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’20 Weeks’ Shows a Couple Balancing Pregnancy, Health and the Future

Here's your daily dose of an indie film, web series, TV pilot, what-have-you in progress -- at the end of the week, you'll have the chance to vote for your favorite.

Here’s your daily dose of an indie film, web series, TV pilot, what-have-you in progress — at the end of the week, you’ll have the chance to vote for your favorite.

In the meantime: Is this a project you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments.

20 Weeks

Logline: “20 Weeks” is a film about a young couple who must decide on whether or not to move forward with their pregnancy after their baby is diagnosed with a serious health issue at the 20-week scan.

Elevator Pitch:
“20 Weeks” is a romantic drama about love, science and how prenatal and genetic testing impacts everyday people. The story is about a couple, who after learning that their baby has a serious health issue in utero, must decide on whether to move forward. The film is told in a nonlinear fashion and integrates abstract scientific images into the story. It goes from the present moment to the past, of recounting the love and courtship of Maya and Ronan, who are a 30-something couple, through the tough decisions they must make, against the backdrop of modern day Los Angeles.

Production Team:

Leena Pendharkar, Writer/Director
Directed the feature film, “Raspberry Magic,” which played in over 30 festivals, and is playing on TV via the Starz Network, as well as on amazon, Hulu and a number of other platforms. Leena recently wrote/directed the short film, “Dandekar Makes a Sandwich,” which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles and was selected as a Vimeo Staff Pick. Her feature screenplay, “Days with Dandekar,” was workshopped in the FIND Screenwriter’s Lab, and awarded a Tribeca All access grant. She has also worked extensively in new media, and started the YouTube channel So Natural TV. Her short films and sketches have been featured on Hello Giggles, Funny or Die, Comediva and many other places. She also teaches film production at Loyola Marymount University.

Jane Kelly Kosek, Producer
Has produced a number of feature films including “Pitching Tents,” “Straight Line,” “Tennesee,” “Not Since You,” “Take me Home,” and “The Diary of Preston Plummer.” She has also co-produced several documentary features, including “Industrial Light and Magic,” “Citizen Hearst,” and “The Imagineering Story.” She was also a producer on the documentary short “Pipe Dreams,” which was shortlisted for an Oscar. Her films have screened in numerous festivals and aired on TV via Netflix, Hulu and more.

Renuka Pullat, Executive Producer 
A serial entrepreneur, Renuka has been involved in both movie production and distribution of Bollywood films. She has played key roles in raising financing, planning shooting schedules, fulfilling shooting requirements and coordinating the post-production of numerous films. She has an extensive background in the development of feature films, having produced and distributed many major commercial Indian films including “Padmashree Laloo Prasad Yadav,” “Sarkar,” and “Dus.” She has founded two companies – Kria Entertainment in the US and Siren Media Company in Cambodia.  She is the Executive Producer of “Miss India America,” an independent film produced in California and released theatrically in 2016 and the drama/short film “Dandekar Makes a Sandwich” which released in 2015. She is currently involved in two tech start-ups and is also planning a live-action film with a diversified cast that will have worldwide appeal. Renuka graduated from the University of Bombay with a BA in Economics and Statistics and has an MBA from Seton Hall University.

Daud Sani, Director of Photography
Born in Pakistan and raised in the US, Daud Sani brings a personal touch to everything he DPs. With a bachelors in film, Daud has shot short films, commercials, music video, features, and reality content for networks such as the Style, PBS, E!, and Bravo. Passion for telling stories in visual medium helps Daud strives to cultivate his talent while always looking for innovation in an ever progressing film industry.

Adri Siriwatt, Production Designer
She began her career production designing Independent Films and Commercials. She has been awarded Best Production Design for her film “One Small Hitch” and nominated for a Sports Emmy for Best Production Design for her NBA Draft Commercial. She is a member of the ADG 800 and IATSE 476. She has worked in all areas of the Art Department and is known to make the impossible possible. Her most current project was as an Art Director for “Southside with You,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year and is releasing this Summer.

Rachana Sukhadia, Costume Designer
Translates her fascination with storytelling by connecting the audience to the characters in unique and believable ways. She enjoys the subtlety in detail and collaboration process with the actors and film crew in narrating the true authenticity of the characters. Rachana has traveled and studied indigenous textile designs while working alongside marginalized artisans in India. With her rich cultural roots and experiences she brings an unconventional perspective to costume design in the film industry. She has worked as a costume assistant and designer on a number of independent films, commercials and television shows.

Mariyam Mahbub, Associate Producer
She earned her MFA in Film Production at Loyola Marymount University in 2014 where she honed her storytelling abilities and mastered her editing skills by cutting several sitcom pilots as well as promotional spots for the university. Her thesis film, “Be Your Hero” is her first mockumentary short and homage to her favorite rom com TV shows. She is a prolific short filmmaker with a varied portfolio of projects, including various genres such as silent films (“The Librarian”), family dramas (“Remember Me Still”) and romantic comedies (“Be Your Hero”). Mariyam is passionate about independent filmmaking and has been working at IM Global, a leading independent film sales agency and production company since finishing her graduate degree. She is currently developing a web series, “Meet Cute,” which will begin principal photography in Fall 2016. Mariyam enjoys watching cat videos in her spare time.

About the Film:
In October of 2014, writer/director Leena Pendharker’s daughter was born with a serious, but treatable health condition called Pierre Robin Sequence. Going through this experience, she was struck by the marriage of science and ethics, and how fragile the balance really is. Sitting in the room, looking at a sonogram, the doctors ask you to make decisions that are tough, that have you question what’s right or wrong, and for which you need to go on faith to move forward. It was this experience that inspired Leena to tell this story.

Current Status: Fundraising on Indiegogo, principal photography starts June 9th in Los Angeles.

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