The South Asian Times

22 August 2019 11:59 AM

'Halwa' wins HBO APA Visionaries 2019 prize

Hollywood, CA: HBO Asian Pacific American Visionaries is a short film competition sponsored by HBO that provides emerging directors of Asian and/or Pacific Islander descent the opportunity to showcase their work.

‘Halwa' directed by Nirav Bhakta won the first prize. It is the story of an Indian woman who rekindles her relationship with a childhood sweetheart through Facebook messages, but her abusive husband takes notice. The film was co-directed by Gayatri Bajpai.

Judged by a panel of HBO executives, industry leaders, and fellow APA filmmakers, the competition seeks to identify cinematic storytellers who offer unique perspectives of the Asian Pacific American experience. The theme for the 2019 APA Visionaries Short Film Competition centers around the modern APA experience. Films should explore life in today’s digital, information age from the unique perspective of an Asian Pacific American cinematic storyteller.

In addition to receiving cash prizes, the three films were selected to make their premiere at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival in May 2019 and offered the opportunity to license their film to premiere exclusively on HBO and/or its platforms during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May 2019.

Each nominated short film was between 10-15 min of run time. Prior to the award presentation, all 3 nominated short films were screened at Pacific Design Center. It was followed by Q&A with all three directors by Sujata Day (Insecure).

"The APA Visionaries program is meant to serve as a platform to tell authentic Asian Pacific American stories and HBO is incredibly proud to showcase the works of these inspiring filmmakers," said Jackie Gagne, VP Multicultural Marketing at HBO. "We are seeing incredible momentum and are committed to providing more opportunities for rising filmmakers in this community." 

Update: 26 May, 2019