Experiencing Interruptions?

Speak to Me

When her estranged mother deteriorates to dementia, Aisha must reluctantly care for her while searching for closure with their damaged past - one that only she now remembers. Despite her resentment, Aisha has to now become the parental figure to her mother that she wanted her to be long ago. A character study of a mother and daughter relationship, the film tackles themes of mental illness, family trauma, and the immigrant experience. Can the buried distance between these two be bridged with a new beginning or lost to fading memory?

  • Anmol Bajpai
  • Anmol Bajpai
  • Lana Nguyen
  • Anya Banerjee
    Key Cast
    "Aisha Sharma"
  • Vee Kumari
    Key Cast
    "Kunti Sharma"
  • Aishveryaa Nidhi
    Key Cast
    "Aunt Naina"
  • Vincent Stalba
    Key Cast
    "Ryan / Boss"
  • Caden Hollander
    Associate Producers
  • Dylan Locke
    Associate Producers
  • Daphne Daniels
    Director of Photography
  • Adeline Wang
    Production Designers
  • Jade Crenian
    Production Designers
  • Anmol Bajpai
  • Alexis Tran
    Sound Design & Mix
  • Darren Huang
    Original Score
  • Caden Hollander
    First Assistant Director
  • Yuwan Ye
    Script Supervisor
  • Chloe Jaeger
  • Annabelle Toe
    First Assistant Camera
  • Kenneth Niebres
  • Kaia Lynn
    Hair & Makeup
  • Soo H. Ahn
    Art Production Assistant
  • Alexis Tran
    Onset Sound
  • Dylan Locke
    Onset Sound
  • Chehade Boulos
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, Family Drama, Immigrant
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    February 28, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    6,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English, Hindi
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Tasveer South Asian Film Festival
    Seattle, Washington
    United States
    November 12, 2022
    North American Premiere, World Premiere
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Anmol Bajpai

Anmol Bajpai is a 23-year-old filmmaker living in Los Angeles, California.

Born in India but traveled around the world, Anmol has diversified life experiences with touchstones from many different cultures and places. Primarily raised in the suburban outskirts of Seattle, he discovered his passion for storytelling at a very young age. As a foreign immigrant to others and a misfit in his family, Anmol felt his identity torn between two different cultures. In this struggle, the language of cinema became his solitary, introspective escape to his own imagination. For him, filmmaking would become the platform where he could best convey his reflections and ideas of the surrounding world. From scripting award-winning original performances to playing quirky characters in high school plays, Anmol found his calling to be an artist.

In 2018, Anmol began attending his dream school, the University of Southern California, where he studied communication practices and cinematic arts for the next few years. From classes to his own personal time, he spent countless hours working on collaborative sets, directing whole crews, and maintaining constant engagement with film industry news. With every project he took on, he strove to look at something in a way that someone else didn't. As a writer and photographer for Daily Trojan, the official school publication, Anmol also found another outlet to explore and analyze the cinematic art form. In his senior year, he launched and hosted Rhythm & News, a Daily Trojan podcast which highlighted fellow aspiring student artists and curated discussions on the changing entertainment media landscape. In 2021, Anmol graduated with summa cum laude honors at the head of his class.

Since graduating USC, Anmol has been constantly working on collaborative film projects as he writes and directs his own work as well. He has a particular passion to tell intimate stories and character arcs with an ambitious visual scope. Often, his projects present his own Indian American ethnicity and culture on the screen - something that isn't seen often. Thematically, his stories tend to explore dark subject matter such as broken families, mental illness, memory, and failure with an honest approach.

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Director Statement

With my first major project after graduating USC, I set out to create a short film that would deeply resonate with my cultural identity and life experiences. Instead of shooting just another film, I aimed to craft something that would hold meaning for me as a person, not just an artist. Something that would hopefully hold that meaning for many others as well.

Speak to Me originated as a deeply intimate tale that pulled from my personal journey as an Indian American immigrant as well as my complicated family history. For a long time, I had been tinkering with the concept of a parent-child character study that could both open and heal some old wounds. Not just my wounds, but those of other loved ones.

In India, family is a heavy and even overbearing concept. Thus, it carries a weight and a burden, for better or worse. As an Indian American immigrant, I always felt like an oddity in my own family, lost and torn between cultural lines. However, that struggle helped form the person I am today. Through the film, I wanted to authentically showcase both the struggle and beauty of an immigrant family. Both the love and the resentment that can ebb and flow at times. The boundary between what it means to be an “Indian American” and what it means to be an “Indian.” Really, the film is about a codependent conflict between a daughter and mother.

In my family, dementia and mental illness have a long history in dividing people apart. My grandmother has had dementia for several years and it’s taken its toll on her and those around her. It traumatically affected my mother when my grandmother could no longer remember her. This personal life experience served as the initial inspiration for the core dynamic in the story. In the film, I wanted to explore the love that can exist even with the loss of one’s memory. I wanted to inspect how caregiving in parent-child relationships reverse at a certain point – when children become the parental figures and the parents become the helpless.

Speak to Me is a character piece of a mother and a daughter, torn apart by grief, resentment, and mental illness. Though the story is completely original and fictional, it reflects my own immigrant experiences, family history, and cultural heritage.