After the resounding success of Ship of Theseus and Tumbbad, Anand Gandhi set up a studio with a desire to discover and introduce new groundbreaking creators to the world – Memesys. This is the studio behind explosive projects such as the non-fiction political thriller, An Insignificant Man, and the highly successful political board game – SHASN.
Directed by Khusboo Ranka and Vinay Shukla, An Insignificant Man charts the birth and rise of the newest force in the world’s largest democracy – the Aam Aadmi Party. The film premiered to a standing ovation at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival), and has since screened at every major festival in the world, including the BFI London Film Festival, Busan, AFI Docs, and Sheffield Doc/Fest. Celebrated by critics and audiences alike, the film has enjoyed the widest ever theatrical release of any Indian documentary film.
SHASN, created by game design genius Zain Memon, is a unique political strategy board game. Five people fight a battle of wits over a two hour long game play – full of thrill, humour, manipulation and drama. It has been hailed by reviewers as “the best thing to come out of American politics in a very long time” (Stephen Gulik, Everything Board Games) and as a “Really clever strategy game entrenched in a surprising political battleground” (Elan Lee, Exploding Kittens). SHASN launched with the most successful Kickstarter campaign out of India.
However, the critical and commercial triumphs of these projects have been overshadowed by the massive social impact they have created. Earlier this month, An Insignificant Man bagged the highly prestigious Doc Impact Award. “An Insignificant Man made significant ripples in India. The team challenged censorship laws and won their Supreme Court case; setting a new precedent in the country and carving out more space for future political filmmakers” said Doc Society. At the same time, SHASN won the coveted Social Impact Award at IndieCade 2019 – one of the biggest recognitions in the gaming industry.
With these new additions to their collection, Memesys is proving itself to be an organisation that brings together creativity and innovation to make socially relevant projects. It’s been a good year for the studio, but this appears to be just the beginning. With several other games, films, and shows in the pipeline, Memesys is helping usher in a more socially and politically meaningful future. A cultural revolution is brewing in the country, and this studio is at the front of it.