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Documentary on Kumbh Mela at Boston

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Documentary on Kumbh Mela at Boston

Award-winning documentary, "Short Cut to Nirvana: Kumbh Mela", which
premieres in Boston at Kendall Square Cinema on Noveber 19,is part of
a rapidly growing trend of responsible filmmaking which has emerged in
reaction to the increasing commercialism of Hollywood and widespread
homogenization of entertainment. And audiences are showing their
support and desire for such substantive entertainment with
unprecedented attendance at such independent films.

In 2001, an estimated 70 million people convened in India for the
largest gathering in the history of humanity, yet few Westerners had
ever heard of it. Filmmakers Maurizio Benazzo and Nick Day traveled to
India to capture the profound and historical event and share the
experience with the world.

The film documents the Maha Kumbh Mela, one of the most ancient of
Hindu festivals, which occurs once every 144 years in Allahabad,
India. The documentary, which includes encounters with several leading
spiritual masters, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, was hailed
by Film Threat as, "a beautifully crafted documentary... and
constantly absorbing glimpse into a unique corner of the human

More than a simple account of the Kumbh Mela, this film is a sensory
experience of an ancient, grand occasion, a swirl of color and motion,
song and cacophony, the sacred and the surreal—spiritual India exactly
as anyone would hope to find it. And from this unique event comes a
powerful and uplifting message of peace and tolerance for all

"Sometimes I think we only start to truly learn about our own culture
when we leave it behind and begin to experience others," reflects
co-director/co-producer Nick Day. "So my intention is that American
audiences who may not have had much contact with other people from
other cultures will find something in the film that helps them reflect
on their own lives while uplifting them and giving them hope for the
future of humanity as a whole. Here are spiritual leaders from another
culture far away, from another religious tradition... calling for
peace, harmony, unity and love for all humanity.... Now we are
tryingto bring the essence of that experience to other people through
this film."

Benazzo agrees, " ‘Shortcut to Nirvana' is part of a new movement of
spiritual filmmaking. More and more people are becoming fed up with
the formula entertainment that Hollywood has to offer, and are asking
for something different. There is an increasing segment of the
population calling for films that are entertaining, uplifting and
positive, movies that can inspire us to make this planet a better
place. When movies like this appear, take ‘What the Bleep Do We
Know?'for example, an unexpected number of people respond to them with
appreciation, making it apparent that there is a need for more
intelligent entertainment."
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