Indian immigrants and estranged best friends, Sunny and Starry reconnect in Silicon Valley to mend their frayed friendship amidst revelations of their unspoken traumas.
Shruti TewariWriterFlares, Trail Past Prejudice, Mum - A Wordless Story
Project Type:Short Script
Number of Pages:10
Country of Origin:United States
Female Voices Rock Film FestivalNew York, NY
December 4, 2020
SHRUTI TEWARI has spent over two decades in the creative arts with her acting projects ranging from a Bollywood blockbuster to numerous award-winning independent films. After her stints in investment banking and tech, this MBA from Mumbai and MIA from Columbia University changed course to authentically represent minority voices. She has since done over two dozen films and recently appeared in the Netflix series “You.” She is also the co-host of a Hindi podcast from Silicon Valley called “HindiVadi” and enjoys sharing her self-composed poems and tidbits about her childhood in India.
In her tenth year as a member of the guild, she was invited to be on the nominating committee for the SAG Awards, 2020. Over the last year, she was selected for the Sundance Collab directors and producers programs to develop her first feature film, “Flares,” the screenplay for which is a finalist at the Big Apple Film Festival and the Oaxaca Film Festival, a semi-finalist at the LA Feedback Female Film Festival and spotlighted on StoryPitches for best logline and best scene. In 2018, she wrote and directed the short – "Trail Past Prejudice," which premiered at the Delhi International Film Festival, won the Silver Remi award at WorldFest Houston and was bought by Shorts TV, UK. She was also in the virtual reality comedy – "UTurn," which played at Cannes in 2019. Her satire "Bibijis & Auntyjis," has been performed in San Francisco, Chicago and Los Angeles.
She has also worked with at-risk youth for over ten years and was awarded a Certificate of Honor by the City and County of San Francisco for creating positive impact through the arts during her mentorship in juvenile halls.
"Stain Resistant" is a proof of concept short script derived from my feature length screenplay "Flares."
I chose to write about the subject of gender-based abuse, within the Indian diaspora, after collecting numerous news stories about the atrocities against women that curtail, if not eliminate, their choices. For fear of being left alone without the backing of their family or society, most women choose to suffer in silence instead of raising their voice for a better life.
As a film and theater actor for over fifteen years, I have studied and portrayed many demanding characters including a suicidal Parisienne, an Iraqi car-bomb victim and even an Afghan refugee. The research on the cultural nuances for every character brought to the forefront how women’s voices everywhere are muted through virtue signaling and the potentially high cost of speaking up.
My personal connection to this story is that like my characters I grew up in Delhi, immigrated to the US and have lived on both coasts. I have set my film in Silicon Valley, which attracts some of the best-educated professionals from India. It is also home to unprecedented numbers of domestic abuse cases within the Indian American community – be it in the form of a celebrated CEO punching his partner 117 times and getting away with it or a disgruntled husband of an Apple executive hurling abuses at her while being stealthily recorded.
Through this film I not only hope to illustrate the perils of prolonged silence and/or endurance, but also intend to showcase the strength of a survivor. At the heart of it, “Stain Resistant” is about overcoming trauma with the camaraderie and kinship amongst women, the need for which has never been stronger than during the pandemic that has resulted in an unprecedented spike in cases of domestic abuse.