A red carpet event was held in Leicester on November 11 for the world premiere of an exclusive documentary featuring the ‘King of dhol’.
Produced by Pukaar News, the documentary titled ‘King of the Dhol Drum’, was showcased as part of the DocFilm Festival taking place across the city and was officially opened by councillor Manjula Sood.
King G Mall (Gurcharan Mall) arrived wearing traditional colourful Punjabi attire, reflecting his larger than life personality. In the documentary he talks about his early music days, his journey from the Punjab to the UK and also gives a huge amount of credit to his wife and family for the success he has achieved.
Speaking to a packed out screen, he said: “This documentary is not just about Gurcharan Mall, it is dedicated to all the musicians who are here with me today.”
Invited guests on the evening included local business people, politicians and media professionals with many travelling from Manchester, London and Birmingham to show their support for the event. Bollywood playback and Pakistani classical singer Rafaqat Ali Khan and British Pakistani television drama producer Yasir Akhtar were also in attendance for the special screening.
After the screening there was a 10-minute Q&A session with Pukaar News managing editor Romail Gulzar, King G Mall himself, documentary writer and narrator Simon Ward and DocFilm Festival director John Coster.
When asked what the reason for producing a documentary on the musician was, Mr Gulzar said: “Musicians nowadays, especially in the Asian music scene are never given any recognition. We can’t cover 40 years of his life in this short documentary, but I’ve seen him do so many amazing things. I’ve seen him teach so many people, whether they are Pakistani, Bangladeshi or English, he is bringing people together. People like him prove that multiculturalism exists in this country and that is still growing.”
The reaction to the documentary was very positive. Assistant city mayor and councillor Manjula Sood said: “This documentary is about an artist’s life who is globally renowned. It shows that art and music can bring everybody together. Looking at his journey, it is very inspiring – what he has achieved is amazing.”
Councillor Ted Cassidy said: “I thought that the documentary showed the power of music and when you’ve got someone with such presence and charisma, not only when teaching people, but bringing them together, it should be shown wider as there are so many positive messages there.”
Rafaqat Ali Khan said: “King G Mall is a big star and such a wonderful person who represents the new era of the dhol music school. Through him, the dhol has become an international instrument. It is a privilege and honour for me to be here.”
Musician Tubsy said: “The documentary was more than I expected. It was very professional and there was a lot of thought and honest hard work behind it. I found it very touching – it was for real there were no crocodile tears.”
‘King of the Dhol Drum’ will be travelling to America for an international film festival early next year and will available to watch at selected screens in Leicester for the time being. For further information visit www.docfilmfestival.blogspot.co.uk