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Friday, May 05, 2006

Film on roots in India for Guyana screening

Filmmaker, Shundell Prasad, in Muzaffarpur, Bihar, during filming.

‘ONCE More Removed: A Journey Back to India’ will be previewed in Albion, Berbice during the Indian Arrival Day celebrations today and tomorrow.

A release from filmmaker Shundell Prasad said there will also be a private screening of the one-hour documentary at the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre in Georgetown.

The world premiere of the Indo-Caribbean film chronicling a young woman’s search for her roots in India is scheduled for May 12 during Asian Heritage Month in Fresh Meadows, Queens, New York.

Prasad said the film launch at the Bombay Theater in Fresh Meadows, which marks her directorial debut, is being sponsored by among others, Tropical Funding/Home Link Realty, The Ahmad Group of Companies, Kawal P. Totaram, PC, Allstate Insurance Company, Jay Jainarine and Zara Realty Holding Corp.

After its New York premiere, the film will be shown in Toronto in early June when the Indian Consulate General will host a screening. The film will play at the prestigious Nehru Centre, administered by the Indian High Commission in London in July, before returning to India to have its Indian premiere in Calcutta this August.

Prasad said the film follows her journey as she searches three continents to uncover the reasons behind her family’s removal from their native India, during British imperial rule and later, her parents’ migration out of their birth country, Guyana.

The release added, “In this coming-of-age, cinema verite style documentary film, the search takes the viewer from the vibrant Indo-Caribbean neighbourhoods in Queens, NY to the sweltering hot sugarcane fields of Guyana, where men toil over the land as their forefathers did a century ago when they were brought to the cane fields as indentured servants by the British. The journey continues from Guyana, where ship records are secured from the National Archives, to the ports of Calcutta, India, where the 19th Century East India Company ships carried human cargo out of India to distant lands. From Calcutta, we follow the filmmaker as she journeys into the land of her ancestors in Bihar, India, where massive crowds await the sight of a returned daughter.”

Prasad is a graduate of the prestigious New York University, Tisch School of the Arts where she majored in Film & Television Production. After graduation, she worked with HBO Documentaries, before setting off to make her own film.

At age 25, she has already worked for many major media outlets including CNN, The Wall Street Journal, A&E/The History Channel and WorldRace Productions/Jerry Bruckheimer Television.

“I started researching this film while I was still in university, simply because I wanted to know why I looked Indian, but did not have any connections or ties with India”, she said.

“During the process, I became aware of the massive international Indian Diaspora, which is estimated to be well over 20 million people…20 million stories, many of which are not rosy success tales, but rather stories of displacement, struggle and survival, like my family’s story from India to Guyana and finally to America. Great injustices have been committed against these people…many people know about the injustices committed against South African Indians because of Gandhi ji’s crusade, but the stories from East Africa, Guyana and Fiji are overwhelmingly disturbing. The current story of the Gulf migrant labourers has to be recognised and dealt with as well”, Prasad said.

Guyana Chronicle

Link Posted by jebratt :: Friday, May 05, 2006 :: 0 comments

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