The film follows Mumbai-based fishermen Rakesh and Ganesh who are inheritors of the great Koli fishing knowledge system — a way to harvest the sea by following the moon and the tides. Rakesh has kept faith in the traditional fishing methods while Ganesh has strayed away from them, embracing technology. The film tells a tale of friendship and rising conflict between the two men against the backdrop of the Arabian Sea, which is increasingly turning hostile because of climate change.
Nair (“Monsoon Wedding,” “A Suitable Boy”) presided over the jury at the recently concluded Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, which awarded “Against the Tide” the Golden Gateway Award, the festival’s top prize. Previously, the film won a special jury award for vérité filmmaking at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and won awards at Sydney and Seattle and best documentary at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. It was recently nominated for the Gotham Award for best documentary and is also shortlisted for the IDA award for best feature documentary.
“The gurus of cinema vérité, Pennebaker and Kopple, would smile upon the film ‘Against the Tide.’ It’s truly transportive cinema, on the ground and under the sea. It’s a remarkable achievement and heralds an indomitable young director, Sarvnik Kaur, who is in complete control over every aspect of the medium,” Nair said. “There is extraordinary cinematography, great humanity, humor and a wonderful way of seeing. I am honored to be the executive producer of this tale of deep friendship and conflict between two fishermen, as close as brothers, against the backdrop of an adoring sea that turns hostile due to climate change.”
The film, from Snooker Club Films and A Little Anarky Films, will open theatrically in New York City at DCTV’s Firehouse Cinema on Nov. 24.