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TIFF 2022: Vinay Shukla’s documentary While We Watched wins Amplify Voices Award

The newsroom thriller featuring journalist Ravish Kumar had its world premiere at the Canadian festival.

Our Correspondent

Vinay Shukla’s documentary feature While We Watched featuring NDTV journalist Ravish Kumar has won the Amplify Voices award at the recently concluded 47th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) which was held from 8 – 18 September. The film had its world premiere at the festival.

The Amplify Voices award carries a cash prize of $10,000. The filmmaker was on hand in Toronto to accept the award in person. While We Watched received a standing ovation at the end of each screening at TIFF.

This is Shukla's second documentary to premiere at TIFF after An Insignificant Man (2016) documentary on Arvind Kejriwal. He co-directed the documentary feature with Khushboo Ranka.

Crowdfunded Kejriwal documentary An Insignificant Man is premiered at MAMI

While We Watched is titled Namaskar! Main Ravish Kumar in Hindi. The 94 mins documentary, in Hindi and English, is produced by LONO Studio and BRITDOC Films.

Following broadcast journalist Ravish Kumar in his daily routine, While We Watched looks at how he navigates a spiralling world of truth and disinformation.

In a statement, Shukla shared, “Journalists are the foremost storytellers of our time. I spent two years in Ravish's newsroom, watching him build his daily broadcast. Ravish and his team would get some stories right, some stories just about. Watching him, I realized that for every report that we see on the news, the journalist behind the report pays a cost - an emotional, financial, ethical and mental cost.”

“No story is easy, every story is personal,” he added. “This film is about that personal cost that journalists pay to do their job right. My film would apply to any journalist who has stood their ground and chosen to file a story which was true to their beliefs. This film is my love letter to journalism.”

Producer Luke W Moody remarked, “In this moment we’re seeing a new wave of truth and what we understand to be news being manipulated globally to serve the dangerous power of the few. Who will speak up for truth and debate in the dark noise of propaganda? Vinay’s film is a dignified, stirring lens into that abyss and a call to recognise what we might lose while we watched."

Indian-born Canadian filmmaker Nisha Pahuja's documentary To Kill A Tiger, which also premiered in documentary section with While We Watched, was awarded the the Amplify Voices Award for Best Canadian Feature Film.

Pahuja's Hindi feature looked at the struggle of a family in Jharkhand as they attempted to get justice for their 13-year-old daughter who was raped.

Related topics

Toronto International Film Festival