Gingger Shankar Blogs Sundance, Makes Dumplings and has her World Premiere

Gingger Shankar and Mridu Chandra
Part 3 of Gingger Shankar’s dispatch from Sundance 2012  for Republic of Brown.  She was part of the Sundance Composer’s lab in 2007 and is now part of the Alumni Advisory Board. She is attending this year with her multimedia presentation called Himalaya Song, recently chosen as one of the 10 Best Music Films at Sundance 2012 by Rolling Stone Magazine.
Day 5
The day started with the most inspiring morning at the Women in Film Brunch. There was a sobering speech by Catherine Hardwicke. It was amazing to hear how after Twilight (which made 69 million opening weekend) she still couldn’t get meetings to direct after that. Also, that she couldn’t even get a meeting for the film ‘The Fighter’.

Keri Putnam, Executive Director, Sundance Institute, and Cathy Schulman, President of Women In Film Los Angeles spoke about how women only direct 5% of the films in Hollywood and that number has not changed since 1998! This year, of the feature films and documentaries selected to Sundance, 27% of them were directed by women! What is so exciting is how Sundance and WIF are looking to change those numbers and create much better resources for all of us to draw from.

We also had the world premiere of Himalaya Song today. Dave Liang, Mridu Chandra and I created this multimedia/live performance piece for New Frontiers and our excitement has been building up to this day.

Himalaya Song is an experimental film with live narration and music. It was a big lesson for us in how art really does meet technology. New Frontiers’ whole theme this year is about the future and technology and there is no way we could have made this project happen without it. For starters, we were able to record musicians from around the world while Dave and I were in LA and NY. On the visual side, we got really stunning footage and photographs from artists that have documented the Himalayas for years. They were so generous in wanting to help with this project and the issues we are covering. We also had the chance to work with some very gifted artists and painters in China, Turkey, London and India. We even had some paintings commissioned for our film by a Leeds born painter, Kamaljeet Ajimal.

We performed Himalaya Song  at New Frontiers to a packed house. The audience was so incredibly responsive! To be able to bring a project like this, which deals with such important issues, to a live stage was always a question – now we finally know it translates.

We can’t wait for the next one at UMOCA!And now for a few highlights from my trip so far:
 – Running into other Sundance composer lab fellows at the Kimball Art Center. Peter Golub (our mentor and head of the film music program at Sundance) always seems to bring us all together!
– Sam Pollard and Mridu arguing at the Directors Brunch about whether Ryan Gosling is hot or handsome.- Mridu and I learning how to make dumplings from scratch at Jennifer 8 Lee’s dumpling party while Dave was just trying to break the frozen ones apart!
See Day 1 and Day 3 of Gingger’s Dispatch from Sundance.
Read more about  Gingger Shankar in “A Double Violin, a Rocking Film Score and Mos Def.”
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