“Dilli Dark,” the debut feature film by Dibakar Das Roy, is set to make its World Premiere at the prestigious 23rd Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival. Following this grand unveiling, the film will continue to make its journey onward with its international debut at the 27th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.

Produced by the talented duo of Udayan Das Roy and Dibakar Das Roy under the banner of Reeligion Films, “Dilli Dark” takes its place in the esteemed South Asia Competition Section.

In the 100-minute-long dark comedy film, languages and cultures collide as a young Nigerian boy navigates the bustling streets of New Delhi. His dream of pursuing an MBA in India clashes with the duality of his part-time job in a city known for its inscrutable ways.

Dilli Dark features a stellar cast led by Samuel Abiola Robinson, known for his breakthrough role in the Malayali film “Sudani From Nigeria.” The ensemble also includes Geetika Vidya Ohlyan, Shantanu Anam, and Stutee Ghosh in pivotal roles. Geetika Vidya Ohlyan, who made her screen debut in “Soni,” brings a unique energy to her character.

Writer-director-producer Dibakar Das Roy, eager for the world premiere at Jio MAMI, describes “Dilli Dark” as a challenging project. The film delves into the intricacies of Delhi, exposing the biases that exist within. Roy’s aim was to create an African protagonist who seamlessly weaves through Delhi’s diverse social strata while maintaining authenticity in language and interactions.

Roy shares, “Dilli Dark is a film loaded with profound meaning yet remains entertaining and accessible—a unique blend that defines the kind of cinema I aspire to create.”

Samuel Abiola Robinson, the film’s lead actor, connects with the story on a personal level. Having experienced racial discrimination himself in New Delhi, he finds “Dilli Dark” to be an authentic portrayal of this issue. Instead of preaching, the film cleverly delivers its message through humor, compelling the audience to reflect on its core message. Having lived in South Asia for years and worked on numerous films, Robinson believes that “Dilli Dark” is truly one-of-a-kind.

Geetika Vidya Ohlyan, who plays a character named Mansi, expresses her excitement about the film. She describes Mansi as the most bizarre character she has ever portrayed. The layers of her character, from costume to personality, are both liberating and burdensome. Ohlyan appreciates how Dibakar has skillfully blended fantastical elements with real-life situations, seasoned with a dash of humor. She eagerly anticipates the audience’s reactions and even envisions attending public screenings incognito to witness their real-time responses to the truth bombs the film drops.

The poster for Dilli Dark, premiering at MAMI 2023.

What is ‘Dilli Dark’ about?

Movie Synopsis

New Delhi, despite its ‘new’ name, carries with it the weight of centuries, bearing witness to the rise and fall of countless rulers, invaders, and settlers. This ancient cosmopolitan city is a culmunation of cultures – a place where the battle between ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’ is a perpetual struggle. Amidst this multifaceted stands Delhi itself; a true monarch, a deity in its own right.

Among the inhabitants of Delhi is Michael Okeke, a Nigerian native striving to find his place in the city. He is part of a broader African diaspora, often subjected to unfair stereotypes and prejudices, ranging from accusations of criminality to unfounded beliefs in cannibalism. Michael’s aspirations lie in the thriving corporate sector of India, yet he finds himself ensnared in a web of circumstances.

To make ends meet, he reluctantly takes on a humble job as a drug courier, a role that ties him to his African identity and keeps him entangled in a life of uncertainty. His pursuit of legitimate employment leads him to the fringes of society, where the only refuge he finds is in Maansi, a dubious godwoman. She refuses to judge him based on his race or skin color, offering solace in a city where such acceptance is rare.

However, as Michael becomes entwined with Maansi’s world, he discovers that she, like the city itself, does not differentiate between right and wrong. This moral ambiguity echoes throughout Delhi’s DNA, reflecting the complex and intricate relationship that Indian society has with notions of race, color, and identity.

Does Dilli Dark have a trailer?

Yes. The unlisted trailer for Dilli Dark, premiering at MAMI 2023 can be found on the Reeligion Films YouTube channel below:

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