Three Questions With Painted Nation Filmmaker Cyrus Sundar Singh
Popular imagery of India is often full of bright colours that create vibrant landscapes. Taking a closer look it becomes clear that not only are India’s many forms of street art a huge source of these aesthetics, but also that they are changing.
Canadian filmmaker Cyrus Sundar Singh, enchanted with the hand-painted billboards apparent on the Indian streetscape since he was a child, has made a documentary looking at where these billboards come from and what is happening to them.
His documentary film Painted Nation is being screened for free at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto on Thursday July 21 at 7 p.m., followed by a Q&A with Cyrus and the producer of the film, Vanessa Laufer. In the lead up to the screening, we got him to answer a few questions of our own.
Netta Kornberg: You are not only a filmmaker, but have also been a musician, and your documentary Painted Nation shows a clear passion for visual art. What connects your involvement in these different art forms?
Cyrus Sundar Singh: Music, dance and art are all connected and are contributing parts of the whole on the larger canvas of Visual storytelling (filmmaking). I always ‘see’ and ‘hear’ the music that I compose and perform. For me they have always been connected.