Private Project

Citizens of The World

One of the most painful, yet profound stories of Indian Migration is that of UGAN-Indians s. Migrating to East Africa in 1893, their contribution to their growth of Uganda's civilization and industry is phenomenal. Yet they were seen as suspects, ruthlessly evicted by Idi Amin. This catapulted Uganda into chaos.Until 1990s when President Museveni requested them to return home. A few dreamers dared to return, sharing the journey of two 4th generation stalwarts Sudhir Ruperalia and Jas Bedi, their success, their challenges, we share their personal and professional spaces- to reveal the poignant stories of migration. Witnessing how they grow with the nation, in a mutually symbolic manner; winning hearts and minds of the local population, even in the most trying conditions.
But once again, the Indian community is threatened as economics and competition become thorny issues between them and the local community. 2009's Kakira Riots creates tensions as many Indian lives and lands are threatened .... what is surprising is that instead of giving up, our protagonists put everything on the line... a heartwarming story of nationalism and migration seen through both Ugandan and Indian eyes.

  • Soniya Kirpalani
    17 Not Required Indians/ Love Arranged/ Silken Synergy/ DoBuy
  • Emily Harris
    17 Not Required Indians/ Love Arranged/ Silken Synergy/ DoBuy
  • Sprocket Science Films
    17 Not Required Indians/ Love Arranged/ Silken Synergy/ DoBuy
  • PSBT
    National Broadcaster for India
  • Sudhir Ruperalia
    Key Cast
  • Jaswinder Bedi
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    31 minutes 5 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 29, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    14,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Kenya, Uganda
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Soniya Kirpalani

Winner of several prestigious awards, Soniya Kirpalani earned accolades as one of the top 25 Young Asian Achievers from Dubai for her exemplary work across all media platforms. Raising awareness on the unseen untold stories from across South Asia, Middle East and Africa, Soniya reveals challenging and sensitive issues of emerging eastern communities. Committed to shinning the spotlight on stories of change earned her the moniker ‘Crusader with a Camera’ as she works with the marginalized communities. Bought up in multicultural environments of India, London and Dubai, Soniya trained in Psychology and Economics, she followed her love for media and trained at Trinity College’s external programs and veteran actors / directors from Bollywood and then commenced her career essaying lead roles in mainstream films. Marriage and Motherhood followed, Soniya took a sabbatical and moved to UAE. Continuing her relationship with media through her writing, she pioneered a Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative for Trinity Enterprises SA.ME. The mandate of this initiative is to create awareness and aspiration for South Asia and Middle East Society, Culture and Creative Arts. The Websmiths, The Wordsmiths, were simultaneously launched becoming the region’s first transmedia initiative which highlights MENASA’s creativity and their ever evolving culture.
Converging traditional and new media platforms, Soniya serves as Editor, Deputy Editor, Fashion Editor and Lifestyle Editor for international publications like Sony Telelife, Asian Leaders (Guardian Unlimited), Centre Stage, Sony, Asian Lite, TeleLife, Capital Talk, Asian Leaders, Al Majlis, Khaleej Times and Pehla. Inspired by the response from regional readers, she designed a 360 Degree project for Sony TeleLife –UAE first reality series ‘FACES’ - handling staging, scripting and directing. She also also won accolades for delivering India’s first cross border production ‘Celebrating Cultures’ with Femina India and Geo TV Pakistan- despite several challenges - proving culture can set precursor to peace through participation. This prompted her to create several chapters of this initiative toward building natural extension markets. Soniya forged 8 Bipatriate Agreements of Participation between Design Councils across MENASA. Working in an honorary capacity with these Councils for Culture and Design, she promotes creative education, collaboration and capacity building initiatives- An Artist Within, Celebrating Cultures, Design Dialogues, Buisness of Fashion workshops and Alternational which educates and engages emerging eastern talent.
In 2009, she launched Sprocket Science Films to syncopate the visual sensitivities of Asia, Arabia and Africa and reveal the unknown talent through lives of visionary icons who are working committedly to affect change. Her first film ‘Dobuy 2010’ won many prestigious awards- Cannes MipDoc Award / GFF National Award UAE and lead to a critical review of national mandates on Culture/Design bringing in a governance change. Silken Synergy 2011, Love Arranged 2012, Crossfire Creativity 2014 and 17 Not Required Indians 2014 (a Oscar Pre-selection from Dubai) have earned her 43 Nominations and 19 International Film Festival Awards (including National Awards in UAE and India, Twice Winner of MipDoc CoFund Award / IDFA-Bertha Investigative Award/ 2 Puma Impact Award Nominations/ HotDocs) In 2012, she won the highest nominations, from Ethical Foundation UK for spearheading ‘Most Ethical Media Company’ by highlighting the importance of developing ethical, sustainable, innovative design industries across the East. Going from Real to Reel, Soniya is determined the films should affect change- i.e. 17 NRI raises awareness on Immigration and Migrant Rights and earned her 2 UAE Police Awards and 1 Citation from UAE Correctional Authorities. The Film is nominated by Amnesty to create awareness and governance change in India and UAE. Her work with the eastern creative economies lead to two nomination as ‘Creative Leader’ by British Council’s Creative Leadership Initiative, where she has collaboratively launched her first socio-enterprise on ‘Business of Design’ education (with leading international academicians and institutues). Soniya is also also a respected speaker at various international conferences, in workshops and at universities on innovation and creative entrepreneurship. She continues to be a lifestyle editor, colominist and a convergence expert who writes and blogs for several international publications.

