AR Rahman unveils documentary on Nagaland's musical journey at Cannes

AR Rahman and others during the unveiling of the musical documentary ‘Headhunting to Beatboxing’ charging Nagaland's musical journey at 77th Cannes Film Festival, Cannes France on May 19. (DIPR Photo)

AR Rahman and others during the unveiling of the musical documentary ‘Headhunting to Beatboxing’ charging Nagaland's musical journey at 77th Cannes Film Festival, Cannes France on May 19. (DIPR Photo)

Teaser of ‘Headhunting to Beatboxing’ released at 77th Cannes Film Festival

Kohima, May 20 (MExN): Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe, Grammy-winning composer and Padma Bhushan awardee AR Rahman unveiled first look and teaser of the musical documentary “Headhunting to Beatboxing” at the ongoing 77th Cannes Film Festival.

Nagaland Advisor to Chief Minister and Chairman of the Investment & Development Authority of Nagaland (IDAN), Abu Metha, and Chairman of the Task Force for Music & Arts (TaFMA), Theja Meru, were present during the launch of the documentary, which charts the growth of music in the state.

According to the State DIPR, “Headhunting to Beatboxing,” directed by Rohit Gupta and produced by Rahman, delves into the intriguing journey of rhythm and sound, charting music’s growth through generations in the state.

“Music has this transformative power to change society and to connect and bring relevance to existence. ‘Headhunting to Beatboxing’ is a celebration of this universal rhythm that unites humanity in its diverse expressions,” Rahman said.

“We look forward to the start of its film festival journey, and what better place than Cannes, which celebrates cinema, to make the first announcement about the film,” he added.

Director Gupta noted that the journey of the film, five years in the making, has been a sort of metamorphosis for him.

“The rich and vibrant music today, transcending the scars of the past, is something that truly blew me away during the making. I am excited to see audiences witness our hard work and the magic that exists in the music of Nagaland,” he added.

From the ancient traditions of headhunting tribes to the musical renaissance in the state, the documentary promises to take audiences on an immersive and enlightening musical anthropological odyssey, the DIPR added.

According to Metha, the brainchild behind the documentary was Rahman, who visited Nagaland to be part of the legendary Hornbill Festival, adding: “We knew we had to be part of it. The film is a collaboration of many creative minds, especially the TaFMA, and is masterfully captured by director Rohit Gupta.”

However, according to him, the real heroes are the musicians of Nagaland, who tell stories that go back to times immemorial and whose music exemplifies the ambition of the youth.

Metha also highlighted Nagaland and its unique aspects to the international audience present at the launch, underscoring the rich cultural heritage of the Nagas and the unique qualities of Nagaland.

Nagaland is an epitome of age-old traditions, vibrant culture, and diverse traditions exemplified by the tribal festivals that take place throughout the year, he said. “Known as the Land of Festivals, the Nagaland experience is unique and special, with the legendary Hornbill Festival being the flagship event,” he added.

Metha also expressed gratitude to Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and the Central Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, led by Union Minister Anurag Thakur, for the support extended for the film launch. 

He further thanked Rahman for his role in supporting and partnering with Nagaland.

TaFMA Advisor Theja Meru thanked the musicians and artists of Nagaland, emphasizing that this is a significant milestone for the community as Nagaland’s music story would be told in a positive manner to the global community.

“Headhunting to Beatboxing” marks Rahman’s second major foray into the realm of filmmaking as a producer after “99 Songs.”
Abu Metha, Adam J. Greig, Theja Meru, Rohit Gupta, Sheila Houlahan, and Rohhit Daas are the executive producers of the documentary.