co-directed with Susan Armstrong
Animation by Susan Armstrong (Great Five Lakes)
An ordinary doormat leads this journey into the hearts and minds of four people who work along its production path in Kerala, India. The philosophical beliefs of a climber, spinner, factory owner and manager help each of them maintain dignity in the face of socio-economic pressures, personal demons, betrayal and the mysteries of fate.
Lyrical animation combines with observational documentary to chart the lives of four individuals who work along the production path of the doormat, witnessing their struggles to live a meaningful life, asking the same questions we all do at some point. Will my sacrifices for my children pay off? Could I be doing something more creative with my life? Why is it so hard for families to stay together? Is the pursuit of success really worth it?
Bino is a doormat factory owner wonders whether the frantic race to become #1 is slipping his life away. Girish is a production manager who writes poetry and yearns to escape the drudgery of his menial job. Soman is a coconut tree climber, sent to work at a young age to put his siblings through school and who have now disowned him because of his lowly status. Manorama is a single mom who makes endless sacrifices to give her son the chance she never had.
Doormat explores the question of whether the direction of our lives can be shaped by free will, or we are simply the pawns of fate.
Doormat won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature Documentary at HBO’s South Asian Film Festival at the Rubin Museum of Art, NYC, juried by Waris Ahluwalia of The Darjeeling Limited, Aasif Mandvi of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and Maulik Pancholy of 30 Rock.
- GRAND JURY PRIZE FOR FEATURE DOCUMENTARY, HBO SOUTH ASIAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, NEW YORK, RUBIN MUSEUM OF ART 2008