Bo Kata, loosely translated in English means hacked! That is the victory battle cry when kites are eliminated in raging sky duels, sometimes lasting hours. Filmed entirely in Lahore, Pakistan, over three continuous days, Bo Kata is a rare cinematic documentary treat, depicting uniquely the rooftop kite flyers of Lahore, who have been a traditional part of Pakistan's culture and heritage that has lasted for over 400 years. Their sport is now under threat from a complete ban, after a series of tragic fatalities involving children and motorcyclists, resulting in decapitations and dismemberment from illegal chemically coated strings used to fly the kites. The documentary highlights a population that is associated with the mysterious art of kite dueling amidst the political backdrop of an impending ban.
The film delves deep into a sub-culture that most people in the world are unaware of. I wanted to look closely at the art of kite dueling, and the passion behind it all. Last year, there was much international media furore around Lahore’s Kite Flyers, and it looks certain to continue, as Hollywood has released the film, THE KITE RUNNER, based on the best selling book of the same name. Bo Kata, features a specially commissioned soundtrack, composed by John Walden, one of the UK’s leading composing talents. John has done a fantastic job on the soundtrack. It completely complements the visuals, adding a distinctive flavour to the atmosphere and story telling on screen, without clouding it. This was an important film for me to complete. Especially now, since it feels more like documenting the last gasps of a dying ancient tradition, succumbed to the modernisation of the world.
BO KATA is available now to be broadcast at Film Festivals, Cinemas and TV on the following formats: DVD, MiniDV, BetaSP, DigiBeta.
During 2007, the film attracted major interest from film festivals around the world, being nominated for best documentary and selected for world cinema showcases globally. In the UK, the film was invited down to BAFTA London and nominated for best film for the prestigious Satyajit Ray Film Foundation Award in conjunction with the British Council.
In Scotland, the film received theatrical distribution, screening at numerous major art house cinemas across the country, where large audiences, some of which included Q&A sessions with the film director present, have positively received Bo Kata, proof that documentaries can find an audience in cinema venues.
“A beautifully made film about a world of kites and conflict, with marvelously atmospheric music...”, Douglas Mackinnon, Director of “The Flying Scotsman”, “Jekyll”, “Bodies”, “The Vice”, “Dr Who”.
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