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

Director, Screenplay


Swati Shetty
Manish Mundra


Petra Korner


Xavier Box
Patricia Rommel

Costume designer

Nyla Masood


Dustin O’Halloran


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)


Sundance 2015


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


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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.