Private Project


A teenager tries to overcome a severe hearing disability while pursuing her dream to sing on stage. A renewed connection with her mother and culture is just the breakthrough she needs to step boldly into the spotlight.

Based on a true story of the writer / director of this film, Radha Mehta.

Alyssa Raghu, former top 8 contestant of American Idol, plays the lead of “Lakshmi”.
Saili Oak, former top 10 contestant of world renowned Indian vocal competition, SaReGaMaPa, plays the lead’s mother, “Savita”.

  • Radha Mehta
    I'm Going To Marry This Boy, Shiva, I Will Rise, My Way
  • Radha Mehta
    I Will Rise, My Way
  • Ravé Mehta
    I Will Rise, My Way
  • Radha Mehta
    I'm Going To Marry This Boy, Shiva, I Will Rise, My Way
  • Alyssa Raghunandan
    Key Cast
    American Idol
  • Saili Oak
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes 20 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 30, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    6,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital 4K
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Radha Mehta

Radha's passion for storytelling started with her songwriting with original music featured on popular TV shows across networks including USA, MTV, E!, Oxygen, WE, VH1. She has since crossed over to filmmaking with a current focus on Indian / American culture.
Radha aims to shed light on the Indian culture with hopes to raise awareness of its challenges, beauty and multifaceted nature to those who may have never had the chance to visit India nor the opportunity to befriend an Indian.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

This film is personal to me since it's about the (sound) barriers I faced while pursuing my aspirations for music. I was born with perfect hearing, but at 6 months old, I suffered a near fatal infection that the only way to keep me alive was an overdose of antiobiotics. The doctors knew that solution would cause neural damage to my hearing but they did whatever was necessary to keep me alive. Ever since then, I've struggled with a deep dive regression in my hearing, but have turned to other ways, specifically through my Indian culture and the vibration of sound, on how to sing by feeling rather than hearing. Thanks to the support of my musically talented family and their unwavering faith in me, I have and continue to perform successfully in front of thousands of people. I am thankful every day those doctors did everything they could to keep me alive!

This short was originally shot as a proof-of-concept to a potential coming-of-age feature in pre-production (currently drafting the screenplay). This film explores just the surface of the character's internal struggle at the age of 16, but many events happened earlier in her life that caused further damage to her hearing while also strengthening her conviction to be a professional singer. And many conflicts continue to unfold when she unexpectedly becomes a young mother that lead her to question her pursuit in what many would say is just a pipe dream. The feature concept explores how she copes and rises above the challenges she faces.