as the River flows, Guns & Guitars, crowd funding etc…

Finally, after what seemed like an endless wait, ‘ekhon nedekha nadir xipare’ – the Assamese version of ‘as the River flows’- was released in Assam in Sept last. And I got a firsthand experience of what it was like to experience the unfolding of your labor of love, in a big screen, inside a dark hall, with people who have voluntarily paid money to experience it…

What it was like? Well, certain things in life can’t be described adequately in words – you need to experience it…suffice to say that it created memories which I will carry till my last breath…

Not to say that all the memories were pleasant…there were a few not so rosy encounters too. Like journalist coming to you wanting to discuss the film without even watching it. Like media persons telling you in a press meet that they are not reviewing the film as they were not invited for a show by the producer…and not having an answer when I questioned them back whether they would have refrained from criticizing the film just because they have not been invited for a show, had the film shown something which present the culture of the land in a wrong light… But for every such experience, there are one or more instances of complete stranger coming up/ writing to me saying how the film had touched their life. A daughter writing a mail about her father who had gone missing. A student writing a mail about how the film helped her in deciding her career choice of pursuing a life as a social worker. Yes, the positive have far outweigh the negatives…

Now the time has come to move on. Yes, the all India release of the Hindi version of the film, ‘as the River flows’, is very much in the agenda – but the time has come to not keep it as full time obsession & to move on to other films which are waiting to be made, other stories which are waiting to be told… Enters ‘Guns and Guitars – a musical travelogue’ into the sphere. Rather, into the centre stage.

Guns and Guitars. A feature length documentary film which is in the making for last year and a half. A journey that we undertook through the land of ‘seven sisters and one brother’ – the northeast India. The land which more often than not is in the news for all the wrong reasons – when there is bomb blast, ambush, economic blockade, drug haul… so on and so forth.

Yes, with this film, we traveled through all the 8 north eastern states, as an attempt to understand the land & her people. This journey gives us an excuse to glance at what gave shape to the voice and music of the land; its cultural and socio- political milieu …talking to the kid singing in the local pub and the budding rock bands from in and around… catching up with the man on the street… sharing a few thoughts with music fans young and old… trying to understand how times have changed or not at all!

But that journey did change a lot in us. It was indeed an eye opening and enriching experience to know about perhaps the only instance in the world history where a country (India) air bombed its own citizen (1966 IAF bombing of Aizwal, Mizoram)… about how the govt. is trying to fight one of oldest insurgency in the world (insurgency of Nagaland) literally with guitars, via the formation of the only ministry in our country that is dedicated to music (‘musical task force’)…about the music band members who spend overnight in the queue in Manipur to buy petrol so that they can run the generator – they require the generator to use their plug in instruments to practice music ; because, on an average, they don’t get more than 3 hours electricity in their area… about the village in the midst of nowhere in Meghalaya, that practices an wonderful custom of dedicating an individual ‘tune’ to every child instead of giving them a pet name… Yes, certain things in life can’t be described adequately in words – you need to experience it…

After spending all our savings and with the help of well wishers who chipped in cash or kind, we have reached a stage with this film where a final push is required to complete it. Yes, we did try to reach out to international funding agencies… but their feedback was ‘the project looks interesting, but complex’ and they wanted to have a look ‘at the final product’ before committing financial assistance. Can’t really blame them – here we are indeed talking about a complex region, that is connected with the rest of India by a narrow corridor of just 21 km to 40 km, but shares more than 4500km as borders (not 2000km as mentioned in the AV, sorry for the mistake!) with 5 neighboring countries. The land that is one of the most diversified regions in the world and is notably ethnically and linguistically different from the rest of India…

But this ‘complex story’ needs to be told. And we are going to tell this story… with your help, that is. That’s why we are approaching you with the ‘crowd funding proposal’ for the film. Do take out the time to go through the link & join us in our mission – but ONLY IF YOU BELIEVE IN IT.
Yes, together we are not alone…

http://www.wishberry.in/Guns-Guitars-15046

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2 thoughts on “as the River flows, Guns & Guitars, crowd funding etc…

  1. So glad that ‘As the River Flows’ struck a chord with the people of Assam. And i hope you get the financial support you need to make Guns Guitars which seems like a very interesting subject.

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