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Anushka Meenakshi, Iswar Srikumar | Indien 2017 | 83 Min. | OmeU

Sunday, 06.05.2018, 8 pm tickets
Votiv Kino | Gr. Saal

This film is nominated for the Excellence in Visual Anthropology Award (EVA).


If not for you, I have no other true love
When we work together the sun sets early
Without you I am nothing”

Close to the India - Myanmar border is the village of Phek in Nagaland. Around 5000 people live here, almost all of whom cultivate rice for their own consumption. As they work in cooperative groups — preparing the terraced fields, planting saplings, or harvesting the grain and carrying it up impossibly steep slopes — the rice cultivators of Phek sing. The seasons change, and so does the music, transforming the mundane into the hypnotic. The love that they sing of is also a metaphor for the need for the other - the friend, the family, the community, to build a polyphony of voices. Stories of love, stories of the field, stories of song, stories in song.

Up Down & Sideways is a musical portrait of a community of rice cultivators and their memories of love and loss, created from working together on the fields. It is the first feature film from the u-ra-mi-li project, a larger body of work that looks at the connections between music and labour.


Anushka Meenakshi has worked as a filmmaker, and a community video trainer. Iswar Srikumar is an actor and a lighting/sound designer for theatre. Iswar and Anushka are both members of Perch, a performance collective in Chennai comprising of artists from various disciplines. In 2011, they started the u-ra-mi-li project (the song of our people), which focuses on stories about music in the everyday, through writing, photograph, performance and film. The u-ra-mi-li project has received support for its work from the India Foundation for the Arts,, the Archive and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology and has been selected for the NFDC Film Bazaar WIP Lab (2014) and Docedge Kolkata (2015). We have been commissioned by National Centre for Performing Arts (Mumbai), Puthu Yugam, National Museum of Denmark, Human Factors International and the Pune Biennale 2017 and exhibited work at the National Gallery of Modern Art (Mumbai) and the Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art, among others.

Manas Malhotra has more than 12 years experience in film development, production, marketing and distribution in India. He has worked as Production Consultant at Fox Star Studios (India) and prior to that as Executive Producer with Bharatbala Productions. on development of feature films and production of several TV Commercials (including the highly acclaimed Jana Gana Mana campaign featuring some of the biggest musical maestros from across the country) and Music Videos (including a video for the Government of Gujarat to celebrate 50 years of statehood), a lot of them featuring Academy Award Winning Composer, A.R. Rahman.
Manas is part of core team that started the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles. He also executed one of the first ever screen writing labs in India, along with Mumbai Mantra (part of the Mahindra group).
Manas recently started his own company, Banyan Tree Films, and has produced three documentaries titled, The Bollywood Project, Maidaan, & Up Down & Sideways. He recently released the highly acclaimed sports documentary Fire in Babylon in theatres across India. Manas has also produced a feature film Jugni, which released in theatres nationwide in January 2016. Manas has been the Co-Director of Film Bazaar, an annual film trade event organized by NFDC in Goa, between 2013 and 2016. 

Awards & Screenings

  • Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival (YIDFF) as part of New Asian Currents, Japan
  • New Asian Currents Award for Excellence, & the Directors Guild of Japan Award
  • Special invited screening in Shonai Japan
  • Bozcaada International festival of ecological documentary (BIFED) in international competition, Turkey, Third prize in International Competition
  • Mumbai academy of moving image (MAMI) in competition as part of India Gold
  • Grand Jury Special Mention in India Gold
  • Mostra, Sao paulo film festival, in competition, Brazil
  • Film library as part of WOMEX, the world music expo, Poland
  • Film South Asia (FSA) official selection, Nepal
  • Bala Kailasam Memorial Award for innovative use of media for social change in the Documentary category, Chennai
  • India Kaleidoscope, Museum of Moving Image, Official selection, New York
  • MUVI Lisboa, Portugal Nov 9-12
Nov 15-20
  • Odisseias Musicais - Palco Internacional - Prémio Do Júri (Musical Odyssey, International Competition, Jury Prize)
  • IDFA, Panorama, Amsterdam
  • Madurai Film festival, India
  • Little Cinema International Festival, Kolkata, India



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