Netflix announcement May 13, 2021 – Release on Netflix: June 12, 2021
The “team” below came several times to Janwaar:
Manjari Makijani, filmdirector based in Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA
Emmanuel Pappas, husband of Manjari Makijani and producer
Vinati Makijani, sister of Manjari Makijani, based in Mumbai, MH, India
The release of the above trailer caused a message hurricane in my inbox. To make things for everyone a little easier to understand, here is a timeline of events. For all the following “events” email exist.
09/2016 Email from Manjari Makijani asking for a call to talk about a film on the Janwaar story
First SKYPECALL with Manjari Makijani and Emmanuel Pappa
Somewhere inbetween they came to visit Janwaar.
02/2017 Mail from my side to Manjari Makijani telling her, that I am no longer with JCCO (an NGO I’ve founded 1.5 years after I’d build the skatepark in Janwaar) and that the would need to deal with them.
11/2017 They came back to me and told me that they wanted to make a contract with me and not with JCCO. The contract titled me as a “research consultant.”
It was signed the same month. It was ONLY about my role as consultant.
12/2017 Meeting in Jaipur with all three of them to discuss the way forward. First script was available.
Workshops in Rajasthan were planned with the team of the new skatepark …. But they never happened.
03/2018 I connected them with Decathlon for sponsoring. Decathlon provided 30 skateboards.
I connected them with film makers in Berlin/Germany >>> they were looking for support to shoot.
I also connected them with an assistant for the shoot >>> again in Berlin, didn’t work out.
06/2018 Vinati Makijani came with an assistant to Janwaar to run a workshop >>> casting the kids. She was there for 6 days.
Same months I received an email that the Janwaar kids were only good enough for supporting characters.
11/2018 I cancelled my contract with them from my side because I didn’t like their way of communicating and couldn’t agree to their way forward.
02/2019 A casting agency from Delhi contacted Prakriti School, Noida, where five of the Janwaar kids were studying. They offered them “roles” in the final scene of the movie where they were asked to skateboard in the background. They offered them a “once in a lifetime experience”, expenses for travels, stay and food would be covered.
The kids told them clearly: “If you tell our story, we want to be part of it. If we are not part of this, then we do not participate. We don’t want to be bystanders in the last scene.”
We never heard back. Neither me nor the kids.
While they were shooting in Rajasthan Vinati messaged Asha about her behaviour in certain situations.
There was never ever a conversation with the kids about the movie and which story they would tell.