The art-house unique comedy ‘Midnight Delight’ emerged as the big winner earning top honors bagging the Judges Choice Best film of the festival 2015 award at the inaugural Cannabis Film Festival from May 1 to 3 held in Humbodlt county, California also known as the marijuana heartland of the USA.
Rohit Gupta’s 85-minute comedy ‘Midnight Delight’ is a composition of nine vignettes where set of characters get in to hilarious antics over conversations with people they have never met before. Tag-lined Say hi to high… and Couch. Conversations. Clarity., the film features award-winning actor Shaheed Woods, Michele Suttile, Maggie Alexander, John Crann, Rachel Myers and Michael Laguerre among others.
“Midnight Delight is like smoking a cinematic joint! Loved the way they manipulated the sound. Very entertaining! Great acting!” read the jury statement.
Having established itself as the first Cannabis film festival of the US, the festival ran for three days in the town of Garberville in Humboldt county, California showing movies at the Garberville theatre culminating in the awards show on Sunday May 3rd. It was “high” time a festival of such genre came in to being especially during the national cannabis legalization drive in full swing, it couldn’t be better timed.
When contacted Rohit on winning the award the director humbly stated, “We received our award the day I got an invitation from the festival, but winning top honors is exhilarating and a form of encouragement, re-instating that if the process is fun so are the results. True, a film is a result of many collaborative energies but in this case this award is dedicated especially to Saumin Mehta, the co-producer of the film and also a long time friend, who inspite of his full-time job as a visual artist and several prior commitments, took this project head-on and magically put together in post-production in three months. If it was not for him, it wouldn’t see light of the day”, added New York based Gupta on triumph of his third directorial venture in a row who has also written and produced the film.
“‘Midnight Delight’ is one of those films that just about anyone can relate to, not to mention it’s very funny too. I loved the whole thing and am so glad they won the Judges Award 2015”, stated Kellie Butterfield Dodds, CFF festival founder during the awards ceremony.
The film was shot as an improvisatory movie with only few pages of treatment for a script. Rohit also cast nonprofessional actors who were apt for the part. Such a process is considered part of the Mumblecore movement. Instead of a script, the actors received outlines, which covered the plot points and were told what had to happen. Relying heavily on improvisation is a key feature of the Mumblecore film movement.
‘Midnight Delight’ is very different from Rohit’s earlier work which include ‘Life! Camera Action…’ a 90-minute family drama film and a 4-minute suspense thriller ‘Another Day Another Life’ which also emerged as big success receiving high praise and numerous international awards including at the prestigious Cannes.
Due to it’s uniqueness, style, concept the film stood out for its packed house audience at the CFF leaving an uplifting and lasting impression.