About the Film
World of Henna is the first feature length documentary ever to be made about the farming, culture, history, and application techniques of henna in India.
The film pulls you along through the vibrancy of all that is India. From the colorful and lively streets, to traditional henna application methods in the home, and of course, the sumptuousness of the incomparable Indian wedding. Every moment of footage is captivating...
The story is crafted to convey the history and romance of the plant and art form, as well as the joy and positivity that can be found throughout India. It takes the audience on a journey that delights and informs, and perhaps also leaves some questions yet to be answered.
The film plants the seed of inspiration and curiosity for the viewer to join us on our future explorations throughout the world of henna...
Support the Films
Our second film, World of Henna: Morocco, is midway through editing. Help support post-production costs through our go fund me ($500 or more earns producer credit!)
New Zealand born Melanie Ooi has been practicing the art of henna since 2006, primarily building her business in her chosen home of Portland, Oregon, USA.
Always concerned with innovation and signature style as an artist, Melanie was inspired to make the first documentary about henna firstly as a passion project for herself and secondly as a gift to the international henna community. She wanted to help educate henna artists, fans and the general public about the history and culture of henna.
Melanie’s work has been featured on OPB Art Beat, Vogue India, Buzzfeed, Martha Stewart Weddings, as well as serving as an instructor at the Henna Intensive & Retreat, Henna Chai, and Henna Con.
Raised by artistic parents in art galleries and backstages of community theatres, Erika Ryn has been immersed in the creative process since birth. She completed her BA in Digital Art in 2008 at ASU, creating abstract conceptual films under the guidance of Muriel Magenta and planting the seed for future filmmaking aspirations.
She has deepened her love for and understanding of henna body art practices since beginning a mentorship with Melanie in 2012, and then venturing into the world of permanent body art as a professional tattoo artist in 2020. With a deep passion and respect for the diverse traditions of body art around the world she was thrilled at the opportunity to join Melanie on this journey into the World of Henna, creating a film which truly aims to capture the richness, color, passion, history, and beauty of Indian mehndi.
“Beautifully filmed and narrated, World of Henna brought to life the world I created for Lakshmi in my novel, supplying context and history to this 9000-year-old art and introducing us to the many talented henna artists who bring this gorgeous craft to life on the bodies of their patrons.”
— Alka Joshi, NYT bestselling author of THE HENNA ARTIST
“The World of Henna is a fascinating and insightful documentary into an aspect of Indian Culture not too many people know about. The color, music and dulcet commentary cannot be more complimentary of each other, creating a perfectly well paced film.”
- M. Phipps
“World of Henna is captivating. The sights and sounds of India, in their full vibrancy, underscoring an ancient tradition in it’s accelerating modern evolution. It’s a sumptuous revelation. I could watch it over and over again. An immediate and enthusiastic 5 stars.”
“Lush and vibrant imagery, thoughtful and poetic dialogue, and an obvious love for the people, history, industry, and artistry that is henna, the “World of Henna” provides a stunning insight into the world of mehndi in India. The filmmakers' passion and respect for the art of mehndi shines through, and I can only wait with great anticipation for their follow up documentaries, that will take them and us, to the other countries and cultures where henna has its roots.”
“Not only was this film visually stunning, but also educational and thought provoking. I want to know more about the fascinating world of henna!”
- M. Kruger
“This film captures the heart and soul of henna in India. Informative and visually striking, this documentary proves that you don’t need a big budget or crew to create a high quality production.”
World of Henna is not yet publicly available for rent or purchase. Join our mailing list for updates on film festivals and our distribution journey. Follow our social media accounts to stay up to date and share our official trailer with your community!