Powerless 2

Fahad Mustafa, director of “Katiyabaaz/Powerless.” (Globalistan Films Pvt. Ltd. Photo)

San Leandro, Calif. — In Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, a city that faces power outages 15 hours a day, a young “informal” electrician provides Robin Hood-style services to the poor. At the same time, the head of the local electricity utility company — and the first woman to hold the job — is on a high-profile mission to dismantle the illegal connections for good.

Producer Deepti Kakkar and director Fahad Mustafa have teamed up on “Katiyabaaz/Powerless,” a documentary that gets to the heart of India’s power crisis and explores some of the inventive (and dangerous) things local citizens are doing to solve the problem at the grassroots level.

The film has earned acclaim at numerous international film festivals including at Tribeca and Berlin. Now, PBS is airing it in its award-winning Independent Lens series Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. PT. Visit pbs.org/independentlens for information.

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