Producer Signe Byrge Sørensen from Final Cut for Real met Indian filmmaker Sourav Sarangi in 2010 when the two of them served as jury members at the Aljazeera International Documentary Film Festival in Qatar.
“I loved Sarangi’s previous film Bilal, a story about a little kid growing up with his blind parents in Kolkata. The film was already an international festival success, and I asked about his next project,” Byrge Sørensen says.
The film Sarangi was working on was Char… No-Man’s Island. Here we meet 14-year-old Rubel who smuggles rice from India to Bangladesh by crossing the border in the river Ganga. The same river eroded his home when he was only 4. Years later a fragile island called Char was formed within the large river, and Rubel’s family and many homeless people settled in this barren field controlled by the border police.
“I was drawn in immediately because of Sarangi’s unique access to the people living on the islands at the border, and because of the two charismatic protagonists in the film, Rubel and another boy, Sofi. I liked that Sarangi was focusing more on their emotions and resourcefulness, rather than on their poverty. The migrants survive by smuggling goods across the border under unbelievable climatic and political conditions, but still they retain their human dignity.”
Char… No-Man’s Island is produced by Sourav Sarangi for Son et lumiere (India), and co-produced by Signe Byrge Sørensen(Denmark), Jon Jerstad (Norway) and Stefano Tealdi (Italy).
Final Cut for Real produced Joshua Oppenheimer’s widely acclaimed The Act of Killing, in Berlin Panorama. The company is co-producing yet another Berlin title, the Swedish-Danish documentary TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard.