What happens to a dream when it becomes reality?
Does it still exist somewhere, in some ethereal place, waiting to come to fruition again?
Could a fictional narrative capture an emotional state, and the true meaning behind a real, live event with more drama and conviction than a traditional documentary?
These were just some of the questions that arose when we took on the “CITY OF LAKES” project. First and foremost, it would become an unprecedented attempt to combine a fully scripted narrative production with Melissa & Samir's real, live wedding. All with the intention of creating one, seamless film. The live wedding and production would be shot entirely on-location in Udaipur, India over a period of nine days. Our skeleton crew would consist solely of live event filmmakers from across North America, who would shoot the live wedding events and production simultaneously under some very challenging conditions, exclusively on HDSLRs, the Canon 5D Mark II and 7D.
“CITY OF LAKES” is as much a story about what it means to return to the home of one’s ancestors, as it is an exploration of the Hindu faith, and the rituals of a Hindu marriage. Central to this is the Ganesh pooja, which in simple terms, is a prayer over a fire believed to invoke the spirit of Ganesh, a deity and protector, who Hindus believe can remove all obstacles from one’s path. The pooja is performed several times in the film and carries great significance to the plot and characters in both literal and metaphoric ways.
Melissa & Samir had always dreamed of being married in India. We hope this film helps them cherish that dream while achieving more than a documentary, and perhaps simultaneously, more than a scripted film. We are thankful for the acting talents and professionalism of Anubhab Saha, Sharon Chawda and Rushad Rana; and the amazing support of our sponsors: Canon, Tiffen/Steadicam, and Cinevate. There is a final question we hope you’ll find difficult to answer as you watch our film. In more ways than one, try to answer:
What is real?
Thanks for watching,
Pacific Pictures presents “CITY OF LAKES”
Starring Rushad Rana, Anubhab Saha, and Sharon Chawda
Written & Directed by Kevin Shahinian
Produced by Kevin Shahinian & Patrick Moreau
Line Producer Pravin Thakur
Director of Photography Patrick Moreau
2nd Unit Director Joe Simon
2nd Unit Steadicam Casey Warren
Film Editor Kevin Shahinian
Sound Recordist Amish Solanki
Jib Operator Chris Geiger
A very special thanks to Canon.com, Tiffen.com, and the entire Cinevate.com team for their amazing support. For more behind the scenes, be sure to check out cinevate.com/website/index.php/city_of_lakes