Holi Moli UNC received news this weekend that Prashant Bhargava, a loving and caring advocate for our organization, passed away on Saturday morning. As an award-winning filmmaker and commercial director, he spearheaded campaigns for HBO’s “The Wire,” “Def Poetry Jam” and “Oz” and directed music videos for major artists such as Missy Elliot and Talib Kweli. His artistic genius is particularly salient in two of his most recent films, “Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi” and “Patang.” In 2013, Holi Moli UNC had the incredible honor of working directly with Prashant to infuse the UNC community with South Asian culture and traditions during our “10 Days of Holi.” One activity was a free screening of Prashant’s film “Patang,” during which hundreds of students and faculty members packed into the FedEx Global Education Center to witness the captivating narrative surrounding India’s largest kite festival in the city of Ahmedabad. At the “Holi and Social Justice” talk at the Campus Y, Prashant offered a refreshing, insightful commentary on the complexities of gender, violence and culture during the festival of Holi based on his experience directing “Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi,” an intense short film that intimately captures the celebrations of Holi in the town of Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, India. One of the most striking events of the 10 Days of Holi was the world premiere of the film “Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi” synced with a live performance from composer Vijay Iyer and the International Contemporary Ensemble, an incredible feat commissioned by Carolina Performing Arts.
“Prashant played a critical role in our collaboration in 2013 with Carolina Performing Arts and was such a lighthearted and inspiring person, not to mention a phenomenal artist. When I first met Prashant, I felt like I had known him my entire life because he greeted me with such kindness, warmth and humor. We are incredibly lucky to have worked with him and witnessed his artistic brilliance first-hand, and his legacy will surely live on through his amazing craft.” says previous Holi Moli UNC co-director Sarah Barger, UNC Class of 2014.
"It was inspiring to hear him speak to Carolina students about the struggles he faced not only as an artist, but also as an artist of a racial minority of South Asian descent. I know his words touched many students like it did me." says Savita Sivakumar, UNC Class of 2015.
Holi Moli UNC expresses its sincerest condolences to the family and close friends of Prashant Bhargava and humbly appreciate his love and dedication to this organization.