A Colorful Thanks
Today is definitely a day to have fun! Combining the Irish festival of revelry, Saint Patrick's Day, with the Indian festival of color, Holi, on the same day is epic. So, I thought this would be a great day to show gratitude for those who enabled this project to blossom and thrive so far.
To start with, thanks to all the talented filmmakers who shot taxi videos in different parts of the world and submitted their work to us. The film festival would not have happened without your entries! Seyyed Ali Mousavi Azad from Kabul (Afghanistan) sent in two wonderful videos from his home country and from a short trip to Iran. Chaitra Yadaavar added a fiction flare to the line up with Kaala Peela (Black and Yellow), her film about one Mumbai cab driver’s unique story. Eric Hinojosa’s taxi video from Cairo was a collaboration with his friend and fellow passenger in the taxi and is set in post-Arab Spring Egypt. Arshak’s video from Pune captured many thoughts on gender in Indian society. Each one of these films will be highlighted in future posts for those who were not present during the screenings in India. Standing Together to Enable Peace (STEP) Trust brought these films to audiences in Kashmir, New Delhi, Chandigarh and Manipur as part of their 5th annual Jashn-e-Aman Festival. Thanks to the entire team, spearheaded by Shreya Jani, for making it possible.
In the spirit of Saint Patrick’s Day and raising toasts, I must raise a figurative glass to all the wonderful folks in Bozeman (Montana, USA) who donated their time and money to make the film festival come to life and for me to be able to travel to India. The list of supporters of my fundraiser is long and illustrious and I hope I don’t leave anyone out:
Serena Rundberg of Nova café, and her partner
Shane Johnson of Prime Inc.
Ron Gompertz of Wild Joe’s, and his lovely wife Michelle
Nancy and Richard Giddings
Tyler Walston and Beverly Bond Johnston
and everyone else who attended, donated, served, cooked and even swept the kitchen floor with us!
The Food Studio was our excellent venue and Daniel and Eva Wendell were the gracious and generous hosts.
Carol and Sal Leilani’s wine donation and support has been heartfelt and moving.
The Bozeman Magazine’s editor Angie Ripple publicized the event, which also got coverage on KBZK’s Morning Show.
Shelly Saunders captured the event with her camera and the images reflect all the encouragement and love I felt from the Bozeman community.
Last but not the least, the atmosphere at the event was kept musical thanks to Hanumantana. I personally feel honored to be partly responsible for introducing these fine musicians. Ken Glynn, Ankur Saxena, Jake Flemming and Russ Leonard are the heart of this Indo-Western fusion band that serenaded all of us at the fundraiser.
In celebrating Holi, the festival of color, we applaud that which has blossomed despite the cold, long winter. Heralding spring and renewal in our lives is a wonderful ritual. The Taxi Takes is springing ahead with the joy and encouragement that your support has given us.
Thank you and Namaste!