transgender centre, and jubilant cricket fans–all set to a rousing soundtrack fitting of a Hollywood blockbuster film.

Mehta says his feature is a way to show the world what an ordinary day in India is like. “Of all films in the ‘In A Day’ series this is the only country that we call developed and developing,” he says. “India has come so far and it still has a long way to go. To me, this film was almost the purest way of addressing that – seeing what’s on the minds of Indians.”

Watch the trailer below.

“India In A Day” releases in theatres in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru on Fri 23 September. The documentary will later be available on YouTube.

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