Film on Indian outsourcing to be screened

Wednesday, 21 June 2006, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: "Nalini by Day, Nancy by Night", an award-winning documentary on outsourcing work to India, is being screened this month in New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

Told from the perspective of an Indian living in the US, the film journeys into India's call centers, where telemarketers acquire Western names and accents to service the telephone-support industry of the U.S.

This film incorporates animation, live action, and archival footage to explore the complexities of what it terms as "globalization, capitalism, and identity".

Screened first over the last year, the film has won awards at Uruguay, the Humboldt film festival, NextFrame Film Festival and Rosebud Film and Video Festival, among others.

Directed and written by Indian American Sonali Gulati, this film now gets shown at the Urban World Film Festival, New York, on June 22 and 24, at the Artwallah Festival in San Pedro Los Angeles on June 24, at the 29th Asian American International Film Festival in New York on July 16, and via WYBE Public TV station, Philadelphia, on Aug 2 and 5.

With a runtime of 27 minutes, the film has been described as giving "a behind-the-scenes look at outsourcing through interviews with workers competing fiercely to staff the steadily increasing number of call centers based in India".

Commented James Bart, "I watched this film in New York and was totally blown away by it. I had no idea about the extent, breadth and scope of globalization and the consequences it has on peoples' lives all over the world. It pushed me to think beyond one's Americentric perspective on the job market."

Also commended has been the "filmmaker's sense of humor," which makes this an "extremely watchable film". Animation sequences are used to form a contrast and juxtaposition to archival images. There's also a personal diary and travelogue structure to the film.

Gulati, an Indian immigrant living in the U.S., has said in interviews that the film started with a phone call to "Harry," a telemarketer who could get her name right and happened to be in New Delhi.

She journeyed back to India in 2003, to study the world of call centers and language institutes where telemarketers acquire American accents.

She said in an interview with Sawnet, "It was an eye-opening experience for me and made me question my preconceptions. I really thought I was going to experience walking into a sweatshop-like environment."
Source: IANS
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