Appa and His Invisible Mundu

Appa and His Invisible Mundu

Director

Varun Kurtkoti

Country

India

Category

Animated Film

Digital Rights Issue

Online Surveillance, Digital Privacy

Synopsis

Kuri, 8, tells the story of her father, ‘Appa’. We see Appa in her imagination, an amicable big man who cares a lot for his child. Although Appa is an autorickshaw driver by profession, Kuri thinks Appa is secretly a superhero who can turn invisible with the help of his mundu (a South Indian garment) and do all sorts of other superhero stuff.

Appa does everything with his smartphone: shopping, communicating, taking pictures, reading, watching videos, even navigating the torrid traffic of Bangalore. One morning, as Appa is using his phone, he is interrupted by a consent manager. It is a tiny, cute monster that refuses to let Appa use the phone until he answers legal forms. Appa is suspicious, and jumps into the phone to check. Inside, he witnesses a large nexus of consent managers being managed by a Great Eye in the Sky. He refuses to consent to the legalities.

After that, Appa is followed by a consent manager who follows him every time he uses an app. Soon, many consent managers follow suit, and form a shadow of Appa that can be monitored by the Great Eye. When his boss fires Appa, he desperately tries to find another job. But the Great Eye makes sure he does not get one.

Appa tries to run, and finally decides to fly to another country to start a new life. There, Appa finds that there are more like him. Kuri wonders: What if they all come together? What if people in space join hands to become one gigantic invisibility mundu, slowly covering the Great Eye in the Sky.

About the Director

Varun is an interdisciplinary artist, primarily working with visual and aural narratives. He has worked with a range of media, including animation, illustrations and painting, fiction and non-fiction filmmaking, music video making, theater, and music. Varun’s work concerns individual memory in relation to the collective, the politics of identity and death. He received a National Geographic Young Explorer fellowship (2017) for his work on storytellers and sufi musicians in Kutch. He received a PSBT-Doordarshan Film fellowship (2018) for his non-fiction film Door/Home, which premiered on Doordarshan’s Open Frame programme and showcased in numerous film festivals. In 2016, he developed a short play with the Sandbox Collective-Goethe Institute’s Gender-Bender Fellowship 2016. Varun co-founded Mandali, the student theatre group of Srishti Institute of Art Design and Technology, Bangalore. He studied MA in Applied Anthropology and Community Art at Goldsmiths University, London (2019-21).

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