Allen Gewa is the director behind the documentary Shaolin Warrior Monk, a documentary about Harsh Verma, an Indian Warrior Monk. The film highlights Verma’s journey as he become the first Indian to be absorbed into the temple. Verma teaches us about the origins of Shaolin culture, the principles and the temple of Shaolin. The film has beautiful cinematography, which frames Verma’s discipline and the architecture of the Shaolin Temple. Shaolin Warrior Monk was screened at Fighting Spirit 2018 and won Best Documentary.
What are your Holy Grail films?
The Lion King
What was the last film you watched that you enjoyed?
The House That Jack Built (Dir by Lars von Trier）
Who are the directors/filmmakers that inspire you?
How did you get into filmmaking?
I loved watching movies when I was younger, then I thought maybe I can be a director.
How would you describe your filmmaking style?
A very distinct and simple way, that’s easy for an audience to understand.
What is the best part about filmmaking?
Research and brainstorming with team members.
Do you have advice for those who want to get into filmmaking?
To be enthusiastic.
Who is someone you want to work with in the future?
With more professional filmmakers.
Who are your favourite martial artists?
Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Jet Li.
What do you think is the future of action/martial arts films?
Movies will be better and more accepted, the audience will be more and more diverse.
What inspired you to make Shaolin Warrior Monk?
I heard about the story of Shaolin Warrior Monk from my friend, I was moved by this. I love traditional cultural and I think good culture should be showed to more people. That’s why I made this film.
What was the best part of filming Shaolin Warrior Monk?
To experience the real culture and real life, that’s the best part.
What was the most challenging part of filming Shaolin Warrior Monk?
Climbing a mountain with all the equipment on a snowy day; lack of food and communication with local people about filming works.
What was the biggest lesson you learned when working on Shaolin Warrior Monk?
Take good care of team members and equipments. Pay more attention to details.
How do you want audiences to feel when watching Shaolin Warrior Monk?
To break the gap and have a feeling of being there.
What is the best piece of feedback you got from Shaolin Warrior Monk?
They said they like it and they have more interest in learning Chinese culture, and want to see more organic stories like this.
Do you have any exciting upcoming projects you can tell us about?
I have already finished making “THIS IS MY SHANGHAI”. Now I’m doing research for my next series “THIS IS ME”.
How did it feel to win Best Documentary at Fighting Spirit Film Festival?
I would say that I really feel appreciated for my team. And I’m thankful that I was given this chance.