Bringing the Bling home
It’s been two weeks since the Melbourne Premiere of Mongolian Bling and I’m still on a high.
The day was perfect.
At lunchtime the main crew (minus Nacho, Tom and Heesco) got together for lunch and some drinks. It was great to have everyone in the same room to celebrate the completion of the film and the local screening. After many hugs and cheers we made our way down to Federation Square.
Although we got there an hour early, people were already arriving. I became more excited as more and more people streamed through the doors, surprised at the number of smiling faces I recognised. There was all my family, friends I see regularly and people who’ve supported the film over the years, but there were also friends I hadn’t seen in years, distant relatives, people who’d flown in to be there and even two couples who were passengers on trips when I was a tour leader back in 2004/5. To have so many people there to celebrate the film and be a part of the opening was amazing.
And celebrate we did. The cinema was packed out with 393 people crammed in and they were soon enjoying the sounds of Bukhu, a traditional Mongolian musician who we’d flown in from Sydney for the occasion. As the sounds of his morin khuur and throat singing drifted over the crowd they settled into their seats.
Nubar and I made some quick speeches and then the dimming of the lights and the distinct sounds of Mongolian long song signalled the start of the film.
The film looked amazing on the huge ACMI screen and the sound really brought the film to life, especially the soundscapes.
Being in the middle of so many friends, family and supporters, I couldn’t help but look around throughout the film to see how people were reacting to the film.
When the cheers erupted at the end, it was pretty clear that they’d enjoyed it (although it could have just been the very-well-represented-notoriously-loud-cheering Binks’).
As the credits came to a halt, Nubar and I answered a few questions which seemed to mostly come from my family. Sitting on the stage looking up at so many faces I knew was amazing. It was like sitting in a massive lounge room and all my mates and family had come over to watch the film.
One of the characters in the film is Tsogo who had lived in pretty rough conditions. The Christina Noble Children’s Foundation had provided him and his family with a ger to live in and they were at the screening collecting money. We managed to raise $656 on the night, a great start to reaching the $1600 it costs to buy a fully furnished ger. If you’d like to donate, we’d really appreciate it.
We had a booking for 200 people at the bar next door and we soon made our way there for some beers and a cheeky shot of Mongolian Vodka. Six hours later, we stumbled home when they kicked us out.
After a perfect day, it was only fitting that we had a perfect night.