Press Release

June 13 2024

‘POV’ Exposes the Impact of Climate Change on Mumbai’s Koli Fisherman who are Caught Between Tradition and Progress in Against the Tide


Brooklyn, N.Y. — June 13, 2024 — POV, the Emmy and Peabody award winning documentary series, examines the push and pull between the natural world and modern civilization – with a focus on the changing nature of labor and what it means to survive – in director Sarvnik Kaur’s (A Ballad of Maladies), Against the Tide. Central to the film are close friends and Koli fishermen Rakesh and Ganesh. For both men, fishing is a vital family inheritance — it isn’t just their livelihood, but also a marker of their identities. Against the backdrop of an adoring sea, which is turning adverse under the menacing effects of climate change, the men are driven to desperation by a dying sea. Against the Tide, is produced by Sarvnik Kaur, Koval Bhatia, and Quentin Laurent. The executive producers are Academy® Award nominee Mira Nair (A Suitable Boy, Monsoon Wedding), and environmentalist Russell Long.

Against the Tide will make its national broadcast premiere on POV Monday, July 29, 2024 at 10pm/(C (check local listings) and available to stream until October 29, 2024 at, and the PBS App. In addition to standard closed captioning for the film, POV, in partnership with audio description serviceDiCapta, provides real time audio interpretations for audiences with sensory disabilities. Now in its 37th season, POV continues to mark its place as America’s longest running non-fiction series.

The culture of Mumbai, India’s largest city, is linked inextricably with the story of the Kolis, the lower-caste, Indigenous fisherfolk community whose koliwadas (villages) dot the coastline. Against the Tide, captures the real-life battles of best friends and fishermen, Rakesh and Ganesh. Both grew up in the caste, and are inheritors of the great Koli knowledge system—a way to harvest the sea by following the moon and the tides. Both struggle to provide for their young families, but their approach differs. Hidden resentments begin to arise as they grapple with each other’s business practices. Rakesh is poor and committed to the traditional Koli principles of fishing. Ganesh received an international education, has a power boat, and uses innovative technology to maximize his catch.

Via cinema vérité, director Kaur watches as tension builds between the friends as they face common foes; the obstacle of government bureaucracy (night fishing is illegal), plastic ocean garbage, commercial overfishing, an overpopulation of jellyfish, and dwindling fish stock due to climate change.

“The genesis of this film coincides with my own search for values and love; that I found it in my two co-creators Ganesh and Rakesh is the beauty, the hidden magic, the secret ingredient that makes this world go around,” said Sarvnik Kaur, director of Against the Tide. “Over the course of 5 years making this film; I was given the love and privilege of being a witness - it’s a miracle that we could suspend disbelief and create a spirit of pure creation that made this film possible. People like to imagine that climate change happens to someone else; through Ganesh and Rakesh’s life and choices; I wanted us all to meditate on ‘how much do we need to be happy?’”

"Against the Tide artfully depicts the desperation and destruction Indigenous communities around the world are facing due to climate change and globalization," said Chris White, Executive Producer, POV. "Director Sarvnik Kaur’s choice to tell the story from the contrasting perspective of two friends - one beholding to tradition, and the other embracing modernity in order to not be left behind - makes this film relatable to a variety of audiences."

Against the Tide made its world premiere at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival where it won the Special Jury Prize for Vérité Filmmaking. Other wins include: Best Environmental Documentary at Verzio HRFF 2023; the UN Perception Change Award at Visions du Réel 2023; the Green Warsaw Award, at Millennium Docs Against Gravity 2023; the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at Seattle International Film Festival 2023; the Sustainable Future Award at Sydney IFF 2023; Best Feature at IceDocs 2023; and the Grand Prix for Impact Documentary at FIPADOC 2024.

Winning accolades include: Best Feature Documentary Nomination at the Gotham Awards 2023; Best Feature Documentary at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2023; Golden Gateway Award at the MAMI 2023; Best Green Documentary at the Rome International Documentary Award 2023; and Best Feature Documentary at the IDA Awards 2023. Sarvnik Kaur was nominated for Best Director at the IDA Awards 2023.

Against the Tide is a Snooker Club Films and A Little Anarky Films production. Sarvnik Kaur is the director. The producers are Sarvnik Kaur, Koval Bhatia, and Quentin Laurent. The executive producers are Mira Nair, Russell Long, and Erika Dilday and Chris White for American Documentary | POV.


Download Against the Tide photos here.

Click here to visit the Against the Tide website.


Against the Tide

Director: Sarvnik Kaur

Producers: Sarvnik Kaur, Koval Bhatia, Quentin Laurent

Executive Producers: Mira Nair, Russell Long, Erika Dilday and Chris White for American Documentary | POV

Countries: India, France

Languages: Koli, Marathi, Hindi (with English subtitles)

Year: 2023

About the Filmmakers

Sarvnik Kaur, Director, Producer, Against the Tide

Sarvnik Kaur is a documentary filmmaker whose work takes a skeptical stance towards the ‘grand narratives’ of modernism and ‘Scientific Certainties’. Made of moments that hide anxiety and conflict just beneath the surface of the normal and the mundane, her films speak of the predicament of being human in our times. Her latest feature documentary Against the Tide premiered at Sundance 2023 where she bagged the Special Jury Award for Verite Filmmaking. The film since then has received several awards including the Grand Jury at the Seattle International, the Best Documentary Award at IceDocs, the UN Perception Change Award at Visions-du-Reel, the Sustainability Award at Sydney International, The Warsaw Peace Award and also the Paznun City Freedom Award at Millenium Docs Against Gravity. Her first film Soz – A Ballad of Maladies was awarded the President of India’s 64th National Award for best debut direction besides bagging the best film at IDSFFK 2017 and the Ram Bahadur Trophy for Best Film at the Film South Asia 2018. Her films have been part of several PHD thesis of film scholars at New York University, Harvard University, JawaharLal University, Tata Institute of Social Sciences etc. She is a HotDocs Accelerator Lab, Chicken & Eggs Eggcelerator lab and IDFA Academy fellow. Her films have been supported by Catapult Film Fund, Sundance Documentary Fund, San Francisco Film Fund, IDFA Bertha Fund etc.

