A Forum on
‘Arranged Marriage – its role and relevance today’
Date: November 15, 2009 (Sunday) from 3PM to 5 PM
Venue: La jolla Public Library
7555 Draper Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037-4802
(Plenty of Free Street Parking. Give yourself a few minutes to park)
Moderator: Vinod Kumar
(Documentary Film Maker, San Diego, CA)
How did you choose your life partner? Did someone else choose him or her for you? Did family or friends play a major role in the choice? If you had the opportunity do it all over again would you do it any differently this time? Why and how?
Documentary filmmaker Vinod Kumar welcomes your feedback for an upcoming film examining the role and relevance of arranged marriage in contemporary times. The idea is to bring out, through narration of your own experiences in your own words, the good, the bad, the ugly, or the pros and cons, of the current ways in which parents, family, friends or members of the community may try to introduce two people who might make a good match.
You may have strong opinions on the subject and may want to use this forum as a sounding board. But please keep in mind that the idea of the film is to foster discussion by drawing on real experiences rather than serve as a forum to propagate for or against arranged marriage.
We request you to restrict relating your experience or opinion to no more than three to five minutes so that a maximum number of people can share their thoughts. This event may be videotaped, parts of which may be used for the documentary Vinod Kumar is making on this subject. If you do not consent to being a part of the documentary film, be sure to indicate that on the sign-in sheet.
If you think you have a personal experience/opinion that you may want to share or if you would like to join the crew in any capacity for the filming of this documentary, please send a brief note to firstname.lastname@example.org .
You can learn more about Vinod Kumar at :
For a complete schedule, visit our Web site at : http://www.sdnari.org/
Free Admission Open to Public (Seating limited to 100).
RSVP by Nov 12, 2009 : email@example.com
STAY HISH (HEALTHY, INFORMED, SAFE, HAPPY)
More than a Film – an Invitation
New Documentary Takes Viewers to an Exotic Indian Wedding, in Their
Richly colored clothes, ornately decorated hands, and elaborate
ceremonies are all staples of a traditional Indian wedding. But
a flower-coated Ford Mustang to zip the groom to the bride’s
home flourishes a uniquely American twist.
Gems like this are all part of Deypika's Wedding, a new documentary
by local filmmaker Vinod Kumar. In India, the groom’s family
marches across the city to the bride’s house, replete with
a full band and dancing in the streets, as the film shows. The groom
follows the baraat – the term for the parade of revelers –
on a horse. In the US, the floral car can substitute for the horse.
It also shows how immigrants stick to tradition, but at the same
time need to be innovative.
Through its setting, Deypika’s Wedding puts a fresh spin
on a topic gaining steam with international audiences. But while
there is plenty of footage about weddings in India, little is known
about how they are conducted in America’s fast growing Indian
community. The film has footage of India and the US, highlighting
both the similarities and differences in the traditions.
The film’s approach is as novel as its setting. It follows
the wedding of a North and South Indian couple in a San Diego suburb.
The different geographic origins of the couple make for a unique
blend of traditions, especially in a country known for its cultural
diversity. Sprinkled with commentary from the couple themselves,
it is not only rich in information but also a deeply personal narrative.
Deypika's Wedding also uses the first-person point of view, a style
that is growing in popularity with independent filmmakers. Kumar
invites the viewer to attend the wedding with him, and then delivers
with whirlwind camera work. The impressive blends of angels, maneuvering,
and filming make the viewers feel like they are actually there.
The pre-wedding ceremonies shown in the film capture fascinating
traditions that set the stage for the cultural extravaganza to follow.
Take the “Kashi Yatra” ceremony. Here, the groom gets
cold feet and decides to go on a holy Hindu pilgrimage instead of
the wedding. As he sets off, dressed in a loincloth and with an
umbrella – a symbol of wisdom – in hand, he has to be
persuaded to stay by the bride’s father. The film captures
this energetic exchange, and the backdrop of Southern California
gives it an added twist.
Other ceremonies leading up to the wedding are also vibrant and
colorful. The “Sangeet” features nights of singing and
dancing, with events for both the men and women. All this builds
up to the wedding itself, and it is here that the film offers its
most delightful visual feast. Taking place early in the morning
(starting at 6:30 AM), the religious ceremony is replete with all
the elements that would accompany a wedding in India thousands of
years ago. Conches blare, garlands of beautiful, fresh-cut flowers
are exchanged, and the couple circles a Vedic fire which is considered
as a deity second only to Indra Deva. Throughout the film, subtitles
inform the viewer about the meaning of rituals.
The story behind Deypika’s Wedding makes it an even more
remarkable accomplishment. Created by a lone filmmaker, this debut
was created using a standard camcorder and garden variety editing
software. It is a testament to what can be accomplished by relatively
inexpensive equipment, thanks to advances in audio/video and computer
But the film also showcases Kumar’s talents with a camera,
his relentless planning and perseverance, while carefully editing
down tens of hours of footage. Armed with a DV camcorder, a lifelong
interest in photography, and a passion for explaining his native
culture to the rest of the world, Kumar sets out to make a film
that is both informative and entertaining.
“I think the West is now ready to learn about Eastern ancient
cultures like India, and it is important to bring it to them in
an interesting and simple manner so that they can appreciate our
traditions and rituals”, says Vinod Kumar.
A management consultant and a mechanical engineer by training,
Kumar could represent an emerging breed of filmmakers. In an age
of globalization and rapidly advancing technology, filmmakers with
a knack for the camera and desire to tell their culture’s
story could take center stage.
Total length of film: 46 Minutes.
For further information contact: