“Danse De Voyage” Directed By Akshay Mahendrakar (New Zealand)

By Mikel Fair / a few months ago
Danse De Voyage Akshay Mahendrakar poster

An Amazing Journey Into The Mind Of A Dancer

Danse De Voyage is a documentary short film directed by Akshay Mahendrakar. First of all, This bboy documentary film is a 2018 Oregon Documentary Film Festival Official Selection. Above all, Akshay Mahendraker received a nomination for the Best International Director Award. Synopsis "Three young friends from France traveling the world with the help of their passion to dance. Getting inspired by people around them, end up finding peace on the streets of Australia while entertaining public."

Director Biography - Akshay Mahendrakar

Born in India, raised in New Zealand and now living in Australia, a mix cultured boy exploring the world of art and getting inspired from others hoping to convey a positive massage via films and inspire others. Innovative and passionate filmmaker focused to deliver my very best on every project. Strongly believes in the pursuit of excellence and passion

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Director's Statement: Akshay Mahendrakar

The reason I chose to make this short-film was because Shao, Milio and Marius inspired me to leave my daily 9 to 5 office job and pushed me to step out of my comfort zone and explore my passion. They left their home and country to follow their passion to dance, along the way they understood themselves and found what peace meant to them. Traveling for dance, meeting people, getting inspired and spreading joy to public on streets of Australia. This film not only aims at dancers but also people who take this life for granted, I only hope by this film, audience would get to know these amazing dancers and their journey to find peace in life. Also at the same time if I can push the message to all by saying live life enjoy and be happy and do what you want to do, follow your dream without looking back through this film.

Danse De Voyage Akshay Mahendrakar -headshot

Director Akshay Mahendrakar

Interview With Akshay Mahendrakar (Part One)

  1. Why did you think that the Oregon Documentary Film Festival was a good place to submit and screen your film? "We wanted to spread the message to everyone as much as we can, saying if you follow your dream you will never regrate it, and thanks to this amazing opportunity at Oregon Documentary Film Festival we can share our message with the beautiful people of Portland, Oregon."
  2. What is the title of your film and is there any special meaning to the title? "Danse de Voyage, Travel Dance in English these were the two main ingredients for Milo, Marius and Shao (the dancers in this documentary) to follow the path towards their Dream, eventually finding happiness and peace without looking back and connecting to their audiences on every performance."
  3. Why did you choose to tell this particular story? "I met Milo, Marius and Shao on a Live TV Channel Set back in Perth, Western Australia, after talking to them and listening to their story I was amazed to find out how they left everything back home and just started travelling the world together. Along the way dancing on streets and inspiring others and people like me to step out of our comfort zone and follow our passion without looking back."
  4. Did you discover certain story elements during the production of this film that you never expected to find in the planning stages of this project? "During the planning stage we decided to do the interview in English, but on the day we wanted the authenticity of the dancers hence we decided to do it in their native language which was French, later finding out the challenges associated with it, translating the language was quite difficult and editing was separate challenge in itself but in the end success always comes with challenges."
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Cameras and Gear

What camera(s) did you use to during the production of this film? Discuss any advantages or limitations that you may have run into, from an equipment perspective. 

"We used Red Dragon on this production, the main advantage with this camera was the high resolutions and the high frame rate we wanted to shoot at, also the cinematic feel the Red sensor gives us. We shot it at 6k and in some scenes we were able to chop it down to 2.5k without losing much quality in post, the main limitation with this setup was we had to run throughout the day with a very tight schedule at several locations, it was quite challenging to carry the entire setup on every location, thanks to the amazing team and their efforts we were able to achieve this with ease especially during the summer of Western Australia’s scorching heat at 42 degrees Celsius which is 107.6 degrees in Fahrenheit."

Interview With Akshay Mahendrakar (Part Two)

  1. Did anything happen during the production of this film that was very interesting, but never made it on camera? "We spent days on preparations, especially making the colour powders. we had a scene where all the cast members were about to have fun with colours throwing at each other, the crew and everyone on the set couldn’t resist joining in to the fun. Unfortunately it never made it on the final edit.
  2. How did you fund this film? "This documentary was funded by ourselves, as a passion project we wanted to see if we can convey a simple message “just do what you wanted to do”, we were never under the pressure to recoup the production cost."
  3. What kind of audience reaction are you getting to this film? Discuss any Positives or Negatives that you feel comfortable talking about. "I guess some positive uplifting reactions, stating if you were to follow your passion and dreams at the end of your life time you will never look back and say I should’ve done that. In short Follow your dreams and you’ll never regret it."
  4. Do you have plans for a sequel or future film that you are working on? Please discuss. Don’t have any plans for sequel but currently writing some shorts, hoping to get funding and may be start the project in near future.
  5. Do you have any advice for a future filmmaker that is about to start a documentary project? Advice that you wish you had been given before you started yours? One advice would be to just follow your consciences and do what you would love to do, and asking for help if completely fine especially when making a film, you cannot make a film all by yourself. People around you may or may not have experience but remember neither did you at some point of your time, patience will play a huge part in your success especially with a micro budget short documentary like ours. Be prepared, pre-production is a very important part of the filmmaking, schedule as much as you can.
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About the author

Mikel Fair

My name is Mikel Fair. I am the Director of Film Festival Circuit Inc. First of all, we are a company that manages film festival events in Texas and Oregon. Furthermore, we like to have fun and celebrate independent film. I worked for 15 years in the television and film production as a location sound mixer and production manager. I have also worked in post production as an editor, post sound mixer and composer. Above all, watching independent films and reading creative screenplays is my passion.