Sindhis: Soman Chainani ( Writer & Director- NY)

Soman Chainani :Newyork:

Soman Chainani is a graduate of the MFA Film Program at Columbia University, and the recipient of the school’s top prize, the FMI Fellowship for writing and directing. In addition, Soman is the recipient of the CINE Golden Eagle Prize for excellence in directing, a coveted award which launched the careers of Ron Howard, Steven Spielberg, and Robert Altman. His short films have played over 150 international film festivals, won over 20 jury and audience awards, and secured theatrical and ancillary distribution in over 100 territories.

Before joining the Columbia University film program, Soman graduated Harvard University in 2001, summa cum laude and top-ranked in his field, with a degree in English & American Literature. He then worked alongside Mira Nair at the acclaimed director’s production company, Mirabai Films, and was the co-founder of the South Asian International Film Festival, the largest event of its kind in the country, now entering its fourth year in New York City.

SUHANE SAPNE (‘SWEET DREAMS’), Soman’s first short film, was shot in December 2004 in Bombay, India, toured with Asian Cinevision, and ultimately concluded its festival run with a rare theatrical release in Bombay.

In 2005, Soman directed DAVY & STU, an adaptation of Anton Dudley’s acclaimed stage play. DAVY & STU became one of the most celebrated short films of 2006, winning Grand Jury awards at the Rhode Island International Film Festival, the Hamptons International Film Festival, and the CINE Awards during its international tour which took it to over 50 events on five continents. DAVY & STU has been acquired for distribution in over 100 international territories, and in November 2007 was released exclusively in North America by Strand Releasing, as part of the long-standing, best-selling BOYS LIFE series.

Soman’s latest and biggest short film, KALI MA, exploded onto the international festival scene, winning jury or audience prizes at its first three events in Honolulu, New York City, and Philadelphia. It then played over 55 film festivals on 6 continents, including events in Seattle, Dublin, Sao Paolo, Johannesburg, Lisbon, Melbourne, San Francisco, Copenhagen, Warsaw, Moscow, New Orleans, Tehran, Madrid, and Mumbai, and recently was featured in The Times of India, the country’s largest newspaper as one of the ‘undiscovered gems’ of the year. Only two days after its premiere, KALI MA finalized North American distribution with PictureThis Entertainment, international distribution with Ouat Media, and premiered on the MTV-owned channel LOGO in October 2007.

Soman’s first feature script, LOVE MARRIAGE, was the subject of front-page features in the Bombay Times, Hindustan Times, and Times of India, and was a finalist in the prestigious C.A.P.E. Foundation Competition, NewDraft Competition, Big Bear Lake competition. Additionally, the script was selected for the IFP Market, London Finance Market, Mannheim Film Market, and Goa IFFI Fair, and shortlisted for Expo 5 and the 2006 Sundance Screenwriters and Sundance Directors’ Lab. In October 2007, the project also won the coveted $100,000 Shasha Grant at the first Middle East Film Financing Circle, given by a jury selected from 40 top international film executives, including Harvey Weinstein, Paul Haggis, former BBC head David Thompson, Hyde Park CEO Ashoke Amitraj, and celebrated Asian producer Nansung Shi. The story of an Indian family torn apart by dueling weddings, LOVE MARRIAGE will be produced by Ophira Dagan (SWIMMERS), and Forward Films’ Tracy Brimm (FAR FROM HEAVEN), and Kate Myers in 2011.

In November 2007, Soman was invited as part of the CBS Directing Initiative to shadow director Joshua Marston (MARIA FULL OF GRACE) on the set of the upcoming CBS series SWINGTOWN. In 2008, he also attended the prestigious Berlinale Talent Campus as part of the Berlin Film Festival, invited on the strength of his writing and directing. In 2009, he was also nominated for a NewNowNext Award, sponsored by LOGO, in the Brink of Fame category for his work as a writer/director.

Currently, Soman is writing the feature animation musical MUMBO JUMBO for Aardman Animation (WALLACE & GROMIT, FLUSHED AWAY, CHICKEN RUN), as well as adapting the beloved children’s book THE PUSHCART WAR for Jane Startz Productions. In addition, he’s creating and writing the original dramatic series WEDDING HOUSE for Tiger Aspect Productions in the UK.

Soman currently lives in New York City.

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