AR Rahman’s ‘Headhunting to Beatboxing’ to have world premiere at IFFM

Director Rohit Gupta's musical documentary is also in the running for the Best Documentary Film Award at the film festival.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jul 02, 2024 | 2:30 PM Updated Jul 02, 2024 | 2:59 PM

Headhunting to Beatboxing to have world premiere at IFFM

The musical documentary, Headhunting to Beatboxing, directed by Rohit Gupta and produced by double Oscar-winning composer AR Rahman, will premiere at the 2024 Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM).

Presented by the Victorian government, the film gala will celebrate its 15th year from 15 to 25 August.

Set in Nagaland, Headhunting to Beatboxing had its first look revealed at the 77th Cannes Film Festival in May. The film delves into Nagaland’s rich musical journey, tracing the evolution of rhythm and sound across cultures, tribes, and generations.

The IFFM organisers described Headhunting to Beatboxing as an immersive and enlightening musical anthropological odyssey, transitioning from the ancient traditions of headhunting tribes to the musical renaissance in Nagaland.

AR Rahman emphasised the film’s significance in highlighting Nagaland’s cultural and musical richness, expressing excitement alongside Rohit Gupta for its premiere in Melbourne.

The music composer had long been fascinated by the music of India’s northeast. His first visit to the region happened when he was invited to the annual Hornbill Festival, a cultural celebration representing all ethnic groups of Nagaland.

“It’s not only Naga music; they are independent singer-songwriters who simply pick up a guitar and play a tune that transports you. Whether you’re in America, their voices and lyrics are incredibly beautiful,” Rahman recalled, in an interview.

Running for Best Documentary Film Award

Headhunting to Beatboxing is also in the running for the Best Documentary Film Award at IFFM.

“We also partnered with an orphanage to teach music there, focusing on string instruments. They learn quickly due to their involvement in the church choir, where music is ingrained in their routine,” Rahman said.

Director Rohit Gupta conveyed his gratitude for the film’s selection in competition at IFFM, noting its global relevance and the transformative power of music.

According to a release, AR Rahman and Gupta will be present at the IFFM premiere of Headhunting to Beatboxing.

“The film, crafted diligently over five years, has me eagerly anticipating the audience’s reactions and their exploration of Nagaland’s rich cultural and musical diversity. Every note tells a tale, every scene unfolds a journey, and I’m eager for audiences to witness the beauty we’ve uncovered,” stated Rohit Gupta.

Mitu Bhowmick Lange, the festival director of IFFM, is thrilled to present the film’s world premiere at the extravaganza.

(Edited by Y Krishna Jyothi)

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