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Of all religious ceremonies, Holi is perhaps the most exuberant and surreal you could possibly find yourself caught up in. Known as the festival of colours, it sees people taking to the streets across India, Nepal and other Hindu countries to lob dyes and whatever they can find at each other. Luke Gilford’s film 'Holi' captures the chaos and colour of the festival brilliantly. Filmed in India, 'Holi' was commissioned by Dazed & Confused as part of its collaboration with Random Acts – a new Channel 4 arts strand that will show 260 specially commissioned three-minute films over the year. Dazed Digital spoke with Gilford about his experience at the unique festival.
The level of energy inside those temples is unlike anything I've ever felt. Obviously there's colour everywhere, but the vibes are so intense too. It's just an explosive environment
Dazed Digital: Did you go to India specifically to film the Holi festival?
Luke Gilford: I went to India in March 2011 with two friends, one a producer and the other an assistant. We pitched ‘Holi’ as a photo essay and video to a magazine, and they gave us some money to get there. When I heard about Random Acts, I decided to share it with Dazed. They thought it was great just the way it was.
DD: What captivated you most about the festival?
Luke Gilford: The level of energy inside those temples is unlike anything I've ever felt. Obviously there's colour everywhere, but the vibes are so intense too. It's just an explosive environment.
DD: How did the experience change you?
Luke Gilford: I perceive a lot of situations with more optimism now. I like the metaphor of throwing colour on things.
DD: Did you come away thinking the whole festival was complete madness or actually made a lot of sense?
Luke Gilford: It makes more sense than most western holidays. And it's a lot more beautiful to look at.
More info on Random Acts HERE