About the Director
I am a university professor by day and a filmmaker by night. I have lived on a few continents in my life, but have been settled in California for the last 20 years, via India and London. I live with my two fabulous children, Cerina and Amal (see if you can spot them at the end of the trailer!), and my equally fabulous partner, John.
My first film was the feature documentary, The Shape of Water, narrated by Susan Sarandon (www.theshapeofwatermovie.com), which screened in Istanbul, Rome, Barcelona, London, Toronto, San Francisco, Washington DC, and Abu Dhabi. The Shape of Water won a number of awards including Best Documentary (Queen’s International Film Festival and Miami Women’s International Film Festival), the World Cinema Award (DC Independent Film Festival), and Best Director (San Francisco Women’s Film Festival), as well as two HUGO awards.
The Shape of Water was also selected as the centerpiece for the Human Rights section at the 2008 Middle East International Film Festival in Abu Dhabi. After the screening, I was on a panel with Susan Sarandon, discussing human rights in relation to the film. Imagine how pleased I was with that event!
In making The Shape of Water, I discovered how much I love making films – from concept right up to the final push in post-production. Films reach a much wider audience than do academic books and articles, and as a medium for social justice and changing the world, films have a different and, at times, a very immediate impact. That is why I now make films: to try to speed up process of social justice.
I am very passionate about my new film Nothing Like Chocolate. Knowing the harsh conditions faced by the people, often children, who harvest cocoa in West Africa and elsewhere around the world, I knew I had to spread the word about how all of this might be done differently.
My hope is that this story will help inspire a new generation of people also passionate for change.
– Kum-Kum Bhavnani