CalArts alumna Arpita Kumar's (Film/Video MFA 12) film "My Dear Americans" was named the "People's Choice" winner of the PBS Online Film Festival. Presented by the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) with support from the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), the film focuses on an Indian American couple trying to adjust to life in an American suburb.
From the filmmaker's website:
'My Dear Americans' is about a Sikh woman’s defiant spirit. A recent immigrant to the U.S., Tejpreet is reluctant to embrace her new American identity. In contrast, her husband celebrates everything that mildly reeks of America. On America’s most patriotic holiday, the fourth of July, they have a threatening racist encounter that crushes the Sikh man’s enthusiastic spirit. Witnessing her husband’s devastation, Tejpreet makes a choice against hate and turns the situation around, if only momentarily.
This short was written, directed and produced during Kumar's fellowship with Film Independent's Project Involve, a production program for diverse filmmakers, and was only one of two winners in PBS's online festival. The other film was Joshua Riehl's documentary “Digging for Water,” which follows a Haitian community trying to recover a stuck well drill to access water. Riehl's film earned the "Most Viewed" award among the 25 short films PBS presented in the online festival.
Though based in Los Angeles, Kumar has worked internationally on films in Cuba, the U.K., Peru, Bolivia, India, and the U.S. She is now developing a feature-length thriller set in an all-girls school in Lucknow, India.
Previously on 24700: Arpita Kumar’s My Dear Americans Screens at Mill Valley Film Festival