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A Short Film Written & Directed by Harshith S. Kotni


Vaanen (16) is an ambitious 1st generation Indian-American classically trained tabla player - but he’d much rather become the next big name in hip-hop. Blasting Kanye on the speakers, eating Taco Bell beefy burritos, and smoking with his friends, Vaanen's behavior is completely at odds with the expectations of his upbringing -- the Bay Area tech industry. When he skips an important networking dinner organized by his father to go work on his beats with his friends instead, a heated argument between father and son ensues. Culture and beliefs violently clash. With some advice from his best friend Rashaad, Vaanen learns that he must let his father into his life, leading him to mend his relationship with his father and find his unique musical voice in the process.



This story is deeply personal to me as it takes place in the community I was born and raised in, the Bay Area. Growing up I was a part of two separate cultures, one being my heavily traditional Hindu family and the other being the American Hip-hop world. I have shot heaps of rap videos and engrossed myself into rap culture. I have been to underground concerts, shot promotional video for street brands and met influential rappers. Yet, as a first-generation Indian American, I have had so many expectations pushed onto me. I must be a devoted Hindu, not eat beef, get stellar grades, don’t party, and most of all, follow every command of my father. Throughout my younger years, we have clashed due to our differences and how we believe is the proper way of life. I want to tell a story that brings both these worlds together and helps them understand each other. 



Help us shoot this incredibly personal film in the director's hometown, in Fremont CA.

Through our fiscal sponsor, Filmmakers Collaborative SF, your generous donations would go towards travel costs, accommodation, and gear rental.

Donations over $250 are tax-deductible

Join us on this beautiful journey to uplift South Asian voices!

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