d. Reema Sengupta
Reema Sengupta is a filmmaker to follow. She's brave. She's unapologetic. She's a woman infiltrating a man's world. We screened her film,
Counterfeit Kunkoo, to an enthusiastic crowd at the 2nd Annual Hudson NY Shorts Film Festival. The audience was breathless. Reema's film was
inspired by her mother's own quest to secure an apartment in India after her husband of 24 years gave her one week's notice to get out. The
film's perfect punctuation was a woman celebrating her sacred space. The character Sunita Nikam - played by acclaimed Malayalam actress Kani
Kusruti - showed a stunning intimacy that's rarely seen in film through a female lens. It was a raw and honest moment to convey the success of
conquering an archaic system that requires a woman to be married to rent an apartment. The film is much more than just that final moment,
though. Thematically it pinpoints marital rape, abuse and discrimination against a woman who had no man to be her "character certificate." In a
conversation with Vogue India, Reema said, "The idea was to address housing discrimination and the shift of attitude towards a woman after she
decides to separate from an abusive marriage. I didn't know how to channelise the deep sense of anger and helplessness I was feeling. So I
chose to write a film about it."
For a young director of 27, her filmography is impressive. She has directed documentaries, stop-motion animation projects, interactive video installations, and narrative films spanning across India, UK, South Korea and the US.
In 2014, Reema co-founded CATNIP, a production house that specializes in video content focused on music. In a short span, the company has created over 170 videos and has worked closely with the leaders of International entertainment in India. Moreover, CATNIP is essentially her "playground to experiment with short format video content."
We hope that as the Winner of the Hudson NY Shorts Film Festival prize money, Reema will continue to produce personal projects that comment on the politics of the day.
To Be Produced by Hudson NY Shorts
by Ron Podell
Ron Podell, a professional journalist, has written four feature screenplays (currently at work on a fifth) and 15 short screenplays, three
of which have been produced. Fifty Dollars will be his fourth short script that will be produced. His scripts have won more than 60 top awards at
films festivals/screenwriting contests.
Ron is currently the Executive Producer of his short script All Tapped Out which was the 2016 grand prize winner of the American Gem Literary Festival. A member of the WGAW Independent Writers Caucus, his feature script Blood Trigger is currently available in paperback and e-book on Amazon.
Ron Podell is included in the book, Top 100 Indie Writers in the World, that was released in early 2017 through Apple iTunes. He was named Writer of the Year at the 2016 Action on Film International Film Festival and was nominated for Writer of the Year at the 2017 Austin Revolution Film Festival and, again, this year. He served as a panelist for the "Screenplay Contests - Paths to Recognition and Production" seminar at the former Screenwriting Expo in Los Angeles.