THE FILMMAKERS
   
 

MAURIZIO BENAZZO
Producer, director, cinematographer (left)

Italian-born Maurizio Benazzo has worked in film and television in a variety of roles, both in front of and behind the camera.

Production credits include a series about New York for RAI Television, Italy; producer and on-screen presenter for Metro TV, New York; and many more.

Apart from his film and television work, Maurizio serves as president of HealthShare International, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing health training and educational sponsorship to indigenous groups in the rainforests of South America.

Maurizio is the founder of the Science and Nonduality Conference, which takes place each October in San Rafael, CA. His current production company, Neti Neti Media, creates programming on the subject of nonduality.


HEAT, DUST AND CHAPATIS

The moment we heard about the Kumbh Mela we knew it was a story that needed to be told. It seemed beyond belief, that so many millions of people could gather together and almost no-one outside of India know anything about it. How could such an incredible event have escaped the notice of the rest of the world?

The next step was to decide how to tell that story. We decided to travel to India and search for a local co-producer who could act as a translator and guide. The format would be fairly conventional, with preplanned interviews and scripted voiceover.

But nothing in India ever goes the way you anticipate. Rather than try to force the event into our narrowly defined journalistic "plan", we stood back and allowed India's far better plan to unfold.

We shifted our objectives and decided to create something far more organic and free, with set pieces that would capture both the sublime and the surreal. We also wanted the gurus to speak in their own words and show off their own particular meditation techniques, some of which - such as sitting on nails - sparked a debate on whether the "true" path can include such blatant spectacle.

Ultimately the Kumbh Mela turned out to be an expression of devotion and joy on a scale unheard of in the West. It was simultaneously exhilarating, uplifting, and enlightening. We hope and believe we have captured something of its essence in our film. Namaste!

Nick Day
Maurizio Benazzo

NICK DAY
Producer, director, editor, photographer (right)

Nick Day studied cinema at the British Film Institute/University of London. His production credits include a diverse range of films, documentaries, news stories and commercials for international clients such as RAI Italy, ZDF Germany and Channel 4 UK.

Nick has written several screenplays, including The Fallen, which won him the screenwriter's award at the 2004 Breckenridge Film Festival.

Nick is producer on The Consciousness Chronicles, a DVD series featuring some of the world's leading consciousness researchers.

He is currently developing an animated feature film on the subject of consciousness entitled Mindville, and is shooting a documentary on the history and future of freedom from various angles, including societal, constitutional and spiritual, entitled Freedom.