Grand Australian Premiere of Mystic India in Sydney, Australia
7th February, 2006, LG IMAX Theatre, Sydney, Australia
The Grand Australian Premiere of Mystic India, a unique large format film produced by BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha took place on 7th February 2006 at the LG IMAX Theatre in Sydney.
The LG IMAX Theatre, located in the heart of the city at Darling Harbour, is one of the star attractions in Sydney with a giant screen that measures 114 feet by 108 feet.
The doors opened at 6.00pm and guests were warmly welcomed by young children dressed in traditional costumes. The BAPS youths then tied a naada-chhadi to each of the guests and explained the significance of this ancient custom of tying sacred thread on the wriest. The waiting area of the theatre was transformed into a mini-India with richly decorative Indian art and antiques. The rangoli decoration in particular was very attractive.
As the guests walked in they were entertained by Indian classical music, kathak dance and savory Indian snacks and sweets. All the food was prepared by the volunteers of the women’s wing and served enthusiastically by members of the Yuvak Mandal. Some of the delicious items included samosa, kachori, masala cashews, penda, barfi etc.
Everyone enjoyed and appreciated the hospitality. They were waiting eagerly for a unique giant screen experience of India that was to come. At precisely 7.00pm, the guests were ushered in to take their seats in the theatre. Kunal Patel, a BAPS youth volunteer welcomed the guests formally. Sitesh Bhojani then introduced the film, and the context under which it was made, to promote unity in diversity. He also mentioned that Mystic India is much more than a movie. It starts us on the journey to understand the real heart and soul of India and Indians. He added that Mystic India gives us an insight into the spiritual, peaceful and loving nature of Indian people.
Sitesh also profoundly thanked the Prime Minister, John Howard, for his message of support for Mystic India and read the letter from the Prime Minister’s office. Mr.Sujan R. Chinoy, the newly appointed Consulate General of India, briefly addressed the audience before the film began. He mentioned in his speech, “India is a land of great diversities with a message of universal harmony”. He quoted a reference from the Vedas, "Vasudaiva Kutumbkam" – The whole world is one family. This he said is the underlying message of Mystic India.
The film was an instant hit with the full house audience of 550. They were enthralled by the sights, the sounds, the colours and the awe-inspiring festivals of India that were beautifully captured on film.
Steve Waugh, the former cricket captain of Australia summed up when he was asked about the Mystic India experience. “I was simply amazed by the way in which a young boy travelled throughout India. It was an inspirational journey, filled with hardship, survival and heroism.” He was particularly fascinated by the snowy Himalayan mountains through which Nilkanth travelled.
The Premiere of Mystic India was jointly sponsored by Incredible India – India Tourism Office, Agromin Australia Pty. Ltd., Bhojani Family and Australia – India Council.
Prominent Guests who attended the Premiere Show
- Steve Waugh, retired Australian Cricketer
- His Excellency Sujan Chinoy, Consul-General of India
- The Hon. Amanda Fazio, Speaker of the NSW Legislative Council
- His Worship David Borger, Lord Mayor of the City of Parramatta
- The Hon. Judy Hopwood, Member of Parliament for Hornsby
- Ross Symonds, News Anchor, Channel 9
- Chandru Tolani, Sydney Industrialist
- Councillor Marcelle Hoff, Sydney City Council
- Councillor Chiang Lim, Parramatta City Council
- Gigi Edgely, Actress
- Greg Matthews, ex-Australian cricketer
- Maria Vennutti, Opera Singer
- Moira Maclean, Socialite and TV presenter
- Paul O’Brian, Tim Campbell and Isabel Lucas, cast of hit Australian TV series, Home and Away
- Darshak Mehta, ex-Indian cricketer
- Subroto Bannerjee, ex-Indian cricketer
“The film encapsulates and captures the very essence of this ancient land of India. Above all, it brings to you a message of peace and harmony, and the oneness of mankind, and the unity in diversity that India stands for. It is important for us to imbibe the message of this great film. On behalf of the government and the people of India, I wish to commend, compliment and congratulate the BAPS for this great film.
I wish it a complete success.”
Consul General of India
“I have been a great fan of India. I was surprised the film was so short. I would like to have known more about the child-yogi. I thought I knew India reasonably well but it shocked me to learn things that I had no idea about until today. It is definitely a 5-star movie.”
Former Australian Cricketer
“I think it was a fantastic movie. One thing that really took me by surprise was the incredible ancient architecture. The festivals were just mind-blowing. It just shows how peaceful Indian people are. I would love to see India. I think India is just more than big cities. You have got to get out of the big cities to really understand the full culture of India. That is what this movie did. It gave a wonderful taste and inspiration of seeing the real India and the beautiful, colourful diversity of its people. It was fantastic and really enjoyable. I would give five out of five.”
“After watching Bollywood epics that seem to drag on for hours, it’s a welcome change to see an Indian – themed movie that squeezes in at mere 40 minutes. India is usually portrayed in two extremes – as an over-populated country stricken by poverty, or a glorious land rich with ancient secrets and knowledge. Mystic India treads the latter path, showing the subcontinent’s glorious past and stunning scenery on IMAX’s huge screen.”