Film Blog: Report From The World Premiere of ‘Janapar’

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Raindance Opening Night Gala 2012

Firstly, apologies for the radio silence this last week or two. I’ve been on a very different kind of bike tour — in Taiwan, of all places. There’ll be more on that soon.

In the meantime, I wanted to share a few notes from Janapar’s first festival outing, which took place at the 20th Raindance Film Festival in London.

This was the first time that the film had played on the big screen to a public audience. Filling the Apollo cinema in Piccadilly Circus to capacity were followers of this blog, journalists, adventurers, Paralympic medal-winning cyclists, film enthusiasts, other filmmakers, and of course friends and family. Every last ticket was sold in advance, which made the event all the more exciting — and, of course, nerve-wracking.


It was fantastic to watch Janapar play out in a top-notch cinema environment (even if it did show up every last blemish and imperfection). The film was again received extremely well, as was the Q&A that James and I held after the screening. Again — hugely encouraging.

And then, in the pub later that evening, the post-premiere comedown hit me. Complete and utter exhaustion. I was supposed to be thinking about next steps, making detailed DVD launch plans, drafting schedules. Instead, after all the intensity of the build-up, I just wanted to disappear and work on the book.

So that’s what I did.

James turned down a number of TV opportunities to take over production completely, which has allowed me to pen 15,000 much-needed new words for the book during the last couple of weeks. These are words which should have been written before, but which I simply didn’t have the nerve to tackle.

Without any online distractions, I’ve been able to revisit those difficult events, so critical to the story, and do them justice as best I can. And, although it’s been a struggle, I’ve really been enjoying this final rewrite. Sometimes, nothing short of complete disconnection is needed to get the job done.

I’ve got another month of writing and fine-tuning to go before the book is handed over to a group of talented professionals — copy-editors, designers, illustrators, proofreaders — who will help turn the manuscript into a valuable, enjoyable reading experience. The resulting book will be self-published, but with the same attention to quality at each step of the finishing process that a traditional publisher would undertake.

As a first-time author, this kind of collaboration is critical. It’s how I’ll finish the book I always wanted to write. The end is now so tantalisingly close!

These are interesting and somewhat frantic times. I’ve got some exciting announcements regarding the DVD release, and the book’s publication, so please do stay tuned. By the way, the best way to get regular Janapar updates is via the dedicated Janapar newsletter.