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Capturing tales of expats in India

On visiting Khan Market in the the city, one can easily make out that it’s a hit with visitors from all over the world. Similarly, there are other haunts in the Capital that have made expats fall in love with the country.

entertainment Updated: Apr 23, 2012 00:30 IST
Vaishali Bhambri

On visiting Khan Market in the the city, one can easily make out that it’s a hit with visitors from all over the world. Similarly, there are other haunts in the Capital that have made expats fall in love with the country.

In a bid to search for an explanation for the visitors who choose to make India their home, filmmaker Yasmin Kidwai has made a short movie called India By Choice, which will be screened in the city in the coming days. The film looks at foreigners in the country — the ones who come visiting, and stay to earn a livelihood. “I am a Delhi girl. While I used to put up at Golf Links, Khan Market for us was a regular hang out. The expats roaming around there freely and feeling at home, made me want to know what about India fascinated them,” says Kidwai, whose earlier films such as Purdah Hai Purdah, have made it to various film festivals.

The film was shot about one and a half years ago, but the research is what took the filmmaker a long time. “I met hundreds of expats, listening to their stories and reasons as to why they chose to reside in India. After a lot of research, I found all of it very interesting,” she adds.

The movie features 14 expats engaged in different occupations in India. Some of of them include writer William Dalrymple, cycle tour operator Jack Leenars, business developer Anay Shah, development professional Francesca Borolo Shergill, restaurateur Kim Jin Bum and Lalita de Goederen, owner of Bagel Café. “The film tells various interesting stories of these people and also says how much they love the country,” says Kidwai. Ask her if she could relate to the film, and she says, “No, I don’t think I would ever leave India to reside somewhere else.”

The filmmaker is also working on a TV food show that highlights traditional cuisine of different communities. “There’s a lot to do,” she concludes.

Watch it live
What: India By Choice
When: May 2
Timing: 6 pm onwards
Entry: By invitation (6-9pm), Free (9pm onwards)
Where: Olive Bar & Kitchen, One Style Mile, Haveli No. 6, Kalka Das Marg, Mehrauli
Nearest metro station: Qutub Minar on the Yellow Line