Jon and I got home yesterday from our very quick trip to India – we flew 40 hours total round trip and were on the ground for 80 hours total!
It was an incredibly, productive and successful trip with 2 screenings of Not Today for our Indian partners at OMIF (Operation Mercy India Foundation). On Monday night, Dr. Joseph D’souza invited several guests from around Hyderabad to a private screening. There were government leaders, local professors and a few pastors as well. There were Hindus and Christians in the room. A few of these people Dr. D’souza had met only a few times and none of them knew much about this mysterious movie called Not Today. We gathered in a screening room on the Operation Mercy campus and watched the film together. I sat in the tiny room with them and the whole time I was thinking, “What are these educated and prominent leaders thinking about this movie that deals with such a difficult and awful subject like human slavery right here in their country?”
After the screening, I didn’t have to wait long to hear. When the movie finished, they applauded and the first words I heard were, “world-class film.” I breathed a quick sigh of relief as we got up and went into another room to discuss over dinner. We talked for about 90 minutes and they had great things to say about Not Today. We also had them fill out a survey form with questions given to us by our PR firm, Lovell-Fairchild. Here are the answers that they wrote for one question – in one or two sentences, describe the film Not Today. Here are some of the responses:
Not Today is…
…a world-class film that tells about Indian child slavery. The picturalization is remarkable.
~ Professor Kancha Ilaiah – Director, Center for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusion Policy, Osmania University, Hyderabad
… a most challenging and disturbing film, but also one that creates hope that something can be done.
~ Pastor G. Samuel, Senior Pastor – Hyderabad Baptist Church
… a very interesting and touching movie with a message.
~ Dr. S. Chellappa, Principal Secretary, Department of Culture, Government of Andhra Pradesh, India
…a powerful movie that conveys the depth of the problem and the role of faith in finding a solution.
~ Anantha Babbili, Professor of Mass Communications, Texas A&M University
…heartwarming film that exposes us to a real problem and will open the eyes of even the hard-hearted.
~ M. Dana Kishore, I.A.S. (Indian Administrative Service) Member Secretary – Pollution Control Board, Andhra Pradesh, India
…a powerful portrayal of an often unrecognized aspect of life in a developing country. Everyone should be aware of this movie.
~ Kevin Kadwell, Information Technologies Specialist, Hyderabad, India
We were thankful to get these encouraging and very positive reactions to Not Today. We hope you are as encouraged as we were. The excitement in the room was contagious as they discussed how well Not Today contrasts American life with Indian reality and how authentically it deals with the caste system. They continued to say how “real” the movie feels and how boldly it addresses the role of faith in dealing with the situation of human slavery, without romanticizing the problem. One man commented, “It handles faith in a very normal way, without being preachy.”
The 90-minute meeting ended with several of them calling other friends and colleagues and inviting them to the screening that we were having on Tuesday night. As we were walking down the stairs to leave, Joseph D’souza said with a smile on his face, “Well done – the movie is very well done.”
On Tuesday night, we held another screening. This time, it was at a local screening theater with DTS Dolby Surround Sound and an HD Barco Projector. About 70 people had been invited by OM for this screening and people had flown in from all over India for the screening. Kumar Swamy and Beena Rao were the co-hosts of the evening. Here are some of the comments from this screening:
Not Today will impact the nation of India.
Not Today is very touching and very factual.
Not Today is provocative.
Not Today is a wake-up call to stand up against slavery.
Not Today helps us look outside of our own comfortable lives to see the world as God sees it.
We look forward to the next steps in our journey – primarily hosting a buyer’s screening in the next few weeks for major studios and interested distributors. Thanks for your prayers for this next phase. We want Not Today to have the widest exposure possible and are trusting that God will clearly show us our path.
We have a very exciting announcement to make in regards to an official new partner for Not Today. We’ll be announcing this on Monday via Facebook and our website – http://www.nottodaythemovie.com.
Thanks again for following the journey. Oh, and did I mention the trailer for Not Today?! That’ll be posted soon, too!! So much good stuff to share…we have to spread it out a little!
Thanks for reading.