Private Project

Karma Cafe

A humble man returns from his hard-working job overseas to his hometown in India to run a French Cafe located in a place that clashes with old values and contemporary mindset. He faces unforeseen obstacles every minute of the day due to his inexperience as a restaurateur, yet feels that his optimism is going to pay off in the end. The guests at the cafe bring their own struggles and levity that makes the day worthwhile for the owner and the quirky waiter. Despite the owners’ optimism towards his new business, the chances of the cafe surviving another day seem very slim.

  • Vinod Bharathan
    Karma Cartel
  • Vinod Bharathan
    Karma Cartel
  • Vinod Bharathan
    Karma Cartel
  • Bobby La Grange
    Key Cast
    "Cafe Owner"
  • Sam Sibin
    Key Cast
  • Franko M
    Key Cast
  • Eliza Maria Joseph
    Key Cast
    "Date (Girl)"
  • Shani Shaki
    Key Cast
  • Archana Tommy
    Key Cast
    "Girl with the camera"
  • Dinesh Prabhakar
    Key Cast
  • Rishi Karthik
    Key Cast
    "Biennale Artist"
  • Suraj Ramakrishnan
    Key Cast
  • Madan Babu
    Key Cast
    "Bank Official"
  • Cleo Zusan
    Key Cast
    "Influencer 1"
  • Haripriya Paniker
    Key Cast
  • Sabareesh Narayanan
    Key Cast
    "Filmmaker 1"
  • Gazal Ahamed
    Key Cast
    "Filmmaker 2"
  • Joe John
    Key Cast
    "Filmmaker Joe"
  • Aji Mon Nair
    Key Cast
    "Actors Friend"
  • Dj Khan Varkala
    Key Cast
    "Actors Friend"
  • Vinod Bharathan
    Key Cast
    "Actors friend"
  • Sulfikar Beevi
    Key Cast
    "Bruno (Chef)"
  • Mahesh Narayanan
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Comedy, Social
  • Runtime:
    2 hours 10 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    April 26, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, Blackmagic Raw
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Indian Film Festival Of Stuttgart
    July 24, 2022
    World Premiere
    Closing Film
Director Biography - Vinod Bharathan

Vinod Bharathan is a Copenhagen-based Indian filmmaker. After moving to Denmark he joined Copenhagen media school in 2009 to later apply admission to the prestigious National Film School of Denmark that educated directors like Lars Von Trier, Thomas Vinterberg, and Susanne Bier. As he was not a citizen of Denmark when he applied, he would have to pay the huge stipend himself. He decided instead to self-teach filmmaking by making self-financed short films.
He is usually doing multi-task on the entire of his film projects like producing, filming, editing and music score, often trying to restrict himself from the luxuries of filmmaking.
He made his first feature film shot in India following the Dogme 95 rules of filmmaking by Lars Von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg. The film titled KARMA CARTEL (2015) won a few film awards and was picked up for a nationwide limited theatrical release in India.

Karma Cafe is his second official feature film project which has completed post-production recently. Karma cafe was shot on digital through vintage lenses and filmed using available natural light. The pandemic had almost destroyed the production as the production was hit with lockdown and filming restrictions imposed by the state they were filming in. This forced the already thin crew to an even thinner team, often not exceeding 4 people including the cast in the film set. Karma Cafe introduces an array of first-time actors including the Cafe-Owner and the waiter, supported by a handful of the previously experienced cast.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

How do we put a mirror in front of society in such a way that they get to see the angles less explored? Or look at the good and the bad side of it with levity and understanding? This was my prime focus while writing this script.

Welcome to the Parts Unknown.

The film made primarily for my home audience in India explores the difference that occurs between classes, often undiscussed, but left to generalization. Every movie that I have seen try to represent this situation ends up either being over the top or too gimmicky and often miss the purpose by the end of its playtime. I just wanted a copy-paste of a real situation, a talk over the coffee table by people of different classes or groups, giving a good indication of everyone’s own hustle to fit in a society that is embracing globalization at breakneck speed without reading the instruction manual.

I have always believed in Karma, and this is my fourth instalment (2 short films and a feature) on the role of karma in our lives and the importance to be aware of its presence and rewards. The spine of the story is again about karma and how the cafe owner benefits from it. The other elements that will be the meat of the story will carry, humour, levity, moral questions, and everyday matter relatable to the audience of any part of the modern world.

We filmed Karma Café on digital cameras, but we used vintage lenses from ca.1945 and we used natural and available light available on the set. The idea was to create visuals with high contrast that resembles a Caravaggio painting.

This film is also a tribute to Antony Bourdain whom I’m a great fan of.