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Nilay Daves’s Gandhiji My Mentor has its Metro-NY/NJ Premiere at the 2016 New Jersey Film Festival on Saturday, September 17!


By Al Nigrin

originally published: 10/24/2016

Nilay Daves’s  Gandhiji My Mentor has its Metro-NY/NJ Premiere at the 2016  New Jersey Film Festival on Saturday, September 17!

Nilay Daves’s  Gandhiji My Mentor has its Metro-NY/NJ Premiere at the 2016  New Jersey Film Festival on Saturday, September 17!

Here is my interview with Gandhiji My Mentor Director Nilay Dave:

Nigrin: Gandhiji My Mentor is set in India during the tumultuous end of British rule, your feature film tells an engrossing and expertly acted dramatic story, as it delves into the internal conflicts that confronted Gandhi’s non-violent liberation movement. Please tell us what motivated you to make this very moving film.  

Dave: Since my childhood I was fascinated by Gandhiji's philosophy and principles. My father Jitendra Dave, is a writer and retired School Principal, he has been researching and writing book on Gandhiji. I have grown listening to stories of Mahatma Gandhi and Lord Krishna from my parents. I still remember those stories which have inspired me since my childhood days.  When I decided to make a film, I was very much sure that Mahatma Gandhi’s message needs to be spread.

Nigrin: You did a masterful job playing Chandrabhan Upadhyay one of the lead characters of the film. Was it difficult to direct yourself? Also please tell us about the actor who played Gandhi. He was so convincing that I think he did a better job than Ben Kingsley did in the 1982 film by Richard Attenborough. 



 
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Dave: Thank you very much for appreciating my work and Deepak Antani. Yes, it was very challenging to direct myself. Many times during script writing and film shooting, I thought it’s an impossible task for me to Act and Direct at the same time, But, to my surprise, as soon as I faced camera I was completely a different person and totally into my character. Again, to my surprise, Deepakbhai and I gave 9 mins and 45 seconds shots without any retakes..!! Many scenes in the film are done in one single take with many different camera angles. We did good number of rehearsals before film moved to the floor. That really helped in saving shooting time since we knew each scene and I was able to concentrate on direction as well.

Deepakbhai Antani, who portrayed Gandhiji in my film is a very talented and legendary actor, director and writer based in Ahemdabad, Gujarat (India). He is god gifted and he looks and acts exactly like Gandhiji. I am blessed to have Deepak Antani as Gandhiji in my film and totally agreed, that he has acted more conveincingly than any other actor in this entire world. I admire and respect Sir Ben Kingsley, infact till my teen age days I used to think that he is a real Gandhiji, he has acted so well. Hence, It was very much important to have someone portrait Gandhiji on a silver screen who can live up to that mark. Its a pride for me in saying that Deepak Antani is my own personal Gandhiji. He has also depicted Gandhiji at a newly opened Virtual Museum, Called “Walk with the Bapu", inaugurated  by Prime Minister Of India, located at "Rashtrapati Bhavan" (a official Residence of President Of India). 

Nigrin:  Where did you shoot your film and how long did it take to complete.

Dave:  Th entire film was shot in Ahmedabad,Gujarat (India) and neighboring villages. Film was ready in 77 days including post production. Shooting schedule was for 20 days and 57 days were spent in post production.

Nigrin: Are there any memorable stories while you made this film or any other info about your film you can rely to our readers?

Dave: Not one, but many interesting golden memories were created during the shooting of the film. Would like to share one incident here, we were shooting last scene of the film at elementary school in Raska village (1 hour drive from Ahmadabad city). The scene was, “school kids are attending memorial prayer meet of Gandhiji after his assassination.”. Since it was a kind of sad scene, all kids were required to maintain silence and show sad faces. Here I had to work with so many school kids. First time in my life I was working with many kids which itself was a big challenge for me. Believe me, it is impossible to have many kids in one room without having smile on their face especially when they are facing camera for the first time. 

But without any struggle and to my surprise, all kids obeyed instructions given by their school principal, no kids were smiling and with pin dropped silence as if they are actually attending memorial service of Gandhiji. 



 
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And there was another scene where it was required to have sunset in background. Kids helped me to find a perfect sunset location near to river.. The location was at 5 minutes walk from their school. Kids got so excited and thrilled that, they started saying “Mahatma Gandhi Ki Jai” (Hail Mahatma Gandhi), “Hindustan Zindabad” (Hail India)

I will cherish these memories forever. Seeing love and respect from these school kids for Mahatma Gandhi, makes me feel immensely happy. 

My humble request to all readers, please visit website gandhijimymentor.com and please watch trailers of the film, please join us on our Facebook page facebook.com/gandhijimymentor.

Gandhiji My Mentor Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfQ8jI8Jm_g



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Two wonderful short films will be screened before Gandhiji My Mentor. Here is more info on this screening:

Artemis - Heather Freeman (Charlotte. North Carolina)An unfortunate driver witnesses what happens to a deer's spirit after it is struck by a car. 2016; 4 min.

Safia: Make Them Wheels Roll - Sam Tremayne (Canberra, Australia)  A beautiful music video about a man returning to the daily grind. 2016; 4 min.

Gandhiji My Mentor – Nilay Dave (Kendall Park, New Jersey) Set in India during the tumultuous end of British rule, this new feature film tells an engrossing and expertly acted dramatic story, as it delves into the internal conflicts that confronted Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent liberation movement. Chandrabhan Upadhyay is a successful businessman who has lost everything due to Gandhi’s call for a boycott on foreign goods. Purnima, Chandrabhan’s wife, remains an ardent follower of Gandhi, and takes part in a protest march that ends in brutal violence, with police firing on the peaceful demonstrators.   Haunted by what happened to his wife, Chandrabhan decides to trespass into Gandhi’s modest bungalow with only one intention:  to kill his wife’s mentor.  And then the drama unfolds. 2016; 97 min. With an introduction and Q+A session with Director Nilay Dave! Co-sponsored by the Rutgers University Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs (GAIA Centers)!

Saturday, September 17, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.


Voorhees Hall #105/Rutgers University


71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, New Jersey


$12=General; $10=Students+Seniors; $9=Rutgers Film Co-op Friends


Information: (848) 932-8482;
www.njfilmfest.com

Jimmy John’s of New Brunswick will be providing free food prior to all New Jersey Film Festival Screenings!

 



 
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Albert Gabriel Nigrin is an award-winning experimental media artist whose work has been screened on all five continents. He is also a Cinema Studies Lecturer at Rutgers University, and the Executive Director/Curator of the Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center, Inc.

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