During festive Rakhi—the day sisters tie their brothers a thread asking for their protection and wishing them a long and healthy life—a feisty young Indian American girl, playing rough with her male cousins, gets an unpleasant surprise, after which they don’t want to play with her anymore. 

With a sharp yet delicate eye, alum Ragini Bhasin continues to explore the subject of female adolescence that she tackled in Ghazaal (IFFLA 2021). Showing remarkable facility in working with child actors, all of whom—but especially lead Ayanna Patel—are aptly cast here, Bhasin allows us to observe the alternating sweetness and cruelty of little kids, while suggesting that patriarchal gender binaries are coded early on in childhood.

Fiction, Female-centered, Woman Director, Coming-of-Age

Ragini Bhasin
Ragini Bhasin

Ragini Bhasin is a Los Angeles-based writer and director, born and raised in Delhi, India. A graduate of Chapman University, her award-winning short films have screened at Oscar-qualifying festivals like Palm Springs, Nashville, LA Shorts International, LAAPFF, Flicker’s Rhode Island International, Aesthetica, KCET- Fine Cut by PBS, and at Femme Filmmakers in the same line-up as Olivia Wilde and Lulu Wang. Her film was also featured in the Wrap’s ShortList Film Festival in 2019 and distributed by ShortsTV, Argo Channel, and PBS, as well as the German ARTE channel in France, Germany, and Belgium. Bhasin is also the recipient of the Meredith Macrae Memorial Award by Women in Film, the Maya Deren Short Film Innovation Prize by Femme Filmmakers, and the BAFTA Newcomers Program. Additionally, she won the CAPE x Janet Yang Productions’ Short Film Challenge in 2022, and Film Independent’s Project Involve – Directing Fellowship in 2023.

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October 13, 2023 7:00 pm

Ragini Bhasin

Aishwarya Sonar

Ragini Bhasin

Robert Nachman

Brandon Yee

Ayanna Patel, Neil Iyer, Natasha Chandel