When her perfect romantic getaway in the woods is ruined by the appearance of the ominous 'Indian Mother', Nisha must fight the obstacles of her immigrant past, in hopes of ever having an American future.

  • Leena Kurishingal
    SkeDJes Sketch Comedy
  • Leena Kurishingal
    SkeDJes Sketch Comedy
  • Leena Kurishingal
    SkeDJes Sketch Comedy
  • Timothy Farrell
    The Year Between, Give Me Liberty
  • J. H. Rogers III
    Mound Bayou: Jewel Of The Delta
  • Marissa Jo Cerar
    ABC's Women Of The Movement, The Handmaid's Tale
  • Leena Kurishingal
    Key Cast
    Quantum Leap, General Hospital
  • Mike Monreal
    Key Cast
    ABC's Women Of The Movement
  • Shivani Thakkar
    Key Cast
    Four Samosas, MKM Bollystars USA
  • Parvesh Cheena
    Key Cast
    The Mandalorian, Outsourced
  • Gregory Hollimon
    Key Cast
    Strangers With Candy, Bob's Burgers
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    9 minutes 48 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 4, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    9,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    ARRI Alexa Classic
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Leena Kurishingal

Leena Kurishingal is a SAG-AFTRA performer of 17 years appearing on stage, screen, and more, with a film degree from Columbia College Chicago in her back pocket. She crossed into writing thanks to a diversity scholarship from the Upright Citizens Brigade LA, where she studied improv, sketch, and characters. This led to collaboration with the all WOC sketch group, Soul Sista Comedy. She also wrote, directed, and produced a one-hour sketch variety show pondering Indian identity for stage called 'India & You: And Me. And Everybody'. Leena focuses on imperfect female characters, learning to thrive as such, and integrating Indians into the American cultural fabric. She has since received the UCLA Phyllis Gebauer Scholarship for TV Writing, pitched short form content for Bite-Size Horror under FOX Digital, and become a WAVE Grant recipient for first time female directors. When not cultivating art, she lovingly cultivates her plants.

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Director Statement

Growing up in the US as a child of immigrants, there is a dual life one constructs that generally involves slinking around like an FBI agent, revealing no more than is absolutely necessary to overly strict parents. It takes its toll, especially since it often CONTINUES into adulthood. Fast forward and you find yourself in a constant battle of lifestyles, when you just want to make both you AND your family happy. Thus, the creation of this horror comedy short. It breaks the genre mold by featuring a woman of South Asian descent and her inner fears around obligation. It poses questions that are important for our specific psyches, yet honors classic horror emblems which broader audiences know and love, including the young couple in the woods, thunder and lightning, shadowy unknowns - and of course, a ghostie dad. (I'm positive that's a mainstay.) It's funny because the juggling act of the main character is ridiculous. It IS insane to not stand up to your parents as an adult. But it's also a part of life for this segment of the American populace who often have to fight to feel like they are American, even when born and raised in this country. NO ESCAPE is a way to integrate us into something as American as apple pie and let our experiences be part of the societal canon, too.