South Asia Institute
South Asia Institute

Film Screening: 'Jari Mari: of cloth and other stories'

Fri, March 30, 2012
Film Screening: 'Jari Mari: of cloth and other stories'

About the film

Directed by Surabhi Sharma
Cinematography Setu Pande
Sound Design D Wood , Vipin Bhati
Editing Jabeen Merchant
Audiography Gissy Michael

Jari Mari is a sprawling slum colony adjacent to Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji international airport. Its narrow lanes house hundreds of small sweatshops where women and men work, without the right to organise. Their existence is on the edge – their illegal dwellings could be demolished at any time by the airport authorities, and jobs have to be found anew everyday, from workshop to workshop. This film explores the lives of the people of Jari Mari, and records the many changes in the nature and organisation of Mumbai’s workforce over the past two decades. 


Third Best Film, Film South Asia, Kathmandu, 2001
Special Jury Award, Festival of Three Continents, Buenos Aires, 2002
Best Documentary Film, Kara International Film Festival, Karachi, 2002


Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, Japan, 2001
The Bangladesh Short Film Festival, Dhaka, 2001
Visions du Reel, Nyon, 2002
Film South Asia- India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and USA, 2002
Selves Made Strange, The House of World Cultures, Berlin, 2003
Museumof Ethnography, Geneva, 2005

Surabhi Sharma bio

Surabhi Sharma is an independent film maker. She studied film direction at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, and made her first film in 2001. She completed a BA in Anthropology and Psychology from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai University, and is an alumus of the Social Communication Media Programme of Sophia Polytechnic, Mumbai. 

Surabhi’s films explore a range of subjects, including music and identity, labour and globalization and women’s health. Her films have been screened at various international festivals, and have been awarded at Film South Asia, Nepal; Karachi Film Festival, Pakistan; The Festival of Three Continents, Argentina; Indian Documentary Producers’ Association and Eco-cinema, Greece. 

Surabhi has written scripts and directed for telefilms and educational films. She is Visiting Faculty in a range of Institutes and Film Schools in India. She is currently working on a feature length documentary film centered around the theme of migration, music and mobile phones. 


Jari Mari: Of Cloth and Other Stories (2001/ DV/ 74 mins) seeks to understand the process of ‘informalisation’ of Mumbai’s work-force, and focuses on the lives and work of women in the extensive but largely invisible garment industry. 

Aamakaar (The Turtle people) (2003/ DV/ 75 mins) is the story of a fishing village community’s struggle to retain control over its local natural resources. 

Above the Din of Sewing Machines (2004/DV/ 38 mins) portrays the lives of women in Bangalore’s garment industry. 

Jahaji Music: India in the Caribbean (2007/DV/ 112 mins) Gender, race and identity seen through the music of the Caribbean.  

Pregnancy, Prescriptions and Protocol (2008/DV/ 52 mins) documents a remarkable community health programme run by a hospital in a tribal area in south Gujarat, India. 

Airplane descending over Jari Mari (2008/DV/ 5 mins) Video installation 

Labels from a Global City (2009/DV/ 30 mins) tracks the work of a precarious but significant trade union set up by garment workers in Bangalore city. 

Tracing Bylanes (2011/HD/ 17 mins) A short film on the planned city of Chandigarh. Part of a curated package titled Then it became a city: Six under Sixty for the Shenzhen and Hongkong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture. 

The Enactment of Exile in Mumbai (2011/HD/ 12 mins) A three channel video installation

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