After the making of Take Me to the River, Projectile Arts first feature length documentary film experience about the 2001 Maha Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, I was determined to continue documenting the festival through the entire first twelve year cycle of the millennium. In 2004 when I returned to my second Kumbh Mela in Ujjain, by the time I already had a small group of nagas using my camera equipment
, I was personally invited to shoot Juna Akhara's Sadhvi Sanskar
(the woman's initiation into the largest of the orders of sannyasis who worshpi Shiva). Initially struck by the marvel of this exclusive access, I quickly lost interest in documenting the Kumbh Mela in general or the all too famous nagas, and my focus shifted immediately on documenting these women.
During the next leg of my on-going kumbh mela documentary journeys, I hope to explore the various reasons these woman have decided to become ascetics, what was missing in their previous secular / worldly lifestyles and furthermore how they are adjusting once they have left that all behind?
I believe a documentary from a western perspective just won't cut it, and as I have already established myself as this camera guru
, providing film and equipment to the nagas, the mission for 2007 is to gear up the ascetic woman of Juna Akhara
to become comfortable not only in front of the cameras, but most importantly behind the cameras.
Your support in this endeavor is greatly appreciated and I sincerely hope to see you all this Thursday,