By David Yu

On Nov. 16th 6pm, I represented AsianInNY to attend the HBO special screening of “The Sound of Mumbai: A Musical” followed by a conversation about HBO’s India Series and documentaries with NANCY ABRAHAM, Senior VP of Documentary Programming, HBO.

Surprisingly on a rainy Wednesday, the HBO theater room was brimming with people to attend a special screening with Senior VP of HBO Documentary Programming, Nancy Abraham and Sara Bernstein.  Before “The Sound of Mumbai : Musical” is premiering on HBO on November 23, the HBO Programming provided an extraordinary opportunity to the crowd with the information and discussion about the film.

During the screening, “The Sound of Mumbai” directed by Sarah McCarthy immediately entices you with the cheerful voices of the “ Sound of Music” to portray the stark contrast between affluent and destitute parts of Mumbai, India. Director McCarthy follows a group of slum children rehearsing for a performance of musical at the prestigious and affluent National Center of the Performing Arts for the first time. Throughout the story, the main character named Ashish dreams of a wealthy patron and hopes to get his family out of slums by utilizing this rare opportunity to perform. However, due to India’s rigid social structure, his dreams aren’t going to come true overnight, but for those few involved it represents a precious opportunity to just maybe better their lives.

During the discussion, Abraham and Bernstein informed the crowd that the director was careful not to let the film swept away in optimism. Furthermore, they emphasized the importance of awareness of the distance between dreams and reality. In conclusion, they pointed out that the sole purpose this film is to celebrate the very human attempts to bridge that gap.

From HBO’s Peabody® Award-Winning series The Music In Me, the documentary The Sound of Mumbai is premiering on HBO on November 23, 2011. It focuses on the ways music can have a profound impact on young lives and tells the story of impoverished young children from the slums of Mumbai who journey to perform a concert version of The Sound of Music with the Bombay Symphony Orchestra.  For more info:

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