Screened as part of NZIFF 2015

Umrika 2015

Directed by Prashant Nair

Suraj Sharma, the star of Life of Pi, makes a moving Indian indie debut in this bittersweet 80s-set drama about a young man from a mountain village who sets off to find the older brother who’s filled his head with dreams of America.

India In Hindi with English subtitles
98 minutes CinemaScope/DCP
M (offensive language, violence)

Director, Screenplay

Producers

Swati Shetty
,
Manish Mundra

Photography

Petra Korner

Editors

Xavier Box
,
Patricia Rommel

Costume designer

Nyla Masood

Music

Dustin O’Halloran

With

Suraj Sharma (Ramakant)
,
Tony Revolori (Lalu)
,
Smita Tambe (Ramakant’s mother)
,
Adil Hussain (immigration agent Patel)
,
Pramod Pathak (Ramakant’s father)
,
Rajesh Tailang (postman)
,
Amit Sial (Rajan)
,
Sauraseni Maitra (Radhika)
,
Prateik Babbar (Udai)

Festivals

Sundance 2015

Awards

Audience Award (World Cinema Dramatic), Sundance Film Festival 2015

Elsewhere

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Māori Television

Winner of Sundance’s Audience Award for World Cinema, writer/director Prashant Nair’s handsomely produced Indian indie tells a classic tale of country lads finding their bearings in the big city. As a young boy, Ramakant watches his older brother Udai set off from their remote mountain village en route to America (‘Umrika’). Udai’s letters home are a long time coming, but, lavishly illustrated with magazine clippings, they infuse the whole village with American dreams, and even provide the impetus for Ramakant to learn to read. After a family tragedy, Ramakant himself sets out for Mumbai, determined to follow his brother’s path.

Set in the mid-80s, with global events viewed through an ironic prism of local misconceptions, and a soundtrack peppered with America-influenced vintage Indian pop, Umrika handles its big themes with a light, personal touch. Its bittersweet tone is anchored by Life of Pi star Suraj Sharma in a moving debut – while The Grand Budapest Hotel’s bellboy Tony Revolori turns up as his well-meaning buddy and light relief.