Manu Narayan, Samrat Chakrabarti, Manish Dayal, Sanjeev Jhaveri, Deepti Gupta, Carrie Anne James, Pallavi Sharda and Ami Sheth form the ensemble cast of Shailja Gupta’s debut feature film Walkaway, which opens on October 29, 2010 through Reliance Cinemas on 26 screens across 18 cities.
Ms. Gupta’s Indian roots and urban life as a young South Asian professional in New York City proved excellent fodder for Walkaway, which she wrote, directed and produced. After a successful career in New Media and Information Technology, Ms. Gupta pursued her passion for films, on the internationally acclaimed film Chokher Bali, which was an Indian National award winner in 2003, she served as global marketing manager, and worked as an assistant script supervisor for another Indian National award winner (2005) – Raincoat, starring the former Miss World Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.
Walkaway mocks the clutches of social obligations on young Indian professionals settled in New York City. Exploring the subtleties of the Indian mega-institution of marriage, from the now-veiled urban dowry system to the overwhelming compromises demanded of a cross-cultural couple, the film weaves through the lives of four friends who struggle to balance engrained values with modern environs in the fast-paced melting-pot that is New York.
In this South-Asian male version of Sex and the City, Darius, Vinay, Shridhar and Soham – single, dating, engaged and married, strive to maintain some semblance of sanity while questioning themselves, their desires and choices, and the importance of unshakeable traditions. On a journey fraught with ethnic and generational differences, and the pressures of modern relationships and careers, what will they choose to walk away from – family, love, or their roots?
Ms. Gupta has fashioned her American indie with Bollywood flair and influences. Walkaway has garnered tremendous support from the Bollywood community, including renowned actor Shah Rukh Khan’s production house Red Chillies Entertainment, who assisted in the post-production, editing and VFX. “As a successful member of our Indian film industry, it is my pleasure to support up-and-coming filmmakers like Shailja,” said Mr. Khan. Academy Award winner (Sound Mixing for Slumdog Millionaire) Resul Pookutty provided the sound design and mixing for Walkaway. Mr. Pookutty said, “I was impressed by the director’s passion and energy, which has resulted in a fantastic product!”
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Other Articles by Lia Chang:
Actor Samrat Chakrabarti Receives 2010 TMG Award for Global Achievers Samrat Chakrabarti is Featured in Claire McCarthy’s The Waiting City Which Screens at the Toronto International Film Festival
thestar.com Fresh Faces at TIFF
Hollywood Reporter review of The Waiting City
Hot on the Hollywood Trail, a New Wave of Global Independent Movies
AAIFF Karma Calling, You Don’t Know Jack and Children of Invention
Sudhish Kamath’s Good Night|Good Morning Starring Manu Narayan & Seema Rahmani Screens in Mumbai 10/24, NY on 10/28
ONE Musical stars Paolo Montalban, Manu Narayan, Pearl Sun and Michael Winther
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Signs Fred Korematsu Day Bill, Bill Establishes January 30 as Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution
Photo Call: BD Wong and the Cast of Heading East at the Asia Society
Multimedia-Photos and Video: Disney’s The Lion King Las Vegas- In the Makeup Chair with Thom Sesma
Crafting a Career
Multimedia: Promises, Promises’ Stars Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes at Lord & Taylor Fifth Ave
Photos by Lia Chang at the Shanghai World Expo 2010’s USA Pavilion, Library of Congress and Hollywood Chinese: The Arthur Dong Collection in L.A.
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive.
As a photographer and videographer, Lia collaborates with artists, organizations and companies in establishing their documentary photo archive and social media presence. She has been documenting her colleagues and contemporaries in the arts, fashion and journalism since making her stage debut as Liat in the National Tour of South Pacific, with Robert Goulet and Barbara Eden.
This year, selections of Lia’s archive of Asian Pacific Americans in the arts, fashion, journalism, politics and space will become part of newly created LIA CHANG THEATER PHOTOGRAPHY PORTFOLIO in the ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN PERFORMING ARTS COLLECTION housed in the Library of Congress Asian Division’s Asian American Pacific Islander Collection.
Lia’s portraits and performance photos have appeared in Vanity Fair, Gourmet, German Elle, Women’s Wear Daily, The Paris Review, VIBE, TV Guide, Daily Variety, Interior Design, American Theatre, Broadwayworld.com, Life & Style, OUT, New York Magazine, InStyle, Timeout.com, Villagevoice.com, Playbill.com, Theatermania.com, thelmagazine.com, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, New York Times and Washington Post. A former syndicated arts and entertainment columnist for KYODO News, Lia is the New York Bureau Chief for AsianConnections.com. She writes about culture, style and Asian American issues for a variety of publications and this Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog.