Feb 9, 2022
Writing with Fire (2021) is an inspiring story about India's only newspaper run by Dalit, low-caste women. Armed with smartphones and tenacity, chief reporter Meera Devi and her journalists break traditions as they break stories and tackle India's biggest issues. In the process, they are redefining what it means to be powerful socially.
Writing with Fire is one of this year's Academy Award nominees for The Best Feature Documentary. The film has already won the Audience Award and Special Jury Award at Sundance Film Festival 2021, and a host of other awards at over a hundred film festivals around the world.
Award-winning co-director, co-producer, editor and cinematographer of Writing with Fire, Sushmit Ghosh, joins us to share the five-year journey of making this film in collaboration with his partner in film and life, Rintu Thomas. He reveals what drew him and Rintu to this story, how they chose the subjects, and how the film was received worldwide.
Watch the full interview at: https://www.alamopictures.co.uk/podcast/writing-with-fire/
“It’s not just a story about a journalist who’s managing an institution that may or may not grow, it’s a story about a mother, a wife and a daughter, and the guilt that women have to bear in making choices on a day to day basis.” - Sushmit Ghosh
00:00 - Clip from Writing with
Fire, showing Meera on a reporting assignment.
02:40 - How the filmmakers reacted to the Academy Awards shortlist.
04:30 - What the film is about.
06:20 - The background of the Dalit community and their position in India.
13:34 - What it’s like for the film protagonist Meera to live the life of a journalist.
17:15 - Who the other two main subjects of the film are.
22:18 - Second clip: Meera teaches Shyamkali how to use smartphone for her work.
24:35 - Where Writing with Fire can be seen.
29:31 - Whether Sushmit ever felt he and Rintu were endangered while filming.
33:10 - Political changes that have happened during the four years of filming.
36:43 - How Sushmit and Rintu got the idea for making this film.
41:25 - Reception to the film on the festival circuit and how it inspired people to take action.
47:30 - What’s next for Sushmit and Rintu.