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TIFF Review: The Cinema Travellers


Travelling across small Indian towns are entrepreneurs who project films inside a tent for local residents.

 A visiting tent cinema struggles to setup a projector to play a film for paying patrons.  Afterwards a series of stills showcase various reactions from the audience.  The narrative essentially follows two tent cinema companies as well as a projectionist/inventor.  All three are suffering from the digital age which has seen people move away from using film projectors to watch movies.

A lot of close-up shots featuring faces and film projectors fill the screen.  The opening sequence serves as a great way to dramatically draw the viewer into the story.  There is no narration which enables the interviewees to be front and centre.  The projectionist/inventor is the most articulate and intriguing to watch and listen to as he is obviously loves a craft which is quickly becoming antiquated.

Filmmakers Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya depict a world that contains rustic and vibrant colours.  The camera follows the action as supposed to vice versa.  The utilization of actual production sound contributes a great deal of authenticity to the presentation.  A touch of sadness occurs as one of the tent cinemas makes an investment into digital technology and the projectionist devises a new invention that is both bitter and sweet for its cleverness and practicality.


Check out all of our TIFF coverage.

Trevor Hogg is a freelance video editor and writer who currently resides in Canada; he can be found at LinkedIn.

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