Invitation
  
**AUDIENCE AWARD WINNER – Documentary Feature: SXSW FILM FESTIVAL 2011**

PATANG
The film, KUMARE, which received the coveted Audience Award for Feature Documentary at SXSW, takes a comedic yet noble approach on the idea of what religion is and how we approach it in our everyday lives. Starting out as a documentary about the yoga industry, American filmmaker Vikram Gandhi set out to learn more about this culture. The more he learned, the more interested he became in the gurus that people follow.

In a similar vein as BORAT, Vikram decided to try to find out from the inside by creating an alter ego, growing his beard, dressing in robes and moving to Phoenix to become Kumaré, a wise guru from the East. He built a nest of followers to teach them that religious leaders are not necessarily needed in finding spiritual enlightenment.

While concealing his true identity from everyone he meets, Kumaré forges profound and spiritual connections with people from all walks of life. As a teacher to others, Vikram himself became a student to Kumaré's teachings. Not only has he helped those around him, through this journey, he has unintentionally found himself while portraying an empty vessel. At the height of his popularity, Kumaré unveils his true identity to his group of disciples who were at the brink of their personal transformation. This social experiment ended up giving Vikram a life-long lesson in his own personal growth.

This film came as an idea for Vikram, brought on before Sacha Baron Cohen and Larry Charles brought BORAT to the mainstream American audience. Though there are similarities, Vikram builds relationships with people that he claim were the closest he's ever had, while portraying a false identity. After seeing the film at 2011's SXSW, filmmaker Larry Charles himself, has been quoted: "You must see 'Kumaré'".

The Kino Lorber film opens in New York at the IFC Center on Wednesday, June 20th, with a national roll out to follow.

The Indo-American Arts Council is a 501 ©3 not-for-profit secular arts organization passionately dedicated to promoting, showcasing and building an awareness of artists of Indian origin in the performing arts, visual arts, literary arts and folk arts. For information please visit www.iaac.us
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