4 July 2012

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from NFFTY film festival inviting me to submit a film for a competition they were running with Expedia.  The theme was to explore a 'Find Yours' moment, an inspirational travel experience that shapes or changes you.  This was perfect and knew exactly what I wanted to do with the film.

In 2010 I travelled with a group of Liverpool teenagers to Mumbai, India and decided to film the whole experience.  We met some of the most incredible people and saw the astonishing work to combat poverty through the Midday Meal programme and organisations such as the Mumbai Rotaracts. I decided that for the film we'd be very personal and honest, and recall our memories of India.

India had an urgency and vibrancy, everything moved so quickly. The whole ethos was different and the attitude of the people I met lacked the cynicism and reservance that I was used to. People weren't afraid to be too positive or too honest.  I was told that in India, 'the guest is God', which sets a deep level of respect and comfort when you're invited into someones home.  

We visited a school in the heart of one of Mumbai's largest slums, and were amazed by the sense of community and connectedness that people had, despite the poverty they were in. They were so positive, more-so than most people I knew back home and it made me think that these issues are so complex, it isn't possible to assume you know another person's life until you see it for yourself.  As the trip went on I felt like I also understood myself a little better, and the closeness that people shared is more valuable than I'd ever realised.

If you have a moment to check out the film, please do (you can view it in the Related Media section at the right-hand side of this page).  Plus if you like, it a cheeky vote on the facebook app would be massively appreciated:

We all have these experiences that shape and change us.  Travelling can open our minds to new ways of thinking about life and give us a rush of new feelings and perspectives.  

I went through all of this with my long time collaborator Alex Moran, who wrote the last few short films I've directed, and joined me in putting together this film.  As I was making it I wanted to make something that communicated what I really felt, and I'm happier with the message behind this film more than ever.