Sunny (40s), a homemaker in Silicon Valley, meets with her estranged best friend, Tara (40s), a journalist in New York. The two haven't spoken since Tara's last visit to Sunny's home in Silicon Valley, nearly a decade ago. Amidst breaking news of a sting operation involving Sunny's husband, both reveal the truth about their unspoken traumas. Drawing strength from one another, both resolve to bury their guilt and break their silence.
Shruti TewariWriterFlares, Letters In Her Name, 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
CinemaStreet Women's Short Screenplay CompetitionNew York, NY
January 5, 2021
Atlanta Film Festival Screenwriting CompetitionAtlanta, GA
March 26, 2021
SHRUTI TEWARI has spent over two decades in the creative arts with acting projects ranging from a Bollywood blockbuster to numerous award winning independent films. After stints in investment banking and tech, she, an MBA from Mumbai and MIA from Columbia University, changed course to authentically represent minority voices in the arts.
A contributing playwright to Silicon Valley Theater Lab and Playground writer's pool, she has written several plays and screenplays. She was selected for the Sundance Collab directors and producers programs to develop her first feature film, "Flares," the screenplay for which is an award winner at the Alliance of Women Filmmakers Scriptwriting Competition and a finalist at WeScreenplay Diverse Voices Screenwriting Lab as well as the Big Apple Film Festival. She was also a finalist at the Austin Film Festival Pitch Fest. Her short script, "Stain Resistant," was a finalist at the Female Voices Rock Film Festival and is being developed through the Women Of Color Filmmakers Lab. She was awarded the YBCA Artist Power Convenings grant for this project. Her pilot, “Letters in Her Name,” was a second rounder at the Austin Film Festival last year.
She has written and directed two short films, “Trail Past Prejudice," which won the Silver Remi Award at WorldFest Houston, and "Mum," which premiered at the Silicon Valley Asian Pacific Film Festival and won the Best Shorts Award of Merit. Furthermore, she was awarded a Certificate of Honor by the City and County of San Francisco for mentoring 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.
Through this film I not only hope to illustrate the perils of prolonged silence 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.