After Steven Nijjar invested 15 years of calling action, cut, it’s a wrap for The Last King, he thought presenting it for your viewing pleasure would be a breeze. Instead, Steven’s request to show the film to multiple audiences has been less than gratifying. Every local film festival has turned it down for many of the same reasons. “It’s a film that deals with India’s history, their heritage and customs, but it’s made in Canada by a Canadian.” If it were a foreign film made entirely in India, it may have been better received.
Steven has expressed his disappointment with the guidelines film festivals impose on their filmmakers. When you dedicate 15 years to the completion of a film, you want people to see it, to be moved by it, to question the relevance and implications of previously unknown true events.
The film was an amazing undertaking that used eight to 10 actors and over 200 extras. There were 20 to 25 locations, and it had to be filmed in blocks. Because of ongoing financial stresses, it was difficult for people to commit. Multiple directors contributed to the film in series of blocks (sections of the film).
Steven points out the fact that there are 255 countries in our world. He no longer gets discouraged that his local media, film festivals or local distributors lack interest. He tells me that the success of the film rests on the number of theatres around the globe he has yet to approach.
(Photo credit: CSvBibra)