Naata' is about Bhau Korde and Waqar Khan, two activists and friends, who have been involved in conflict resolution, working with neighbourhood peace committees in Dharavi, reputedly, the largest ‘slum’ in Asia. This film explores their work, which has included the collective production and use of visual media for ethnic amity. 'Naata' is also about us; among other things, it is an attempt to reflect on how we relate to spaces of the other, spaces like Dharavi. It is, above all, about Mumbai, the city that encompasses Bhau, Waqar and us.
Anjali Monteiro is Professor, and K.P. Jayasankar is Professor, Centre for Media and Cultural Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Monteiro has a Masters degree in Economics and a Ph.D. in Sociology. Jayasankar has an M.A. in German language and a Ph.D. in Humanities and Social Sciences. Both of them are involved in media production, teaching and research.
A presiding thematic of much of their work has been a problematising of notions of self and the other, of normality and deviance, of the local and the global, through the exploration of diverse narratives and rituals. These range from the stories and paintings of indigenous peoples to the poetry of prison inmates. Jointly they have won twenty one national and international awards for their films. These include the Prix Futura Berlin 1995 Asia Prize for Identity The Construction of Selfhood, a Special Mention of the Jury at MIFF `96 for Kahankar: Ahankar, the Certificate of Merit at MIFF `98 and Best Innovation, Astra Film Festival 1998, Sibiu, Romania for YCP 1997, the Second Prize for Saacha at the New Delhi Video Forum 2001 and the Best documentary award at the IV Three Continents International Festival of Documentaries 2005, Venezuela, for SheWrite. Their most recent awards are the Special Jury Award at the Signs 2007 Festival, held in Thiruvananthapuram, Certificate of Merit, Mumbai International Film Festival 2008, Indian Documentary Producers Association (IDPA) Gold for Best Sound Design, Gold for Best Script and Silver for Editing for the film Our Family.