Having recently arrived in Los Angeles from India with her husband and son, Hema struggles with the challenge of making roots in America and seeks solace in connections to her homeland. An encounter with a young Marathi man threatens to upend her already fragile existence.

In this assured directorial debut, Ritvik Dhavale delves into the precarious existence of a woman who finds herself culturally displaced, reflecting on the forces that shape her choices and the familiar ties to the homeland that offer her the only solid ground beneath her feet. At the heart of the film lies a captivating performance by multi-time IFFLA alumna Rajshri Deshpande (Angry Indian Goddesses, Sexy Durga), who embodies Hema in all her vulnerability, grace, and spunk.

Hema Director Ritvik Dhavale
Ritvik Dhavale

Ritvik Dhavale is a writer and director who spent half his life in Pune, India, and the other half in Cupertino, California. The stories he wants to tell lie between these two worlds: some fully emerged into diaspora experiences, while others blur the line. Dhavale’s journey into filmmaking began as a thespian in high school theater. He received his B.A. in Screenwriting from UCLA in 2017. He gained professional experience as an assistant in the CAA Media Finance Group, a Coordinator in the Sundance Feature Film Program, and a Creative Assistant in the Netflix Original Independent Film Team before fully dedicating himself to bringing stories to life.

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Shorts Program 1

World Premiere

Ritvik Dhavale

Aishwarya Sonar, Shaurya Nanavati, Ritvik Dhavale

Ritvik Dhavale

Marcus Patterson

Raghav Puri, Aashish D'mello

Max Schoenberger, Clara Valenzuela

Rajshri Deshpande, Samrat Chakrabarti, Kapil Talwalkar, Neil Iyer