Directed by Gitanjali Rao, Chai is a sequence of montages that portrays the story of  chai makers. It is a part of  a project launched on YouTube wherein five short films have been co-produced by Anurag Kashyap’s banner AKFPL and Viacom18 Motion Pictures. The venture is in association with the Ministry of External Affairs’ India Is campaign, launched in 2011 to showcase various facets of the country. The five shorts revolve around the common theme “India is a Visual Journey.”

From a ten year old boy selling tea at the Gateway Of India in Mumbai to an 18 year old girl with her tea shop in a mid level town, a 19 year old Kashmiri lad in a Barrista and an 80 year old man’s tea shop at a busy Kerala bus stand. The film is a view of rapid change that India is going through and what it means to those people whose faces we never notice as we go along sipping our cup of tea everyday.

Through a series of sensuous shots that celebrate the process of making tea and everything that goes into it, and a series of painted graphics that recreate their thoughts, we get four different points of view of life. That of an innocent 10 year old who has escaped a violent life in his village, a spirited girl who has shunned child marriage, a slightly bitter yet adventurous Kashmiri boy who has escaped a false charge of stone pelting and an old wise though cynical Malayali who is skeptical of rapid change.

The very same change, that the three youngsters pursue. And all this, over a cup of tea. While the youngest boasts that the British too came to India over a cup of tea, the oldest believes that tomorrow starts like yesterday and the day before- over a cup of tea.Tea like the people of India changes with every language, culture, climate yet serves the same purpose everywhere always. A constant in a flux.
About Gitanjali Rao:
Gitanjali Rao graduated with honors as a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Sir J. J. Institute of Applied Art, Mumbai, in 1994. She is a self taught animator, film maker and theatre artist. She has independently produced, directed and animated two award winning short films, ‘Orange’ and ‘Printed Rainbow’. ‘Printed Rainbow’ premiered at Cannes 2006, Critic’s Week, in Competition and went on to win the three Awards for the Best Short film, at Cannes 2006.
She also has a string of award winning animated commercials to her credit, conducts workshops & presentations and has been part of the jury at various International Film Festivals including the prestigious Cannes Critic’s week jury for short films in 2011.

Source: Viacom18 Motion Pictures