Award winning film to have world premiere in Hucknall next month

By Tom Surgay

9th Oct 2021 | Local News

A documentary style feature film, directed by a man who lives in Hucknall, will have its world premiere in the town at the start of November.

'My Niece's Big Fat Delhi Wedding' directed by Haresh Sood has been accepted into about 50 film festivals around the world including The Hollywood First-Time Filmmaker and the Toronto Lift-Off Film Festival.

The film has been nominated for numerous awards and won Best Trailer at the 2021 Barcelona Planet Film Festival. Whilst Mr Sood also won the Best First Time Director category at the 2021 Falcon International Film Festival in London. These are just a few of the accolades that the highly anticipated film has garnered ahead of its official release later this year.

It has now been announced that the world premiere of the film will take place in Hucknall at the Arc Cinema on Thursday 4 November at 6.45pm. It will be an evening filled with Bollywood dancing, Indian street food and a question and answer with the Haresh the Director.

Haresh, locally known as Harry, said: "In 2017 I went to India after 15 years, I went with a Spanish friend, and we went to a wedding which was a really lavish wedding. There was something about Indian weddings that struck a chord, they're like an exhibition of wealth, they're all about status, showing off who you are.

"This one was another family wedding that came up, my sister, Sarita Sood said 'why don't you make a documentary on the wedding?' There's a film called Monsoon Wedding which is a really popular film and that's a film about a wedding in Delhi. The lady who made it re-enacted her own family in a drama, it's brilliant. I thought I'd love to do a spin on that because that was 20 years ago, so I made a real life version. My family have got a lot of characters, they're not boring people.

The bride is Haresh's cousin's daughter but in Indian culture cousins are classed as brothers and sisters, hence the title featuring the word niece in it. The bride's father is a famous Indian politician, Harvind Kohli, so this made it a high profile and extravagant wedding with 2000 guests in attendance including the Haryana Chief Minister Mr. ML Khattar.

Once at the wedding, Haresh, with the help of his sister Sarita, captured around 100 hours of footage during the wedding which lasted ten days.

He explained that filming the wedding enhanced his experience as a guest even though there was a lot of demanding footage to capture.

"I get a buzz from having a camera and filming, that was part of my enjoyment, for me it wasn't working, it was part of the fun. When you have a camera, you attract a lot of attention, a lot of people want to come and talk to you. I think that added to the enjoyment. Because I had the family on board that helped because I knew that was the biggest hurdle crossed."

However, Haresh doesn't take all of the credit for the film, he is extremely complimentary of the work done by editor Will Cocker, who he met whilst they were both completing an MA in Film Studies at Sheffield Hallam University.

"I can't say enough words for how fantastic Will has been, I could not have done it without Will."

Haresh knew he wanted Will to edit the footage, as soon as he saw his work during a seminar at university.

"Will Cocker put his work on screen and I watched it and I remembered seeing it and thinking that's who I want."

The editing was particularly challenging not only because of the volume of material but also the fact that it was from four different sources. This was because Mr Sood had filmed some footage on his mobile phone, some on a camcorder and some on a professional camera. Along with these three devices Mr Sood sourced footage from other guests who'd been at the wedding.

Will Cocker said of being faced with editing the material: "It was daunting but we started with the trailer. If we'd started on the whole film it would have been even more daunting. Making the trailer made it easier to get into the process, through doing that you learn a lot of the culture. "You've got the backbone in the trailer, you use that to develop."

After making the four minute trailer, it took about four months to complete the editing process and arrive at the finished feature film.

Haresh, who is also a local Barrister, has lived in Hucknall for three years and has a real fondness for the town. He is thrilled that it will be the location for the premiere.

"I've always wanted to move here. I love it, I think Hucknall is one of the most beautiful towns, you've got Lord Byron connections here. It's got a lot going for it, it's got a lot of farmland and I love greenery. I love Hucknall and the people and wanted to bring my Indian culture to the town., it's about time premieres were taken out of the big cities and brought to local communities where we come from."

For further information about the film see here . Whilst the premiere sold out within 48 hours of tickets going on sale, there is the possibility that more screens will be added due to demand. For information on the premiere and further screenings visit The Arc Cinema's website, here .

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