Sunrise, the film is an international social media experiment about Child Trafficking in India.
U.S based producer, programmer and chair of Women in Film International L.A, Arati Misro, has teamed up with European based writer, director, Partho Sen Gupta on “Sunrise” starring Life of Pi’s Adil Hussain and crtically acclaimed star Tannishtha Chatterjee from Brick Lane.
This is a feature film thriller addressing child trafficking in India. The filmmakers are also crowd funding for production funds. The project is one of the 12 Indian projects that have been selected for the Open Doors program of Locarno Film Festival. Open Doors is the co-production lab of the festival which awards three cash prizes at the end of a workshop.
I am exec-producing a film called Sunrise which addresses the harsh realities of child trafficking in India. The story compelled me to get involved in order to ensure that this film will get funded for principal photography and get exposure in North America. This is an incredible opportunity on so many levels personally and professionally. I have worked in film/tv production, distribution, marketing & I see this project as an experiment of how these components in the entertainment industry do merge on an international level. I am an independent producer based in the U.S who wants to tell meaningful stories. I see this more possible than ever before because of technology and social media. I can join forces effectively with more filmmakers from all over the world who have a socially relevant story to tell yet with a commercial element so that the film can reach our masses directly on a timely basis.
I met Partho in 2006 at Cannes film festival when I was working in home video distribution. I felt he was so talented, intelligent, passionate and driven. Five years later, he still is. Partho and I kept in touch. We recently re-connected because I saw what he was working on via Facebook. Partho, based out of Europe has been very successful as a filmmaker & an entertainment professional working in various capacities. It is wonderful to see him thrive in Europe and on an international level. His last feature film premiered in Berlin. He frequents India for his films too.
For the first time after a long time, I feel like I am in my element working with Partho because I am a part of a film that is authentic yet has an international consciousness and is commercial because its of the thriller genre. Partho is more concerned about telling an authentic story with a “western sensibility” than just “the sell”. Its my responsibility to advise him the best I can in order for this film to do well on an international level which in turn guides Partho’s career so he can continue to flourish and I can do this again and flourish with him. I do feel U.S audiences want to see films now that are meaninful, entertaining and that can resonate because of the authenticity it carries.
Many traditional distributors frown on sub-titles because its a tough sell in North America but I think because of technology , the Internet and this explosion of information, People are thinking differently ( meaning Americans) People do want to watch a film in the language its supposed to be photographed in.
As a chair of the Women in film International Committee L.A. I constantly meet people who do have an international consciousness & people who have come to LA seeking opportunities to tell their story from their ancestral land. One of my goals as a chair is to give these women & individuals tools and knowledge they need to tell their stories and find a market for their movies which does exist in North America. This is crucial in how we understand and embrace that we are all connected in more ways than we know. I would like to share some personal words from Partho which are quoted from our website.
Once in Mumbai, I saw a group of people outside a police station silently protesting. There were men and women of all ages and all classes of Indian society. Their faces were drawn and they sat or stood holding large pictures of smiling children. The names, ages and the dates their children had disappeared were handwritten under the pictures. Some had disappeared on their way back from school, some while they were playing in gardens and parks or while out with their parents.
As I stood and watched their sadness, I was reminded of something that had happened to me when I was seven years old, at a time when parents still allowed their children to go out unsupervised. My friends and I were playing innocently on the beach. As we dug holes and built turrets in the sand, two men came up, grabbed me and tried to take me away. I screamed and struggled. My friends called for help and some adults came running. The two men panicked, dropped me and ran away. This traumatic event has stayed with me throughout my life, often reproducing itself in disturbing nightmares. I have often wondered what my life would have been like had I been abducted. I have tried to imagine my parents’ grief and the effect it would have had on their lives. I wonder what and where I would be today. I imagined my parents standing across the street, silently holding up my picture, my father looking defeated, as if he had been rendered impotent by this loss, but with a hint of anger in his eyes, a spark that could ignite at any moment. My mother just sitting and staring into the distance.
Sunrise is a thought provoking and hard-hitting film that addresses the taboo of child abuse in India. In 2007, the Ministry of Women and Child Development published the ‘Study on Child Abuse: India 2007’. It reveals that an alarming 53.22% of children in India reported having faced sexual abuse. Nevertheless, the Indian Penal Code does not recognize child abuse as an offense and most offenders (local and foreign) escape with light sentences.
My aim is to meld social commentary and the thriller genre together in order to extend the film’s reach as, due to the popularity of fiction feature films in India, a fictionalised account will have a greater impact than a documentary. The film’s intention is to generate discussion of this neglected topic among ordinary Indians and encourage legal action against those who target children for abuse.
Sunrise stars Life of Pi’s Adil Hussain and crtically acclaimed star Tannishtha Chatterjee from Brick Lane, a feature film thriller addressing a gripping story about child trafficking in India.
Sunrise (Arunoday) selected finalist at the Open Doors 2011 co-production lab at the 64th Locarno International Film Festival.
To find out more information about this film and the filmmakers, you can check out
where the filmmakers are also crowdfunding for production funds. For any queries, you can email
arati.misro (at) gmail.com.
Teaser is also available on the above link.
Producer, Programmer, Casting Director
Arati Misro made documentary films in college for her degree requirements at U.C. San Diego where she double majored in Anthropology and Mass Communications. Her true passion for storytelling was born in India during a 6-month stay where she documented and worked with East Indian women and their issues with violence. After receiving her MFA from the Amercian Film Institute in Producing, Arati has worked in all capacities of production for independent feature film and network television such as Fox and Discovery in India, Europe and the US .In 2005, she transitioned into independent film distribution and marketing, she has closed several key deals in domestic and foreign sales. She has attended all major world markets. Arati is presently working as a consultant in programming, casting and is Producing south asian content. Among her credits, she has earned numerous awards and grants for her work from the ASC, DGA, AFI and the Caucus Foundation for Producers. Her films have traveled throughout the world via film festivals and student programs. She is currently the co-chair of Women in Film International, Los Angeles where she has done extensive programming with film festivals, Intl. Women’s Day, AFM & WIFI , evening of shorts program. Her credits include, It’s a Mismatch, Night of Henna and Badger & her latest feature, Troublemaker. Misro has now partnered with a Mumbai production company who completed The Experiment with Sony Pictures. ( WestEast films) & is involved with several initiatives in Education for India about film financing and distribution. She assisted in creating Prime Xchange India, based in Berlin, Germany. Misro is now exec producing “Sunrise” a feature film thriller about child abduction in Mumbai. Her latest credits as a casting director are “Homecoming” starring Ravi Kapoor & Meera Simhan and “A Good Match”.