GAURI CHADHA AND DULEEP REGMI ON GAWAH
Posted by Vivek on October 30, 2013 | 1 Comment
Gauri and Duleep’s GAWAH was an award winner at the recently concluded London International Film Festival. Here we talk to the both of them, on their film.
Why Gawah, what was so compelling about the story, that it had to be told?
I think with documentaries, many times the stories find you rather than you searching for them. This was my journey to Gawah. As the 26/11 attacks held the city of Mumbai hostage, I immediately felt very intrigued to understand the actual emotions behind the people who had to witness such horrific brutalities. The more I explored, the more I began to realize the common thread between us all and wanted to showcase exactly this. Gawah is not a film about reenactments but it is rather a film about the resilient vulnerabilities of mankind. Terrorism is a word we so often feel but don’t understand. Gawah is my attempt to remind the global audience that from history to present day we are no different to one another. Each victim should be given a platform to voice their pain just as they would be able to in our own backyard. As global citizens this responsibility lies in our hands and it is this torch we need to educate our youth about.
On the challenges faced in making the film?
I think with any film regardless of the genre, a roller coaster of challenges present themselves to you. Nonetheless, our greatest challenge in making Gawah would have to be the lack of control we had over our locations. As this film deals with such sensitive issues gaining permissions to certain locations was almost next to impossible. We therefore, had to challenge ourselves to find creative ways to capture the shots we needed. Whether we were building a bag to hide the camera in or disguising ourselves as media at the location of a bomb site – this is the pulse of a production you just have to ride with!
How has the festival run been till date?
The festival circuit has been going great for us. We have had 11 nominations so far with 8 different awards from all around the world spanning from the Cannes Film Festival, Beverly Hills Film Festival, Arizona International Film Festival to the London International Film Festival. We are very grateful and excited about the response we have received and feel honored to have had such a successful festival run so far.
Where do you see the film going?
We are actively seeking international distribution at the moment. As this film is a strong cause we are fighting for, our objective is to try and gain as much exposure for the film as possible in the hopes that people may look at terrorism from a different light. However, our dream for this project would be to try and encourage international leaders to create government funds for victims of terrorism.
On obtaining the footage of the Leopold Cafe owner, that has not been filmed till date, until Gawah?
Throughout our journey, we have discovered that an organic, invisible line of trust develops between two people who share a similar pain. To our surprise we discovered that many people in Mumbai wanted an outlet to share their voices and opinions and Gawah was a starting point to that. It takes a great deal of courage for anyone to share their deepest darkest pains with a stranger and we truly feel honored and inspired by the strength of all our witnesses.