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Mathieson Music School

Mathieson Music School is a charitable school in India that reaches out to vulnerable and disadvantaged children, supporting them emotionally and educationally through to adulthood – as they seek individual stability and social responsibility, in one of the fastest changing countries in the world. The challenge of balancing the traditional values of family and culture, within the fast growing economic power of modern India, is reflected in the environment in which the school is located: poised on the edge between the urban sprawl of the city of Kolkata, and rural West Bengal. The school offers a community and a family, encouraging the children to engage not only with each other and the wider world, but also with a deeper sense of resource in themselves. This enables resilience, and nurtures personal capacity to reflect on and question the larger moral issues challenging modern India, such as the relentless population growth and the rape cases that have now attracted increased media attention. These are issues that threaten to undermine the stability and integrity of India, unless it’s people can retain, or redefine, their traditional and spiritual values. This directs our attention to the importance of empowering the young people to find meaningful responsibility in society, and to supporting their views to be heard.

  • Ben Boyd-Taylor
  • Ben Boyd-Taylor
  • Ben Boyd-Taylor
  • Dipak Sapui
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    44 minutes 44 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 10, 2014
  • Production Budget:
    1,190 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    Bengali, English
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Transition Town Totnes Film Festival
    Totnes, Devon, United Kingdom
    November 15, 2014
Director Biography - Ben Boyd-Taylor

Born in Bristol and raised in Devon. From age 16 Ben has worked on numerous short films and a feature film 'Julius Caesar' by Adam Lee Hamilton and John Montegrande. Alongside this Ben has worked as an assistant editor at De Facto Films. Ben is currently studying Film and History at the University of East Anglia.

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Director Statement

Deeply touched by his experience with the children and teachers while he was volunteering at the Mathieson Music School, Ben was inspired to use his skill with a lens to tell their remarkable story. There is no external narrator, and so the story is guided by the interviews, and reflects the deepening relationships Ben developed as he listened and enquired about the lives of those working, studying and living at the school.

This film is the result of 18 months work. Shot on a Canon 600D, with natural lighting, capturing the beauty of the rural landscape - providing an inspiring backdrop to a heartening story of kindness and optimism. Ben, for practical reasons, shot all the footage himself, which results in a style which is spacious and slow moving; countering and framing the urgency and immediacy of the issues, that in their global significance are relevant to us all. Thus the viewer is encouraged to explore their own responses and reflections, of how we use, or ignore, the opportunities we are presented with to engage with others in a mutually beneficial way.