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Island City


The film follows three comic-dramatic stories set in Mumbai. The first one is about a middle-aged man who wins the office ‘Fun Committee Award’, which entitles him to a whole day full of fun. He is most reluctant to leave the safety of his cubicle but he has to. Prescribed fun modules have to be completed and non-compliance is not an option… The second story begins with a domineering pater familias, Anil, who is on life support. Seeking some relief, his family decides to buy a TV, which Anil had banned; now every night the family plugs into a popular soap whose hero is a man ideal in every way… The third one centers on Aarti whose repetitive existence is slowly making her more and more mechanical and numb. Deep inside ferments a disconnect and unease that she is unable to articulate to anyone. Then one day there arrives a most intimate letter and everything changes.

SUNDAY Dec 4th 2017

@ Southwest Theater, Austin TX

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Ruchika Oberoi is an English Literature graduate from the Delhi University and an alumnus of the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune.
‘Island City’ is her debut feature film. The script of ‘Island City’ participated in the NFDC Screenwriters’ Lab 2012, which was held in Venice alongside the Venice Film Festival, 2012 and Goa, alongside the Film Bazaar.


​Mumbai starts affecting you from the moment you set foot here and I did so many years ago as a single, young, impressionable woman. Many moons and bitter-sweet experiences later, certain observations and interactions with different quarters stayed with me and I was keen to string them together to see if I could create an impression of these times of transition. I chose three that offered me opportunity for some lightness as well as drama. There was the brush with certain slightly humourless upper caste people, known for their correctness, frugality and Brahminical purity, and I thought about doing something that disturbed their stoic sense of morality in a quirky sort of way.

In my couple of years spent in living in a slum rehabilitation colony, travelling up to five hours daily to reach work and back, hearing the stories of my working class neighbours; I got a glimpse of and wanted to weave a story around a heartless system that crushes the most vulnerable. And then there was this emergence of a new kind of parallel world and work culture that sucked all the fun out of life only to try to reintroduce it in a corporatized, regimented fashion. Mixed up in all of these were snatches of brainwashed terrorists, largerthan-life soap operas, mall culture, technological boost and romance. Control, the loss of agency and the heroism of resistance, however insignificant or futile… at some level each of the three stories connect with these themes. Shifting between absurd, comic and tragic, they allowed me to explore, in a light-hearted as well as deeply emotional way, several contradictions and take them into make-believe territory. from the natural more and more into the artificial… alienating, liberating, oppressive. And somewhere within all these themes, there also lurks the machine…

Vinay Pathak                     Suyash Chaturvedi
Amruta Subhash               Sarita Joshi
Tannishtha Chatterjee     Aarti Patel
Chandan Roy                     Sanyal Jignesh
Sameer Kochhar               Purshottam
Uttara Baokar                    Ajji
Ashwin Mushran              COO Anil Sharma
Sana Amin Sheikh           Vaidehi


Director                             Ruchika Oberoi

Screenplay                       Ruchika Oberoi

Cinematography             Sylvester Fonseca

Film Editor                       Hemanti Sarkar

Sound Design                 Niraj Gera

Music                                Sagar Desai

Art Direction                   Krishnendu Chowdhury

Costumes                        Anirban Haldar and Rajesh Kumar

Casting                            Mansi Multani

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