My Barefoot Friend

Seong-Gyou Lee, South Korea, 2010, color, HDcam, 93'
Synopsis

Shalim is one of the 10,000 rickshaw drivers who pull their live cargo barefoot through the streets of Calcutta. At 50, the tawny Shalim is by far not the oldest: his colleague and friend Husein is already 75. South Korean director Seong-Gyou Lee befriended Salim and spent a long time following him, literally in his footsteps. Negotiating his way through the merciless traffic in the overcrowded and colorful Calcutta, where trains regurgitate new fortune-hunters on a daily basis. Shalim works hard for his family and his dream: to buy a motorized rickshaw, so that he can earn better money and ultimately purchase a house. But reality is tough, and sickness in his family ensures that his hard-earned money melts like snow under a warm sun. My Barefoot Friend reveals how the penniless rickshaw drivers, who also live under the threat of a law that would forbid their profession altogether, do their utmost to stay afloat in a merciless society. Their friendships, dreams and families are what keep them going. Besides being a portrait of Shalim and his colleagues, the film offers a delightful look at a major city that exerts an irresistible attraction on both Indians and foreigners, despite all its problems.

Film entry is open March 3, 2015 | With great pleasure IDFA announces that Film Entry for the 2015 festival is now open! Again, more than 250 documentaries will be selected, running the gamut from international audience favorites to artistic experiments along the fringes of the genre. Deadlines are May 1 and August 1.
CITIZENFOUR wins Oscar for Best Documentary February 23, 2015 | Laura Poitras' documentary on Edward Snowden CITIZENFOUR, a highlight of IDFA 2014's Of Media and Men program, won the Oscar for Best Documentary last night.
Call for submission IDFA-Mediafonds Workshop February 17, 2015 | IDFA and the Dutch Cultural Media Fund encourage creative, experienced filmmakers to enter their film plans for the IDFA-Mediafonds Workshop 2015. The deadline for entry is April 6. Please note: Only Dutch speaking participants are eligible for this workshop.
Attend IDFAcademy Summer School February 1, 2015 | Entry for the IDFAcademy Summer School 2015, which will take place June 29-July 4 in the heart of Amsterdam, is now open.

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