Awards, Accolades and Nominations
2008 Winner MipDoc Award – Cannes France
2009 GreekDoc Lab Campus, Athens, Greece + Greek Doc Lab Campus 2, Athens, Greece
2010 Gulf Film Festival – Winner ‘Best International Documentary Film’- “DoBuy “
2010 Asian American Film Festival- WIPS for “Love Arranged” July 2010
2010 Comfest Canada Toronto – Official Nominee DoBuy
2010 Docs Libosa – Nominated for 17NRI –WIPS
2010 Winner Alter Cine Foundation Fund for 17 NRI
2010 Guangzhou Docs - Winner in Official Selection 2010 “DoBuy- The Fabric of Faith”
2011 IWART- Official Selection “Love Arranged”
2011 HotDocs – Official Nominee “Love Arranged”
2011 Good Pitch - Sundance- Not Required Indians
2011 Winner MipDoc Cannes Film Festival - Not Required Indians
2011 Gulf Film Festival – “Love Arranged”
2011 Winner Audience Award Biograph Film Festival – “Silken Synergy”
2011 Shanghai Film Festival - “Love Arranged”
2011 Winner Brit Doc-Bertha Investigative Journalist Award -17 NRI
2011 LIFF Nominee – “Love Arranged”
2011 Palestine Film Festival- “DoBuy”
2011 Urban Film Festival Nominee – “Love Arranged”
2012 WWIA Taiwan - “Love Arranged”
2012 Best Director for “Silken Synergy” Sichuan Film Festival
2012 Ethical Fashion Forum Award- For Media Awareness on Ethical Issues across SAME
2013 Jaipur Film Festival – “Love Arranged”
2013 Birds Eye Film Festival ‘DoBuy’ A Special Screening
2013 -Silken Synergy Special Screening at Milia M Lebanon
2013 Shubaak Debates London- DoBuy
2014 Good Pitch Mumbai - 17 NRI
2014 Mumbai Mantra-Sundance Nominee for Feature Film ‘Nirbhay’
2013 Cherie Blair Foundation (Nomination as Mentee)
2011 + 2013 British Council CLI Leader
2012- Global Peace Film Festival USA – for 17 NRI
2014 – Special Jury Award 17 Not Required Indians-Mumbai International Film Festival
2014- Dada Saheb Phalke National Film Festival- Award for Excellence –Love Arranged
2014- Gulf Film Festival Nomination -17 Not Required Indians
2014- SAGA Women’s Film Festival Stockholm- for Love Arranged
2014 –Asia Screen Awards Australia –Pre Selector by GFF
2012-Puma Global Impact Nominee USA – for DoBuy
2014- Mumbai Women International Film Festival- Nominee
2014- Puma Global Impact Nominee for 17 NRI
2014-MWIFF- Mumbai Women International Film Festival-17 NRI
2014- WDIF- Women Director International Film Festival – Love Arranged
2015- LIFF –Lucerne Switzerland Nominee 17 NRI
2015-LIDF- London International Document Festival UK
2015-Dada Saheb National Film Festival – Jury Award Winner-17NRI

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Sitting at CHOGM, I heard President Museveni share stories of Indian Migrants who were affecting change in Uganda. I want to document this very unique story of modern day migration. Researching and speaking to self-made Indians in East Africa, we want to reveal how they impacted the lives of local Ugandans whilst empowering themselves. Charting the history we seek to interview Uganda’s finest leader President Museveni, The First Lady, Members of Parliaments, intellectuals, thinkers to reveal the hereto story of modern day Indian migration.
Using rich images of the country, interviewing both influential Ugandan and Indians, we reveal East Africa’s myriad socio-political landscape. This helps us explore the paradox of ‘belonging’ and nationhood, cultivating a visual dialogue through the humbling words of leading African and Indian achievers, who have left behind their dark past, forging a new present to move towards new tomorrows. This film is being produced by PSBT, Public Diplomacy Division. It will be shown on the national channel, to an approximate 350 Million people. It is being directed, edited and filmed by leading award winning crews. This version is a Work in Progress. We will have the final version within a month.