MetFilm Distribution has acquired U.K. and Ireland rights to Vinay Shukla’s documentary “While We Watched.”
Produced by the U.K.’s Lono Studio and BritDoc Films, the documentary is a newsroom drama intimately chronicling the working days of Indian broadcast journalist Ravish Kumar as he navigates a spiralling world of truth and disinformation. Kumar, a Ramon Magsaysay Award winner, was a senior journalist at Indian news platform NDTV, who resigned after billionaire Gautam Adani took over the company.
“While We Watched” debuted at Toronto in 2022 where it won the Amplify Voices award, followed by Busan, where it won the Cinephile award. Most recently, the film won the international competition at Helsinki’s DocPoint Festival.
Shukla previously co-directed controversial Indian political documentary “An Insignificant Man.”
Shukla said: “ ‘While We Watched’ is my love letter to journalism. It’s an urgent newsroom horror film — there is a story of hope hidden deep inside layers of personal loneliness. I love MetFilm and I know they are the right partners to bring the film out widely in the U.K.. I am very excited.”
Wayne D’Cruz, distribution manager at MetFilm Distribution, added: “Vinay Shukla has made an urgent and prescient film that offers not just a brilliant view on the febrile state of the Indian news media landscape but also of its effects on the Indian polity. Following ‘Writing With Fire’ and ‘All That Breathes,’ ‘While We Watched’ is the latest addition to exceptional non-scripted features coming out of India at this time, and we are delighted to bring the film to U.K. and Irish cinemas later this year.”
The filmmakers have retained U.S., India and Qatar rights. Cat&Docs are selling internationally and will be representing the film at Berlin’s European Film Market.
MetFilm Distribution was launched in October 2022 with MetFilm Group’s acquisition of Zak Brilliant’s Republic Films. The move marked further growth for the MetFilm Group, following MetFilm Production’s move into the TV series space and the expansion of the MetFilm School to further U.K. and international campuses.