Thursday, November 26, 2020

|Podcast Awaken - Leena Pendharkar

Photo Content from Leena Pendharkar

Leena Pendharkar is an award-winning writer and director. She premiered her sophomore feature film, 20 Weeks, at the Los Angeles Film Festival. It won the Best Feature Film Award at the Maryland Film Festival, the Best Editing Award at the Tallgrass Film Festival, was selected as one of the best independent films of 2017 by Film Threat, and was described as an “intimate, compassionate take on abortion” by the Los Angeles Times. Leena has also directed numerous short films including the recent Scrap, starring Anthony Rapp and Vivian Kerr, which won the “Best Director” award at the First Glance Film Festival. She also directed Dandekar Makes a Sandwich, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Indian Film Festival of LA, and was selected as a Vimeo Staff pick. Her first feature film, Raspberry Magic, won several awards, played in festivals all over the country, and was distributed on Starz, Hulu and other platforms.

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  • Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer's are women. Of the 5.6 million people
    age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s in the United States, 3.5 million are women.
  • Of the more than 5 million Americans of all ages living with Alzheimer's dementia, the
    majority are women.
  • Not only are women more likely to have Alzheimer's, they are also more likely to be
    caregivers of those living with Alzheimer's.
  • Because of caregiving duties, women are likely to experience adverse consequences in
    the workplace.
Photo Content from Leena Pendharkar

AWAKEN is an short film about RAKHI SINGH, who has reluctantly put her mom, UMA SINGH, into a “care center” after exploring other options for her Alzheimers Disease. Uma isn’t taking well to it, and the facility is at a loss for next steps.

Rakhi brings her mom home in hopes of comforting her and helping her reset, only to learn that it’s not only unhelpful, but also breaking her family apart. But when Uma disappears, Rakhi finds her lost in a moment from her past, paving the way for a solution. It’s not an easy one, but it’s something.

Starring Parminder Nagra, Vee Kumari and Seamus Dever
Written and Directed by Leena Pendharkar
Produced by Reena Dutt
Cinematography by Daud Sani
Edited by Eileen de Klerk
Production Design by Alex Wilt
Original Score by Raashi Kulkarni

Parminder Nagra can currently be seen in the hugely successful Netflix movie "Bird Box". The film was directed by Susanne Bier as Parminderstars opposite Sandra Bullock and Sarah Paulson. In March, the feature “Five Feet Apart” will be released by Lionsgate/CBS Films where Parminder will star opposite Haley Lu Richardson and Claire Forlani. Nagra made her feature film debut starring as Jess in the critically acclaimed film "Bend It Like Beckham," which garnered worldwide attention. She also stared in the UK's Channel 4 film version of "Twelfth Night" as Viola, opposite Chiwetel Ejiofor. Parminder has also been a fixture on the television side as she is currently recurring on the Netflix hit series “13 Reasons Why” as well as “God Friended Me” for CBS. Her past television credits have included “Fortitude” opposite Dennis Quaid, the “Blacklist" as CIA agent Meera Malik on NBC’s high-action government crime thriller, Season 4 of “Marvel Agent’s of Shield”, “Elementary” on CBS, and of course for her role as as Neela Rasgotra, a British-Indian surgical intern on the long-running American medical drama, “ER.

SEAMUS DEVER [HENRY] Seamus Dever is best known to television audiences for the role of Detective Ryan on ABC’s “Castle”. Recently he originated the role of Trigon in DCs “Titans” and John Seed in the hit video game “Far Cry 5”. Other notable TV includes “Army Wives”, “Mad Men” and “General Hospital”. Seamus has been acting on stage since the age of 6 and has performed in over 70 plays in his career including “12 Angry Men” at the Laguna Playhouse, “iWitness” at the Mark Taper Forum and the “A Clockwork Orange” at the Greenway Court Theatre. He has an MFA from Carnegie Mellon and the Moscow Art Theatre.

Photo Content from Leena Pendharkar

VEE KUMARI [UMA] Vee (Vijaya) Kumari is known for GLOW, Anger Management, Teachers, Criminal Minds, among others, and the short film, Halwa, which recently won First Prize for the HBO Asian Pacific Visionaries Award, and is now airing on HBO. She spent over three decades as a neuroanatomy professor, neuroscience researcher, and, for ten of those years, as an Associate Dean for Medical Education at the University of California Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, CA. She has received numerous teaching awards during this period. In 2008, she moved to Los Angeles to be closer to her daughters and grandsons, and, taught at USC Keck School of Medicine for five years. In 2012, she retired to pursue a career of acting and writing. She calls this "a journey from the left side of my brain to the right". She has two daughters. Suju Vijayan, a film and TV writer/director/producer, and, Shalini Vijayan, a violinist. She has two grandsons, Ashok and Rohan.

RYAN BOBBY SADAGHIANA [KARTHIK] RYAN is a burgeoning actor and director who has appeared on American Sniper, Closure and on Nickelodean. He most recently worked on a documentary, “A Place To Call Home,” tackling the Housing Crisis in California. Through interviews with lawmakers and organizations this documentary brings up many ways this crisis can come to an end.
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