While We Watched

Vinay Shukla

Exciting and worrying look behind the scenes at Indian television news channel NDTV. A group of dedicated independent journalists work amid a frightening climate of nationalist extremism. At the heart is Ravish Kumar, a courageous and thoughtful journalistic giant, dealing with mounting obstacles and dangers. 
‘The Age of Lies is upon us,’ Ravish Kumar says at a television award ceremony. His NDTV is one of the only truly independent news outlets in the room. Under the government of Narendra Modi and his BJP, a fanatic ultra-nationalist sentiment has taken over Indian media. Journalists who go against this are labelled ‘Enemies of the State’ – with all the dangers involved.  
Despite their courage, the climate of fear and nationalist hatred takes its toll on the NDTV people. Kumar has to deal with one after another employee leaving the station. After the film was completed, Kumar himself resigned from NDTV when an Indian tycoon with ties to the BJP bought a large stake in the network. While We Watched is essential viewing for anyone interested in how television journalism is under threat – not only in India but worldwide.  

While We Watched has been part of the Activist competition 2023. Unfortunately, Ravish Kumar could not attend the festival due to personal circumstances. Instead, director Vinay Shukla was a festival guest and took part in the Q&As after the screenings.


Vinay Shukla
Luke W Moody, Khushboo Ranka
Country of production
United Kingdom
92 minutes
Spoken language
English, Hindi
Production company
World Sales
Cat & Docs