Slant 11 Preview: Fatakra

Slant is proud to screen Soham Mehta’s Fatakra at our festival this year. Fatakra (which means “firecracker” in Gujarati) has been playing at festivals around the country (including SXSW) to critical acclaim and we’re delighted to present its Houston premiere. It recently won a Student Academy Award. Not too shabby, Soham!

The film tells the story of Naveen (Samrat Chakrabarti), an immigrant who left his family behind three years ago to work in Texas. Now, his wife and young son are joining him in the States, and the reunion is filled with tension and high emotion.

Soham told Austin 360 in an interview, “I was looking for stories about relationships that had a separation and were now coming together. I went through different story ideas, and this was the most obvious choice, because in a way it is the experience of my parents and many people like them. So in a way it allowed me to pay tribute to their experience but not just make a tribute film because it had an emotional core that I could relate to.”

Samrat Chakrabarti as Naveen in Fatakra.

Soham, who has had two other films in prior years of Slant (Released and Survivors), also has the distinction of being the only Slant artist who is from Houston. Born in India, but raised in Houston, Soham founded Houston’s Shunya Theatre, a theater troupe dedicated to voicing the South Asian American experience.

After leading the troupe for four years while working a day job in the tech industry, he went back to school at UT Austin to get his MFA in film. (Along the way, he co-wrote the funny feature film Where’s the Party YAAR.) He now lives in New York, working as a freelance editor and pursing his own projects. We look forward to seeing what he does next! Read more about Soham in this interview.

Fatakra and other films screen at Slant on August 11.

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