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.

Meet us in Cannes May 2, 2016 | IDFA staff will be present at the Cannes Film Festival as well as its market, and is available for meetings at the Doc Corner or the Dutch Pavilion. Join us on the Croisette and at a number of market events.
IDFAcademy Summer School 2016 April 12, 2016 | The IDFAcademy Summer School has announced the sixteen selected projects for the 2016 edition of the week-long training program, held July 4-9.
IDFA Bertha Fund announces February 2016 selection April 5, 2016 | Eleven documentary projects from countries including Colombia, Kenya, Georgia and Iran will be supported by the IDFA Bertha Fund through its classic scheme. Another nine projects have been selected in the new IBF Europe category.
IDFA-Mediafonds Workshop announces 2016 tutors April 5, 2016 | The IDFA-Mediafonds Workshop 2016 will be tutored by filmmakers Petra Lataster-Czisch and Catherine van Campen. The deadline for entry is April 8.

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