Koval Bhatia, Producer, Against the Tide

Koval Bhatia is a Filmmaker and producer based in India. She has been heading A Little Anarky Films for 13 years, during which time she has directed and produced commercials, impact Films and TV shows. She began her journey as an international producer with Against The Tide, which won the Special Jury Prize at Sundance, Best Feature at Asia Pacific Screen Awards and Grand Jury Prize at Seattle IFF. She was nominated for the Gotham and IDA awards with this film. Her short doc She Run The World premiered at Hot Docs and DCEFF in 2023. She has received fellowships from International Documentary Association (IDA), Circle Accelerator and B3 Hessenlab. Koval is a graduate from Eurodoc and a recipient of the Emerging Producer’s Bursary from the World Congress for Science and Factual Producers, and her projects have been supported by Sundance Documentary Fund, Hot Docs, Catapult Film Fund, Docs By The Sea, SFFILM, Al Jazeera, and DOKLeipzig. She has worked as a reviewer for Doc Society, BFI, IDA and Catapult Film Fund.

Quentin Laurent, Producer, Against the Tide

Quentin Laurent founded Les Films de L’œil Sauvage with Frédéric Féraud in 2015. Based in Paris and Marseille, the company mainly produces art-house documentaries and Quentin is particularly interested in non-Western narratives and viewpoints, in approaches that reveal spaces that have remained invisible or try to reconsider the perception of familiar places. He has recently produced or co-produced, Kinshasa Makambo by Dieudo Hamadi (Berlinale 2018), Overseas by Soa Yoon (Locarno 2019), Aswang by Alyx Arumpac (IDFA awarded 2019), Downstream to Kinshasa (Cannes 2020), Dreaming Walls by Amélie van Elmbt and Maya Duverdier (Berlinale 2022), Things I Could Never Tell My Mother by Humaira Bilkis (Visions du Réel 2022), and Kristos the Last Child by Giulia Amati (Venise 2022).


About POV

Produced by American Documentary, POV is the longest-running independent documentary showcase on American television. Since 1988, POV has presented films on PBS that capture the full spectrum of the human experience, with a long commitment to centering women and people of color in front of, and behind, the camera. The series is known for introducing generations of viewers to groundbreaking works like Tongues Untied (1989), Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1992), Rabbit in the Room (1999), Of Civil Wrongs & Rights: The Fred Korematsu Story (2001), Made in L.A. (2007), American Promise (2013), Not Going Quietly (2021), While We Watched (2022), A House Made of Splinters (2022) and the mini-series And She Could be Next (2020). Throughout its history POV has featured the work of award-winning, innovative filmmakers including Jonathan Demme, Laura Poitras, Nanfu Wang, Frederick Wiseman, Emiko Omori, Janus Metz Pedersen and Ava DuVernay. In 2018, POV Shorts launched as one of the first PBS series dedicated to bold and timely short-form documentaries. In 2024, Indiewire named seven POV films in its roundup of “The 50 Best Documentaries of the 21st Century”: Faya Dayi (2021), The Mole Agent (2020), Minding The Gap (2018), Cameraperson (2016), The Look of Silence (2015), The Act of Killing (2013) and After Tiller (2013). All POV programs are available for streaming concurrent with broadcast on all station-branded PBS platforms, including and the PBS App, available on iOS, Android, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO. For more information about PBS Passport, visit the PBS Passport FAQ website.

POV goes “beyond the broadcast” to bring powerful nonfiction storytelling to viewers wherever they are. Free educational resources accompany every film and a community network of thousands of partners nationwide work with POV to spark dialogue around today’s most pressing issues. POV continues to explore the future of documentary through innovative productions with partners such as The New York Times and The National Film Board of Canada and on platforms including Snapchat and Instagram.

POV films and projects have won 47 Emmy Awards, 28 George Foster Peabody Awards, 15 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, three Academy Awards® and the first-ever George Polk Documentary Film Award. Learn more at and follow @povdocs on social media.

About American Documentary, Inc.

American Documentary, Inc. (AmDoc) is a multimedia organization dedicated to creating, identifying and presenting contemporary stories that express opinions and perspectives rarely featured in mainstream media outlets. AmDoc is a catalyst for public culture, developing collaborative strategic engagement activities around socially relevant content on television, online and in community settings. These activities are designed to trigger action, from dialogue and feedback to educational opportunities and community participation.

American Documentary, Inc. (AmDoc) is a multimedia organization dedicated to creating, identifying and presenting contemporary stories that express opinions and perspectives rarely featured in mainstream media outlets. AmDoc is a catalyst for public culture, developing collaborative strategic engagement activities around socially relevant content on television, online and in community settings. These activities are designed to trigger action, from dialogue and feedback to educational opportunities and community participation.

Major funding for POV is provided by PBS, the Open Society Foundations, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, Reva & David Logan Foundation, Park Foundation, and Perspective Fund. Additional funding comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Chris and Nancy Plaut, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee, Acton Family Giving, and public television viewers. POV is presented by a consortium of public television stations, including KQED San Francisco, WGBH Boston and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG.

About PBS

PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 120 million people through television and 26 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’s broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirm that PBS’s premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV – including a 24/7 channel, online at, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at or by following PBS Communications on Twitter.