Twenty-nine kilometers from Ajmer, surrounded by the Aravalli hills, in the heart of the Thar Desert is a lake city called Pushkar. To the Hindus of the world, it is second in holiness only to Mansarovar. During the full moon in the month of Kartik, the town and the nearby dunes become an enormous fairground. Thousands of villagers bring cattle, camels and horses to trade. Folk artists, musicians, Ferris wheels and merry-go-rounds appear like a mirage in the desert, only to vanish with the decapitation of Brahmā’s fifth head.
Kamal Swaroop is a two-time President’s award and Filmfare Award winning film, television and radio director and screenwriter. In 1974, he graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India and even his student works met with unusual international acclaim. In 1982, he assisted Sir Richard Attenborough in the filming of “Gandhi”. “Om Dar-B-Dar” (1988) is his path breaking masterpiece.
Swaroop’s career, spanning 42 years, covers a broad range of films. In 2014, he directed “The Battle of Banaras”, produced by Medient and went on to release “Tracing Phalke” (2015) for Films Division of India, “Pushkar Puran” (2017) and “Atul” (2017), based on the world-renowned Dadaist artist Atul Dodiya, in a prolific period of experimentation for the filmmaker.
The “Battle for Banaras” premiered at Cinema Du Reel, Paris and Dubai Film Festival, while “Atul” premiered at the Cochin Biennale. “Pushkar Puran” premiered at Montreal World Film Festival, DOK Leipzig, Mumbai Film Festival and Edinburgh International Film Festival. It was selected as the opening documentary film in the prestigious Indian Panorama at International Film Festival of India, Goa.