This is really big news. The film Leaving Home, about the life and music of the band Indian Ocean, just won a National Award, pretty much the highest honour in film-making that the country offers.
The film won the award for the Best Art of Culture Film at the 58th National Film Awards.
The film, directed by Jaideep Varma is as much about the journey of one of India’s biggest bands, as it is about the four men that came together to make such incredible music. It was released across theatres on the 2nd of April 2010 and was the first non-fiction feature-
length production in the country to be released nationally. It was, ofcourse also the first time you could go into a theatre and watch the story of an Indian band.
I watched it for the first time at Baajaa Gaajaa (a music conference started by Shubha Mudgal and Aneesh Pradhan) a few years ago and really loved it. I remember it having such great feel; you really connected with the band and their story. When it released across cinemas last year, I was so proud; to go to a theatre and see the band on a poster, to be able to buy and ticket and watch a film about an Indian band. I went to the premiere at the Imax in Wadala and the band performed a lovely set.
I asked drummer and percussionist Amit Kilam what he felt about winning the award, and he said, “When Jaideep (Verma) approached us with this project, we had no idea of how it would turn out and it was his passion and belief in the film that made us agree to the project. When we saw the final product, we were over the moon with how it looked and felt; and loved every minute of it. We are so happy that the film has won the highest honour that the country has to offer. The only thing which we are really sad about is that our dear friend and band-mate Asheem Chakravarty is not here to share this with us, but we know he smiles wherever he is.”
Earlier this year, the band also won The Best Music Award at the Fifth Asian Film Awards in Hong Kong for Amir Khan’s Peepli Live, which they scored.
Now, for the best news. The band released their fifth album 16/330 Khajoor Road earlier this year. Starting in August 2010, the band released one track, for free, each month, starting with the track ‘Chand’. The best bit? The entire album is still up for download on their site. I highly recommend it, so if you’ve not heard it yet, or if you (shockingly) haven’t heard the band before, here is the perfect reason to do it right now.
Follow @neysaa on Twitter for gig updates and indie music news!