Already unlocked? for access
After unlocking, you'll have 30 days to start watching. Once you begin, you'll have 24 hours to finish watching. Need help?

HBO® APA Visionaries is a short film competition showcasing emerging Asian and Pacific Islander American filmmakers. To honor Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and our filmmakers, HBO is celebrating Asian and Pacific Islander communities and its stories by streaming winning films from previous years. Come gather in strength as we watch #HBOVisionaries shorts throughout the month.

These films are available for viewing from Friday, May 29th at 12pm PT to Sunday, May 31st at 11:59pm PT. 

On Friday, May 29th at 2pm PT, join us for the HBO APA Visionaries Roundtable Conversation, where we discuss the HBO APA Visionaries program and have a heartfelt conversation on the multiple and evolving layers of the APA filmmaker experience of today. E! host and correspondent Erin Lim, hosts Visionary finalists from across three classes, Dinh Thai (MONDAY), Maritte Go (REMITTANCE), Nirav Bhakta (HALWA), and Gayatri Bajpai (HALWA), joined by actress and filmmaker Sujata Day, for a conversation on what it means to be a storyteller and a leader. Click here to learn more.

On the eve of her wedding anniversary, empty-nester Sujata Chopra attempts to find some joy in her broken marriage, until she learns about the passing of her childhood companion’s spouse on Facebook. Having been disconnected from this woman for over 30 years over a misunderstanding, Sujata finds the courage to reach out to send her condolences. They reconnect, sparking friction when Sujata’s controlling husband, Dr. Chopra, finds out.

This film was a finalist for the 2019 HBO APA Visionaries Short Film Competition, and premiered at the 2019 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

Gayatri Bajpai

Gayatri Everitt Bajpai is a multi-hyphenate filmmaker who co-directed HALWA, a finalist for the HBO APA Visionaries Short Film Competition that has won awards at other festivals around the world. Gayatri is also the writer/director of RIO, executive produced by James Franco and incorporated into a feature film anthology of the same name. She is a two-time winner of the UCLA Directors Spotlight for her films MUCK (Best Documentary) and HOUSEWARMING (Best Comedy). With a multiethnic, international upbringing, Gayatri is interested in stories about people who find themselves caught between cultures. She is currently developing a feature screenplay and finishing a documentary with co-director Nirav Bhakta about the experiences of a Mexican trans woman who escaped a cartel. She holds an MFA in directing from UCLA.

Nirav Bhakta

Nirav Bhakta is an award winning Director/Actor/Writer who grew up as an undocumented immigrant in motels. Nirav's background extends from architecture to the North Indian classical dance form of Kathak. Due to the lack of authentic roles and experiences as an actor, Nirav began creating zero budget short films focusing on the immigrant experience, including a portrait documentary short revolving around an immigrant sex worker who was human trafficked by a drug cartel. In 2019, Nirav and his co-director Gayatri Bajpai were announced a finalist of the HBO APA Visionaries Short Film Competition for their film HALWA, which is now streaming on HBO. Nirav is currently in Visual Communications’ Armed With A Camera fellowship and is creating a short film for the non-profit School On Wheels in the CBS Pipeline Challenge.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    15 minutes
  • Language
    English, Hindi
  • Country
    United States
  • Director
    Gayatri Bajpai, Nirav Bhakta
  • Screenwriter
    Gayatri Bajpai, Nirav Bhakta
  • Producer
    Kelsey Fordham, Gayatri Bajpai, Nirav Bhakta
  • Executive Producer
    Vee Kumari
  • Cast
    Vee Kumari, Asit Vyas, Sanchita Malik, Aishveryaa Nidhi, Samiya Khan, Renu Razdan, Puja Gupta, Sonal Shah