Kamahl Drusene and one of the stars of his documentary 'A Camel Odyssey'.
Kamahl Drusene and one of the stars of his documentary 'A Camel Odyssey'. Contributed.

Camel odyssey on SBS

FORMER Murwillumbah student Kamahl Druesne embarked on the journey of a lifetime and got a whole lot more than he bargained for at the Annual Camel Fair in India.

Mr Druesne filmed the entire experience and made the documentary A Camel Odyssey, which will air on SBS.

“I'm a self-taught filmmaker, but no formal film school could have prepared me for shooting a film in India,” the 31-year-old said.

Mr Druesne, who grew up on a farm at Burringbar, fell in love with camels while filming them in South Australia.

“Camels have a bad reputation in Australia, but I really like them. I find them to be a noble creature and there's nothing like them for trekking through the desert.”

It was this passion that took Mr Druesne to the Annual Camel Fair in Pushkar, India, where the dromedary (one-humped) camel is traded.

Here he met French trav- eller Jerome, who discussed the idea of bringing the Bactrian (two-humped) camel to the next fair.

“We quickly became enthusiastic about the idea and a plan to bring the Bactrians from their home in the Himalayas was hatched.”

Three other travellers were invited and Mr Druesne started filming the trip, but things went horribly wrong when two of the beloved camels died and the boys were threatened with animal cruelty charges.

Even under the threat of jail, Mr Druesne managed to keep filming and the result is sensational.

“It's an action-packed story of drama and jeopardy. “Isolated in a foreign country we feared the worst when the situation drew the attention of a hostile media, mob justice and political expediency.”

Proudly supported by Screen Australia, A Camel Odyssey is a moving experi- ence for all those who have been touched by love and loss.

“I have learnt too many things about myself on this documentary to list,” Mr Druesne said.

A Camel Odyssey will premiere on Wednesday, May 20, at 8.30pm on SBS. The trailer can be viewed at www.youtube.com/user/Kamahlfilm

“I am so excited to have this film on SBS,” Mr Druesne said.

“It's very rewarding to bring the project to completion. It's been hard work but I've had some great support from Screen Australia, SBS and my family and friends.”

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