MUMBAI – Picture Time, a unique mobile Digiplex theater startup company, begins a new venture on November 14. The company has produced a film, Jhalki, about a nine-year-old girl from rural India who sets out on a journey to find her younger brother. Seeking financial help, but being illiterate, their parents unwittingly sold her brother to human traffickers.Jhalki’s struggle to find and rescue her brother, who is being forced to work in a carpet factory, was filmed to “raise awareness about child slavery among families often targeted by human traffickers.”
The majority of child trafficking in India takes place in remote, rural villages where Picture Time intends to screen the movie for parents and children alike.
Brahmanand Singh, the movie’s director, spoke to The Indian Express about the research that went into creating a story that vividly portrays the dark world of child labor and human trafficking,
“Research work for a project like this means talking and meeting people who have been through or suffered inhumanity. You meet people who have rescued children. Kailash Satyarthi, who rescued around 85,000 people, was kind enough to let us go through his case files, which was a great help. It became a ground for us to explore. The more we went deeper into it, we encountered heart-wrenching stories, which were eventually incorporated in the story.”
(Kailash Satyarthi is a Nobel peace laureate who has devoted his life to fighting child trafficking.)
Picture Time is the creation of an IT entrepreneur, Sushil Chaudhary. He reasoned that there was a need for more movie venues in a country with a population of 1.3 billion people. The US and China each have more than 40,000 commercial movie screens. India has about 9,000.
It didn’t take long for him to realize that it would take a prohibitive amount of money, time, and bureaucratic red tape to build a network of theaters that would fulfill his dream.
In 2015 he began building a company that operates specially-designed trucks that contain all the materials necessary to set up an inflatable, air-conditioned, Dolby surround sound theater with seating for 150 people.
Picture Time currently has 10 mobile digital movie theaters (MDMT) that are capable of reaching thousands of remote villages. Another 100 units are already in production. The business plan includes erecting a production facility that will manufacture 200 MDMTs per month.
Chaudhary believes that India can accommodate as many as 60,000 theaters. Although Picture Time is a secular, for-profit enterprise, its ability to share awareness about matters such as child labor cannot be understated.
To read more news on Child Labor on Missions Box, go here.
- Reuters, Mobile Theatres to Screen Child Slavery Film in Rural India
- Quartz India, Rural India Is Finally Getting Fancy Movie Theatres. They Just Happen to Be on Wheels
- The Indian Express, Director Brahmanand Singh: We Want Jhalki to Garner Maximum Eyeballs
- Outlook India, ”Jhalki” on Mobile Theatre for Kids in Interiors
- Economic times, Mobile Cinema Start-Up Picture Time Raises Rs 25 Crore in Pre-Series a Funding