The Filmmaker's Journey - Day 4 (I'm sure it's not a Donkey)
by Rohit Jayakaran on March 4th, 2012

Oh…its come to an end. Today was my last day in Taos, NM at Filmapalooza 2012. When I think back I think today has got to be the most awesome day of the last four. I cannot believe I have done so much stuff in the last 24 hours. This morning started off a little differently from the others. Today when I went for breakfast I was not my old lazy self and did not drive 50 feet from my hotel room to the lobby. I’d love to say that I have reached a higher plane of existence but the truth is that last night I left my car parked next to the lobby…so my walk this morning was not one I did willingly.
At breakfast I sat down with my new filmmaker friends from Singapore and Shanghai. It’s amazing how the conversation smoothly moved from Chinese to English and the back to Chinese again. We talked about a lot of things including how our friend from Shanghai was finding it a little difficult to enjoy the films because they were either in English or had English subtitles. Our conversation then moved to talking about the Film from Shanghai and the question was – “What genre is your film in?” To this the response was, “It’s a horrible film.” As the three of us looked wide eyed came a quick correction… “I think HORROR…not horrible.”
At the film screenings today I watched some super awesome movies. Several of the teams I know had screenings today. These included the team from San Francisco who made a Western style film about two people in SFO fighting over parking. Shanghai’s HORROR film was about an artist who captures young art students in her paintings and hold them prisoner. The Paris team made a super awesome and funny film about a robbery. The team from Seattle made a Sci-Fi movie that had everyone in splits. I loved it especially the ending where one of the guys uses his Smartphone to destroy the alien ship that has been causing havoc. Wondering how he does it…well its supposed to be a new app in the App Store. HILLARIOUS!!! My friends from Des Moines made perhaps the best musical I have ever seen. It is actually a high school musical and from what I know they have performed the film as a play in Des Moines to raise funds to pay for the trip to the film festival. I think including their garage sales they made close to $4000. Impressive!!! I think I want to convert my Horror film into a play as well. Wonder if DUCTAC or the Madinat Arena will host us.
Between the two screenings of the day I went to do a little sight seeing as well. The thing with Taos is that it is a Native American town, which has been a settlement the Pueblo Tribe for over 400 years. The place I visited is called Taos Pueblo. (I think I will upload some photos when I get back to Dubai.) The place is quite beautiful. It’s a Native American (referred to as Indian) village that has beautiful snow capped mountains as a backdrop. While waking around and click photos I met a Native American Resident of the village and got chatting with her. She asked me where I was from. I told her, “I live in Dubai but I am Indian.” You should have seen her eyebrows go up for a second. Once I saw her face I figured out how that could be confusing. So to sort that out I said, “No not Indian like you, Indian like me.” Wow…I am quite a goof ball. She laughed and said, “Would you like to buy something?”
On by drive back into town I got a glimpse of some nice rural scenery. I happened to pass two horses…ok maybe they were ponies…I usually cannot tell the difference. What I do know for certain was that they were not donkeys. Just take a look at the photo of the pony/horse/not donkey here and try to guess what would be in the surrounding areas. Yup…guess…do I hear you saying, “Wide open fields?” I’d love to say you are absolutely correct but the fact is that you are only half correct. Opposite this farm, is a Casino. GOOO NEW MEXICO!!!
Anyways back to the final screening of the day and award ceremony for Filmapalooza 2012. The show was to start at 3:30 but I think everyone including myself were there by 2:45…Excitement I guess. The films as always were super awesome. After all, all the films at this Film Festival are the Best Film Winners in their home City or Country. After the screenings, I was called on stage along with the guys from KL, Singapore, Melbourne, Sidney and Johannesburg because we had traveled the longest distance to get to New Mexico. I am sure you will very soon see me sporting that t-shirt proudly in Dubai. Right after that started the roaring applauds as each of the winning teams came up to collect their trophies. I’ve got one as well. In the photo there you can see me along with Mark and Liz the founders of the 48 Hour Film Project. The evening also saw the announcement of the Best Film at the festival and that went to – Hampton Roads who made a superhero film called ‘In Captivity.’ I loved their film and I thought it was super brilliant and totally deserved the award. The team was lead by Jon and his wife who I met yesterday at the Karaoke Bar and we had a nice chat about movies and all. I must say, I was a little curious about where Hampton Roads was. Thankfully Jon answered, saying that it is a cluster of 7 small towns put together in the states of Virginia. (There you go, a little trivia I picked up over a beer.)
Right now I am back in my room and thought I would quickly blog about the day as it almost comes to a close and so does this part of my Filmmaker’s Journey. I have a party to attend at 9 this evening and then in a few hours I will be driving back to Albuquerque and then catching my flight to Dallas and then Dubai. If all goes well I will lose a day in travel and will be in Dubai on Tuesday afternoon.
I think this has just been one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. Over the last 4 days I have watched 98 of the best film from across 30 countries. I have made some very talented new friends. The only thing I still don’t know is how to differentiate a horse from a pony.

Posted in Art, Video, Travel, Festivals, Films    Tagged with no tags


Fizza - March 5th, 2012 at 1:55 AM
WoW!!!!!! awesome..... you achieved at least for wat u have went for...... among 98 films having a trophie for solus is a big achievement :) yipeee to dat....... welll reading ur blogs almost took every reader along with u to new mexico but hearing from u in person will be gr8 again :) soooo waiting for u SUPERSTAR!!!!!! CONGRATS!!!! :)
Jon - March 11th, 2012 at 11:46 PM
A great recap! And for the record - I vote that it's a horse.
Elly - March 23rd, 2012 at 10:07 AM
Awesome write up Rohit, as was the experience!!!
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