Pavitra Chalam, Award-winning documentary filmmaker and Co-Creator of The Mums Word

In today’s episode of The Brand Called You, we have an award making filmmaker, Pavitra Chalam in conversation with our host Ashutosh Gagr. Pavitra has directed more than 200 films and has won several global awards for her documentaries, she’s here to share her journey with us. Pavitra tells us that she is greatly moved by the causes of social justice, human rights, maligned voices and so on and she wishes to capture them all to make the voices heard by everyone in the world. Her most recent work, Rooting for Roona, which is now on Netflix, is about the journey of a child with hydrocephalus who gets her surgery after her pictures go viral online. Pavitra then sheds some light on why it is so hard to get into the film business. Also the Co-founder of The Mum’s Word, Pavitra tells us about her new venture, an online platform which connects the mothers around the world and helps them through their daily struggles, either it be breastfeeding or any other issue. Pavitra aims to reach out to the mothers globally and help them through this crucial time. She then talks about the roles of fathers in supporting motherhood and she explains that it is very important for men to take equal responsibility for the child. A compassionate and a driven person, Pavitra’s story is full of inspiration. Tune in!

Pavitra Chalam, Award-winning documentary filmmaker and Co-Creator of The Mums Word

Profile

Pavitra Chalam is an award-winning documentary filmmaker based in Bangalore. Her films on issues of social importance have received critical acclaim across the world. She has directed over 200 films in the last 15 years and is the Founder of Curley Street. Pavitra’s journey with film started in 2003, where as part of the Youth Initiative for Peace in Pakistan, she made her film debut ‘Bus’ – a cinematic exposition on the shared ideals of the youth of both nations. Pavitra earned her Master’s in filmmaking at the New York Film Academy in 2006. Her thesis at the New York Film Academy ‘Anamika – Her Glorious Past’ went on to receive critical acclaim in festivals across the world and was screened at the World Bank in Washington DC. Pavitra has been privileged to receive numerous awards over the last decade including the Ability Media International Award in London for Best Film for ‘Khushboo’, a film about children with complex needs. She was awarded the Asia-Pacific Award for ‘Outstanding New Documentary Talent’ at the DocWeek film festival in Adelaide for Indelible, the story of seven people with Down syndrome living in India.
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She was also honored by the government of India in 2016 as one of 25 women achievers/ambassadors for social change. In January 2019, Women In Film (Los Angeles) announced the recipients of their 33rd annual Film Finishing Fund. Pavitra Chalam received the grant for Rooting for Roona. As the recipient of the Stella Artois grant it was the only film from India among the year’s grantees. Past recipients of the Fund have gone on to win Academy, Emmy, Sundance, Berlin Film Festival and Peabody Awards. The Stella Artois grant supports female filmmakers who are using the power of film to impact change.
Pavitra and co-director Akshay Shankar were flown to Sundance from the 24th to the 28th of January 2019 to receive the grant and attend sponsorship events, media interviews and meet with producers and distributors. The film had its World Premiere at International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala (IDSFFK) and was recently awarded the Audience Award for Best Short Film at the South Asian Film Festival of Orlando. ‘Rooting for Roona’ has been acquired by Netflix and was released worldwide on October 15th, 2020. Pavitra is also the co-creator of The Mums Word, a first of its kind Instagram platform for and by mothers In India. The aim is to create an insightful and empathetic platform for women to be candid about the mess, vulnerability, pain and wins of motherhood. As of October 2020, The Mums Word has 72,600 followers on Instagram making it one of the leading platforms in the country on Motherhood.

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