What Mumbaikars are saying about JUGAAD... so far

Welcome to Jugaad’s very first blog! Thank you so much for joining me on this journey! Your support and interest really mean the world to me. 

It's been a steamy-sweaty, mango lovin' few months here in Goa and Mumbai, and full of personal firsts: applying to film festivals, reaching out to broadcasters, holding test screenings, learning about self-distribution and learning how to build a successful crowdfunding campaign. I'm launching the campaign soon – promise! – and when I do, I'd be so grateful if you shared it far and wide with your networks. This is how the magic happens and films get noticed in our media-saturated world. So thank you, in advance, for being on Team Jugaad and spreading the word!

Something I learned while making Jugaad over the course of seven years (nine, depending on what you count!) is that we have to celebrate the small victories. Especially when we take risks and put our ideas and our hearts and our souls out into the world for public consumption, judgment and possible ridicule. Am I right? Can I get an Amen?! Well today I'm celebrating the positive feedback I've been getting from people who have seen the film, who actually live in Mumbai. Several Mumbaikars have told me I captured the true essence of the city and showed them parts of Mumbai they didn't know existed. After living there their whole lives! Others told me I opened their eyes to the lives of people they see every day but know nothing about. YES!!! This is the ultimate feedback! As an outsider and a Westerner, I couldn’t ask for a better reaction. With so much cultural appropriation happening (a hot topic in Canada these days!) and so many Westerners romanticizing “exotic” places without spending much time or giving the people they film the dignity they deserve, I am so grateful that Mumbaikars are telling me I got it right.

And in my mind I know they mean "for the most part."

A film about Mumbai could not possibly cover every story, angle and perspective in the city. Mumbai means 23 million different things to its 23 million people, and its diversity is part of what makes it such a magical place. But I can tell you this: I could make 23 wildly different films about my experience of Mumbai, and they'd all have something in common. Each character would have a remarkable drive to survive, to make things work, to keep pushing forward. No matter how, they'd find a way. They'd be champion life hacks. That's the spirit of jugaad and what I learned in Mumbai, and I'll take it with me wherever I go. I hope you will too!

Here's the link to the official trailer for Jugaad. Enjoy!

Much love, and may the spirit of jugaad be with you!

Susannah Heath-Eves, Producer and Director of Jugaad
Jugaad is a feature length documentary that explores and celebrates the enduring human spirit in Mumbai, India’s Promised Land. The word 'jugaad' means creative problem solving.