Pushkar Myths

“All year one sensed a hidden tension, all year something was going on in preparation for those days, as if the ultimate purpose of the year was to home in on those three days.” (Roberto Calasso, “Ka: Stories of the Mind and Gods of India”)

Pushkar is a small town in the Federal State of Rajasthan in northwest India and one of the holiest places of Hinduism. Once a year, however, during the full moon in the autumn month of Kartik, the town and the desert surrounding it turn into a sprawling fun fair with Ferris wheels and carousels, music from folklore to rock and colorful dance performances. Thousands of people, Hindus and Muslims alike, pour in from villages in the whole region to trade camels, horses and cattle. The spectacle appears in the desert as suddenly as a Fata Morgana. And just as suddenly the colorful magic is over. Director Kamal Swaroop – who shot one of the (post-)modern classics of Indian cinema with “Om Dar-B-Dar” in 1988 – captures the exuberant goings-on with a precise eye for strong images and details, exploring the myths and gods of India as well as their political instrumentalisation.

  • Kamal Swaroop
    Director
    Battle For Banaras, Rangbhoomi, Om Dar B Dar
  • Vijay Pratap Singh
    Producer
  • Ashok Meena
    Cinematographer
  • Kumar Avyaya
    Cinematographer
  • Shweta Rai
    Editor
    Battle For Banaras, Rangbhoomi
  • Gautam Nair
    Sound Designer
  • Kanishk Bhoklay
    Location Sound
  • Manish Pal Singh
    Location Sound
  • Mahesh Tambe
    Production Manager
  • Naazir Khan
    Assistant Director
  • Kashyap Swaroop
    Additional Photography
  • Renu Savant
    Additional Photography
  • Srikanth Kabothu
    Colorist
  • Jayakrishnan Subramanian
    Illustrator
  • Hansa Thapliyal
    Animation
  • Radhamohini Prasad
    Animation
  • Arun Gaur
    Camera Assistant
  • Nikhal Mishra
    Camera Assistant
  • Salim
    Transportation
  • Prashant Tholia
    Production Coordinator
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Pushkar Puran
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 39 minutes 52 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 31, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    64,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    India
  • Country of Filming:
    India
  • Language:
    Hindi
  • Shooting Format:
    Full HD
  • Aspect Ratio:
    1.85
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • 41st Montreal World Film Festival (Festival des Films du Monde de Montréal)
    Montréal
    Canada
    September 3, 2017
    World Premiere
  • 19th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star (India Story)
    Mumbai
    India
    October 14, 2017
    Asia Premiere
  • 60th DOK Leipzig – International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film (International Competition)
    Leipzig
    Germany
    November 2, 2017
    European Premiere
  • 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI)
    Goa
    India
    November 21, 2017
    Opening Film in Non-Feature Film Section of Indian Panorama
  • Experimenta, The International Festival of Moving Image Art in India
    Bangalore
    India
    November 30, 2017
  • Rajasthan International Film Festival
    Jaipur, Rajasthan
    India
    January 20, 2018
    Special Jury Award for Best Documentary Film
  • 15th Mumbai International Film Festival
    Mumbai, Maharashtra
    India
    January 29, 2018
    Prism – International
  • Rishikesh International Film Festival
    Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
    India
    March 14, 2018
  • Tiburon International Film Festival
    Tiburon, California
    United States
    April 25, 2018
    US Premiere
  • Taiwan International Documentary Festival
    Taipei, Taiwan
    Taiwan
    May 6, 2018
    East Asia Premiere
    Asian Vision Competition
  • Olhar de Cinema - Curitiba Int'l Film Festival
    Curitiba
    Brazil
    June 7, 2018
    South American Premiere
    Other Views
  • Edinburgh International Film Festival
    Ediburgh, Scotland
    United Kingdom
    June 25, 2018
    UK Premiere
    Documentaries
  • 9th Jagran Film Festival
    New Delhi
    India
    June 29, 2018
  • 15th Indian Film Festival Stuttgart
    Stuttgart
    Germany
    July 21, 2018
    German Star of India
  • Jakarta International Documentary & Experimental Film Festival
    Jakarta
    Indonesia
    August 12, 2018
    Indonesian Premiere
  • Delhi Doc Festival
    New Delhi
    India
    September 7, 2018
    Opening Film
  • Doclisboa
    Lisbon
    Portugal
    October 18, 2018
    Portuguese Premiere
    Heart Beat
Director Biography - Kamal Swaroop

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 Myths (2017) and Atul (2017), based on the world-renowned Dadaist artist Atul Dodiya, in a prolific period of experimentation for the filmmaker.

The Battle of Banaras premiered at Cinema Du Reel, Paris and Dubai Film Festival, while Atul premiered at the Cochin Biennale. Pushkar Myths premiered at Montreal World Film Festival, DOK Leipzig, Mumbai Film Festival and Edinburgh International Film Festival. It was the opening documentary film in the prestigious Indian Panorama at International Film Festival of India, Goa.

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Director Statement

The approach for the film was capturing Pushkar before, during and after the annual mela, and juxtaposing visuals in such a manner as to establish an actually existing mythical universe.