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Prateek Vats’s debut feature Eeb Allay Ooo! heads to Berlinale 2020  

Expressing his happiness at the film's selection, the filmmaker takes the opportunity to mark his solidarity with students protesting across the country

Sukhpreet Kahlon

The debut feature film by Prateek Vats, Eeb Allay Ooo!, is headed to the prestigious Berlinale 2020, where it will be featured as part of the Panaroma section. The festival will be held from 20 February to 1 March next year.

Eeb Allay Ooo follows a young migrant, who takes up an unusual job, one that requires him to chase off monkeys from government buildings by mimicking the actions and sounds of the primate. The thought-provoking film captures the encounters with authority as it contemplates what it means to live under the looming threat of violence in the capital city of Delhi. 

Prateek Vats

Vats shared a statement with on the selection of the film.

“Eeb Allay Ooo is a function of an accessible and subsidised education system. Collectively the members of the crew represent Delhi University, Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Milia Islamia and FTII [Film and Television Institute of India] - institutions which encouraged critical and independent thought. Without these institutions and our peers we would not exist, this film would not exist. 

Today as we receive the news of the film being selected for the prestigious Berlinale - Berlin International Film Festival, we can’t help but think about the students at FTII Who are on an indefinite hunger strike along with their colleagues at SRFTI [Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute] to protest the indiscriminate fee hike. We can’t help but seeth in anger at the brutal violence unleashed on the students of Jamia Milia Islamia and AMU [Aligarh Muslim University] who are fighting to uphold the very soul of our nation. The teachers and students at Delhi university and JNU [Jawarharlal Nehru University] who are refusing to buckle down under extreme violence, intimidation and relentless character assassinations. Our heart goes out to the numerous young people in Assam and other Northeastern states who are being betrayed by the Indian state.

Hope we all can collectively rise to face this difficult time and come out with a stronger and more compassionate democracy. Thank you for the support and love that we have received through the course of our journey. Hope all of us grow a tail and swing from branch to branch singing the song of protest and celebrate dissent!”

The film premiered at the Pingyao International Film Festival in China and won the Golden Gateway award at the 21st Mumbai Film Festival this October. 

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MAMI Mumbai Film Festival Berlinale