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  • Tina Nandi

Horse & Rider Screening at BMP 20.

On Saturday we had the wonderful opportunity of hosting a screening of Horse & Rider: A Journey Towards Freedom which is a feature documentary film that I acted as Production Assistant for. The film is a non-conventional look into an industry that is growing at exponential rates: selling and buying minors for sex (read more about it here.)

Sometime last week I had the idea to host a screening and invite some of the awesome people that I have met in Bangalore after I re-located here. There were five different countries represented in our living room last night (Panama, USA, Canada, Australia and India) which I thought was really cool! It was also great to have all these friends that I met in completely different contexts and circumstances meet each other. It’s exactly the sort of thing that I used to dread as a little kid when we’d have a big birthday party – all my friends who don’t know each other having to hang out with each other and me being the middle person! It caused me a lot of stress. I am happy to discover that adults are much better at this and I didn’t have to really play the role of a middle-person and everyone got along marvelously. Haha.

Anyway I digress; Robert and Carlos were also here. They are friends from Bombay (well, Carlos is from Panama but has been living and working in Bombay for the past three months) They arrived in the morning with the projector and white cloth (which would act as the screen) and we soon got to work setting up the living room for the screening. Carlos is also a photographer and so he set up a time-lapse and recorded this transformation. The resulting video was quite hilarious, or atleast we thought so!

The guests arrived between 6-6:45pm and we started the film around 7pm and then after the film was over, I tried to answer any questions that anyone had and we had a pretty good discussion about the film and the issue of sex-trafficking in India at large and what we can do about it.

We then had dinner (prepared by my genius mother and with contributions from friends) and ‘mingled’. According to Robert, no party is complete without a cake so he and Carlos had gone out and bought a cake that afternoon complete with the translation of ‘Horse & Rider’ inscribed on the cake in Bengali.

After all the guests left, Robert and Carlos set up some ‘Light-Art’ in our garden which was quite amusing and you can read about that here.

By the end of the night, I was pretty exhausted but also beyond awed and grateful for a… humbling evening. Humbling for many reasons:

1. The film. Everytime I watch it, I fall in love with it a little bit more. I think because I was there when a lot of the shooting for the film happened, it was hard to look at it more objectively and really understand the message of the film. So when I watched it again yesterday, it was a brand new experience even for me and I loved it. I love how sensitively the story is told and though it is a serious and heavy topic, you are not left void of hope by the end of it. I love how the film emphasizes the preciousness of each individual’s life. They are unique and fearfully and wonderfully made and that is not to be forgotten.

2. The fact that I got to be a part of such a brilliant film.

3. My parents, who graciously opened up our home to these people who are virtually strangers to them and of course for allowing us to completely rearrange our beautiful living room!

4. My mum especially because she is one of my greatest examples of “practising hospitality”. I hope I can be like her when I (really) grow up.

5. Every single person that came to the screening (and even those who couldn’t make it). When I moved to Bangalore last November, it was pretty rough. Nothing was as (I thought) it was supposed to be and I was at a bit of a loss. I never really liked Bangalore except for the fact that our house is the closest thing to ‘home’ for me but I didn’t have many friends (close to none, in fact!) and I didn’t know where I supposed to ‘go’ to make these friends! Turns out I didn’t have to ‘go’ anywhere. Each of these friendships blossomed in ways that I could never have imagined for myself and I am humbled by that. 

Interested in hosting a screening yourself? Get in touch: [email protected] and DO IT! You will be blessed.

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