Attending the All Lights India International Film Festival 2016 was the most interesting, enlightening and uplifting experiences of my life. I aimed to raise awareness of the Beeston Film Festival and filmmaking in the East Midlands, plus gauge the possibility of developing Go With God as a full feature. It is always useful to have a plan, but it is also useful to be agile enough to adapt when on the ground.
Sohan Roy, Festival Director pictured above, provided an inspirational vision for the development of the festival in its new home at Ramoji Film City. The venue was a vast studio covering many thousands of acres. Travelling around the venue itself combined taxis, buses and of course a bit of Shank’s pony.
Thankfully after a busy day networking and consulting about film the hotel was fittingly glamorous.
I didn’t anticipate the different pace of activity in Hyderabad, nor did I realise that to achieve all my goals I’d need to clone myself several times over. From day 1 the volume and intensity of meetings were high. The process of repeatedly pitching the values of the festival, whilst orientating myself to a new continent and then networking quite randomly whilst banghra played everywhere was draining.
With each morning I tried to make progress with my goals, whilst fresh obstacles to organisation presented themselves. Somehow, I did manage to watch the wonder some stimulating and funny films such as, My Many Married Men, meeting the talented director Saman Giraud (above). One of the many uber hospitable local filmmakers who provided really charm and sophistication was Dheiraj Kapoor (above).
There are too many tales to tell for a single post, too many people to thank for making it such a tremendous event, but at least for now I have learned much and made many new friends, and the awareness of the Beeston Film Festival significantly raised!