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!