Published: 27th May 2020
Why every coffee enthusiast should look out for the documentary 'C for Coffee'
The documentary C for Coffee focuses on the state of coffee in our country and how it affects the lives of several people who are dependent on it, we find out more
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons
- TS Eliot
Every coffee lover has a story about how coffee is not just a beverage for them but that it plays an important role in their life and how. If you are one of these aforementioned coffee lovers, then you should definitely keep an eye out for this 26-year-old's upcoming documentary. Titled C for Coffee, for which the cinematography is being done by freelance photographer Pratik Dey Chowdhury, the documentary typically falls under the food genre. Pratik, who hails from Kolkata originally but now resides in Bengaluru has teamed up with a friend and director Binny Verghese, who is a Barista trainer and has associations with the coffee industry.
Pratik Dey Chowdhury
C for Coffee highlights the status of speciality coffee in India. "Café owners, coffee planters, roasters, consumers - we spoke to numerous people about what coffee means to them, what role it plays in their lives and more. Different aspects of coffee were explored, from planting and roasting to selling it, as well as the role cafés play. We asked about 10-15 people the same questions. The idea was to know how things differ person to person - as individuals they have varied opinions as to how coffee affects their lives and livelihood," Pratik tells us. The makers also spoke to coffee consumers to know what they think of the status of coffee in our country. "India is known around the world as a coffee-growing country but as a coffee-consuming country, we have not really made our place yet. Recently, the trend has begun to change but if we go back just two years, consumption of coffee was not that much of a trend. We have been, however, producing large amounts of coffee through the decades," he adds.
Pratik is a professional photographer and his subjects are mainly food and motorsports, while he also does documentary and music video shoots on the side. "Binny and I have known each other for some time now. When he expressed his desire to do something like this, I was game. The basic idea was to go on a trip spanning 20 days from Delhi to Chennai, covering a total of 13 places to meet café owners, planters, roasters and develop on that eventually," adds Pratik. By November 2019, the team managed to speak to 28 people for the documentary and then, began speaking to consumers. "The shoot was almost over then but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are yet to complete the documentary. We were supposed to take photos during coffee blossom season that begins in February and later again when the coffee flowers bloom. We are currently working on post-production, but there are hiccups there too as all my stuff is in Bengaluru where I reside while I'm back home in Kolkata due to the lockdown," exclaims the 26-year-old.
The documentary was scheduled to be screened around August or September but now it seems quite bleak. "First, we need to complete all the shots required that we were unable to do due to the sudden lockdown and then, followed by editing," concludes Pratik, with a lump of uncertainty in his voice.
Other projects he's been working on: Pratik is working on an individual documentary about deep water fishing, maritime pollution and the plight of fishermen. "It is in the research and development phase. It will take some time," he says
Pratik started shooting for the Theyyam Project in 2019, which he also wishes to work on around September but he doesn't know given the current circumstances