Mariam tells the story of a migrant couple, Mariam and Abdul, who live with their three daughters in the slums of Mumbai. They survive thanks to Mariam’s meagre salary as a maid for posh families. When the COVID lockdown is declared, their fight for survival in this extravagant city becomes even harder. Not only is Mariam’s employment in jeopardy, but her children now need access to a computer or smartphone in order to attend online classes, forcing her to get money from illegal surrogacy. Things take a turn for the worse, however, when the baby’s parents disappear. A traumatic journey begins for the family as they are faced with a new series of hurdles and Mariam suffers the unexpected consequences of her misdeeds. Eventually, the family is forced, like so many migrants in Mumbai, to consider abandoning their big city dreams to go back to their village.
ARVIND PRATAP is a self-taught screenwriter and director. He was born and raised in the small village of Chauri Chaura near Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. After completing his MBA in Marketing, he switched to filmmaking. He now works in Mumbai as Managing Director of Folklore Films, which supports independent filmmaking in the region. He is best known for making indigenous and realistic films with professional and non-professional actors. His filmography includes The Reluctant Crime (2020), winner of the Best Director, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor awards at the Antakya International Film Festival and Life is Suffering. Death is Salvation (2022), screened last year at OIFFA. Mariam is Pratap’s third feature. It premiered at the Busan International Film Festival, where it drew the attention of Variety magazine, which published an interview with Pratap and the film’s star, Chitrangada Satarupa. “Spending some time in the slum of Mumbai, I explored migrant workers’ lives in detail. The story of Mariam arises from those experiences”, says Pratap. “The photography is intentionally focused on the characters’ movements and the film’s tempo is relatively slow paced and silent to reflect the rhythm of life at the time of the pandemic.”
scr.: Arvind Pratap | cin.: Sunil Dalvi | ed.: Arvind Pratap | snd: Biswadeb Banerjee | mus.: Keshuv Huria | cast: Chitrangada Satarupa, Bhupesh Singh | prod.: Sanjay Bhutiani, Shubhashish Bhutiani, Awanish Kotnaal, Arvind Pratap, Sajida Sharma
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$15 per ticket, plus H.S.T. ($1.95) & service fees.