Directed by Khushboo Ranka and Vinay Shukla, the film charts the rise of Arvind Kejriwal, the leader of the Aam Admi Party, which won 67 out of 70 seats in the 2015 Delhi legislative assembly elections, reducing the Bharatiya Janata Party’s tally to just three. The BJP, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, rules India.
The film was initially denied a certificate by the India’s Central Board of Film Certification, asking the the filmmakers to obtain no objection certificates from the politicians featured in the film, including Modi and Kejriwal. It was eventually cleared on appeal by India’s Film Certificate Appellate Tribunal.
Produced by Memesys Culture Lab, “An Insignificant Man” was made with the support of the Sundance Institute, Film Bazaar, the Busan Asian Cinema Fund, Hot Docs, the IDFA Bertha Fund, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and more than 700 crowdfunders.
The film premiered at Toronto in 2016 and has had considerable festival play since, including Busan, London, Sydney and Moscow.
“I first saw “An Insignificant Man” at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival in 2016, and I came away thinking it was the best documentary about street-level politics since Marshall Curry’s “Street Fight,’” Jason Mojica, executive producer, Vice Documentary Films, said in a statement.
Vice will exhibit the film in 22 countries in theatrical, television and digital formats. An India theatrical release is scheduled for Nov. 17.
“For the first time ever in the history of Indian cinema, a film will show exactly what goes on behind closed doors of a political party,” said Anand Gandhi of Memesys Lab.