Feature documentary exploring Dance Movement Therapy in Kolkata, India


About this project

Kolkata Sanved is a trailblazing human rights organization using a form of rehabilitation known as Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) in a daring manner. Working with marginalized children and adults, street children, mental health patients, victims of violent crimes and human trafficking in Kolkata, India, they are helping these survivors find strength and peace with this very progressive yet natural form of therapy.


Unlike a great majority of documentaries produced today, DMT is a rare subject where the medium of film is essential to the story. The only way to convey the sheer importance and power of the rehabilitation process is to witness it either in person or through the camera’s eye.


The poverty, beauty and color of India provides the backdrop for this uniquely powerful and visual tale. In order to best illustrate the challenges and successes of the process, I worked with a small crew, (of 2) careful not to disrupt the healing process. The result is a striking and intimate portrait of people bringing about psychosocial rehabilitation and real social change.


To properly express what we experienced, I’m enlisting the help of other artists, musicians and an art director. This film will be, appropriately, more visceral expression than stock documentary. The final product will not only elucidate the process but also express the power of the experience in some groundbreaking and multidimensional ways.

We had unprecedented access to the DMT trainers (themselves rehabilitated survivors) in the shelter homes, mental hospitals, and various settings throughout Kolkata and Kathmandu where DMT is being practiced. It was an incredible privilege to document the acts of courage and care coming from those with unfathomable pasts and present difficulties. We aim to utilize the 60 hours of footage and the 20 interviews to weave an organic, visceral story that gives voice and vision to the righteous, strong and selfless acts of these incredible people.

Our goal is to complete a rough cut of the film by October 2010 and have it ready for release early 2011. Beyond festival screenings, we plan to implement more unorthodox means of dissemination as well, including “on location” screenings throughout Calcutta, in areas where the participants live and in other areas that could benefit from knowing more about this process.

After exhausting our initial $30,000 (personal funds and a much appreciated shooting grant from the Marian Chace Foundation), we now find ourselves in a film limbo. We have all the footage and the drive necessary to complete this film, however we lack the funds to hire the individuals necessary to bring this process to fruition.


What is needed in our current phase of post-production are:

    + translations / transcripts of the interviews
    + music composition
    + art direction
    + sound cleaning / sweetening
    + a block of time for concentrated, non-stop editing


We ultimately hope the film will inspire viewers to look inward, to access their own dormant potential to right wrongs in real ways—whether in the back alleys of India or their own backyards, wherever hope has been deterred if not lost altogether.

With your help, we can create a moving and indelible document of people doing just that.

-Shawn Convey and Ashley Fargnoli

10:05 30/11/2011 | Lien permanent | Tags : arts, place net |  Facebook

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