Lives of rat catchers to hit the screens on 20 April

MUMBAI: Documentary maker Miriam Chandy Menacherry‘s The Rat Race will commercially release on 20 April.

The documentary unravels the lives of rat catchers who work every night while the rest of the city sleeps.

The film is about the men hired by the Bombay Municipal Corporation who set out with torches and sticks to bring back the carcasses of 30 rats that are counted every morning to earn their daily wages.

" I am terrified of rats, so that is certainly not a reason why I spent two years filming them....but in this film I saw the chance to use the rat as a vehicle to explore a city and the never say die spirit of its people. To me, this is a film that truly represents Mumbai and a population who keep alive their dreams even as they struggle with their daily reality," observed Menacherry, when asked as to why she ventured into making the film.

The story that captivated an international jury in Cannes in 2010 then had three sold out shows in Amsterdam where it premiered at IDFA, one of the biggest documentary festivals.

The film has been made on a budget of Rs 3 million. Talking of the promotion of the film, Menacherry said: “We, of course, have little or no promotional budget but I am relying on word of mouth to work things in favour of the film. After all this is a local story that is all too real, it has compelling characters and a wicked dark humour. If it could have international audiences giving it a standing ovation, I am sure Indian audiences will catch more of the nuances. The theatres are giving us a week’s release in prime time slot, which means that they see a reason to take the risk.”

The film is supported by well known actor and comedian Jaaved Jaaferi, who recently launched the Indian Documentary Foundation (IDF), an organisation that aims to take the documentary genre to mainstream audiences.

The documentary will be released at PVR and Big Cinemas in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore.

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