Reels On The Wheels

When you think of a Rickshaw what comes to your mind? Rejection may be, The sound of a meter flipping the sound of the engine and rash driving. 

Ever do you think films or movies? not me at least. In this article, we are talking about one such Rickshaw that has been converted into a mobile cinema theatre to make art films more accessible to the general public-Its name is Rick-Show 

Why a Rickshaw you may ask because this is quintessentially Indian-a rickshaw has a unique connection to the subcontinent and reaches mostly all parts of the nation.

This endeavour aims to “take relatively unknown art films from around the world to the streets of India.” 

This all is possible due to the imagination and spirit of a French artist named- Le Gentil Garçon, which in French translates to “the nice guy 

He could do all this with the support go Alliance Française Trivandrum and the College of Architecture Trivandrum. 

He got this idea after taking inspiration from the Japanese art form called “Kamishibai”- a form of storytelling that usually involves a wooden theatre on a mobile device like a bicycle.

Le Gentil Garcon
Le Gentil Garçon
Credits:- Vice News

One of the main challenges he faced was scaling up this project from the small local Kamishibai to something for a wider global audience. 

He thought first of buying a Rickshaw and transforming that Rickshaw into a mobile theatre, but he understood it was impossible because of the huge administrative process.

So instead of that, he decided to build a structure that could be mounted on any rickshaw that he would rent. This prototype cost him around Rs 700,000 ($9,131).

College Studnets making Architecture
Students making the structure
Credits:- Vice News

He then worked with many  international organisations like Fonds d’Art Contemporain de la Ville de Genève (FMAC) and Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain Occitanie-Montpellier (FRAC) – contemporary art funds based in Switzerland and France respectively- To curate his unique programme. 

He also divides the programme into categories like identity, choreography, cosmogony and some of my films.

Despite all this meticulous planning he had to face some significant bumps- He had to cancel 2 shows 1 because of bad weather and another because of a local labour strike, making it difficult to find open space to showcase his cinema.

Despite all of this trouble, his programme has been a huge success drawing huge crowds to view his art films.

This project has unleashed a dominantly Upper-class museum art house kinda art form onto the streets where everyone can consume it uniting communities along the way.

 Le Gentil Garçon says in an interview with Vice that “Making a mobile cinema was very important for me because it takes cinema back to its original form.” Which he has done very successfully, bought cinema to the masses again.

Credits:- Vice News

Featured Image Credits:- Vice News


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