‣ Project 11 was shot in 11 cities at 27 different locations and with a combined crew strength of over a 100 people belonging to 13 different ethnicities.
‣ The 11 min 11 sec long film premiered at exactly 11:11 am on 11.11.11 on www.glamsham.com. The second show of the film commenced at 11:25 am, post which the film was pulled off the internet.
‣ The Beijing portion film was shot in the Old Beijing area, with its charming tiled roofs and wooden houses.
‣ Beijing Co-Director Yi Luo is a former journalist and a leading documentary filmmaker in China.
‣ Initial outreach to filmmakers was done primarily through Facebook. For the longest time there was no response from China. Only when we started looking beyond FB, which is banned in China, and tried to approach the filmmakers through LinkedIn that things started moving. The nugget finds a mention in a dialogue in the film.
‣ Beijing DOP, Wang Shi Qing, has also shot the multiple-award-winning documentary, Up the Yangtze, which was was listed as part of Canada’s TIFF Top Ten in 2007.
‣ The Pakistan portions were shot in a Balochistan village, close to the Pak-Afghan border.
‣ Pakistan was not in the original list of participating countries. The producers wanted Kabul in Afghanistan for the wilderness terrain. Ali Ahmed Brohi, filmmaker from Karachi in Pakistan mailed recce stills his village and convinced the Producers that he could recreate the same feel in Pakistan.
‣ Both the Pakistani kid actors, Aftab and Afeera, are locals who were picked up from the village school. It was quite a challenge finding a kid actor in the village who could speak both English and Brohi, the local language, but Aftab does a good job of it.
‣ In the Tanzanian portion, the actors, who play the Game-Parlor owner (Chuki Mlehele) and the gamer kid (Nassoro Said), are mother-son duo in real life.
‣ Chuki Mlehele is the busiest actress in Tanzanian Film Industry.
‣ Owing to the electricity crisis in Tanzania, communication between the Indian and Tanzanian teams would suffer a lot, since most of the communication happened on Skype. A lot of times we had to switch off voice and video chat to save bandwidth/battery life.
‣ Portions of the film were shot in the criss-cross alleys of Old Luxembourg city, which has a historical legacy dating back to the 12th century.
‣ The film was shot in one of the suburbs in Tokyo on a night when there was a sudden cyclone alert. Since the actress Shika Mackenzie wasn’t available to shoot for the next month or so, the local crew continued shooting. Luckily, the cyclone gave the city a miss that night.
‣ The LA co-director Sydney Walsh is also a former actress, with appearances in CSI: NY, NYPD Blue, ER and Nash Bridges.
‣ Mark Bennington, who plays the father to the autistic kid Simba in the LA portion, is an acclaimed photographer in real life. He is currently working on a coffee-table book on the lives of Bollywood actors.
‣ Taylor Cross, who plays the role of the young gamer with autism, actually has a younger brother who is autistic. He incorporated a lot of nuances of his brother in his role.
‣ The Israeli portions of the film were shot around Florentin and Alanby street - the south poor side of Tel Aviv – also famous for its graffiti sprayed walls.
‣ The NY portions of the film were shot in and around Brooklyn. In the climax of the film, the Brooklyn bridge can be seen behind Amy_B.
‣ Christina Thorington, who plays the chatterbox New York gamer, is an upcoming young African-American actress.
‣ In New York, the Sound Recordist backed out of the shoot at the last minute. Hence the Co-Director Alessio Georgetti had to triple up as location Sound Recordist and Boom operator.
‣ DOP in New York, Juan E. Yepes, was originally slated to direct the NY segment, but had to bow out last minute due to work commitments. However, he graciously offered a couple of days from his schedule to shoot the film.
‣ Due to some wire transfer issues, the budget for NY shoot was literally picked up last minute from Guneet Monga, producer from India, who was in NY for a couple of days for the IFP film market, and was generous to advance it and allowed us to shoot on schedule.
‣ The Toronto crew is like a microcosm of the multicultural Canadian society. Co- Director Ryan Singh is of Indian origin, actress Shadi Shahkhalili is Iranian while the DOP Matthew Delaney is a Canadian.
‣ Shadi Shahkhalili, who plays the Toronto gamer, was the 1st actress to be tested for the role. After testing 15 odd actresses more, the directors finally settled for Shadi.
‣ Intense Skype rehearsals took place between the Indian actor Siddhant Karnick and his Canadian counterpart Shadi, before the two cities went into shooting.
‣ The entire London crew is of Polish origin, right from the Co-Director Rafal Rakoczy, the DOP to the Actor. The character, Professor, too is a Polish immigrant settled in London. Incidentally, November 11 is Poland’s Independence Day.