Why Do People Need To Believe? [PSFK NYC 2012]

NYC filmmaker Vikram Gandhi shares the story of his movie about a faux guru that explores people’s need to have faith.

At the PSFK CONFERENCE NYC 2012 today, our diverse lineup of speakers are sharing valuable insights and ideas about technology, business and creativity.

Vikram Gandhi is a New York-based filmmaker whose film Kumaré won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at SXSW 2011. The film will be released theatrically by KinoLorber Films in the Summer of 2012.

Ghandi grew up with the religion of Hinduism, one that features gods or ‘superheros’ telling stories ‘that gives us some sort of structure, and a way to believe.’

Curious to understand how and why people attached themselves to stories, especially with Eastern spirituality, he decided to conduct a social experiment, adopting the role of a spiritual leader.

Drawing parallels between religion and branding, Vikram referenced the use of totems or icons in religion as the thing that believers gravitated toward. Whilst religion encourages us to improve versions of our current selves to become better, brands aren’t dissimilar in their encouragement to consume their products.

People are interested in finding a spiritual leader because they’re looking for a spiritual leader.

While Kumaréis not a real spiritual leader, the surprising and uplifting result of this film was to remindpeople to believe in the idea of having faith.

For more insights from Vikram, check out PSFK’s Need to Know Magazine

Kumaré

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