Those lucky enough to be attending the Cannes Film Festival this year can catch a little taste of Colorado talent. Jennifer Platt's short film Not a Competition is screening at the festival as we speak, and will continue to show through May 26. But Not a Competition isn't the whole story.
"It's a short film that stands on its own," explains Platt, the director/producer, "but it's going to be part of Yoga Mela, a feature film that is a series of vignettes." Not a Competition involves Denver yogi Desiree Springer challenging her yoga class beyond their abilitites -- except for one student, played by Colorado Springs' Randy Hodur.
"I didn't even know him and I subjected him to torture," laughts Platt. "I put him in my clothes, little red shorts and this little shirt that was too small, and I didn't know he was such an incredible yogi himself. So in this film, I have Desi as a yoga instructor and a class of people from beginner level to more advanced level, and slowly they begin to drop by the wayside, and she is relentless, and he is the only one left standing so they have a showdown until she is the victor. It's competitive -- and the whole principle is that yoga is not supposed to be competitive, but you are what you are."
The film was shot at Samadhi Yoga Studio in Denver, and Platt is taking a unique approach to her filmmaking. "I shot it improvisationally," she says. "I didn't know most of the people. I knew Desi and one of the other yogis in there, but I didn't know what people were capable of other than those two, so it was just shot and directed on the fly.
"That's how I'm doing the whole film," she adds. "I have visions for the scenes, but it's not a major production. The actors are still having to fit themselves within the bigger vision, but it allows them creative freedom."
While Not a Competition screens at Cannes, Platt is here in Denver, continuing work on the bigger picture. She anticipates that Yoga Mela will be ready for release in November of this year, but she's still shooting scenes and might need a few extras for some of the vignettes; e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested. Get more information on Not a Competition or Yoga Mela here. Namaste! -- Amber Taufen
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