Director: Shireen Pasha
You of Many Days is about a young woman’s journey for redemption when all hope seems lost. The film opens in 2011 in Bombay, a city made of seven mangrove islands at the edge of the Arabian Sea, as people across the city rush to listen to celebrated writer Jheel Chopra’s new short story over the radio. The audience is unaware that the story Jheel is about to share is quite personal. Jheel traces her narrative back to 1952, a small village of Feni, ten kilometers north of the Bay of Bengal – with the young melancholic Sagor, her uncle and father figure, who struggles to write compelling scripts for the film industry in Dhaka. But Sagor cares less about money and fame, and more about writing a starring role for his beloved Ranga, a young Manipuri woman who had arrived fifteen years before with a photograph of the iconic actress Madhubala to become the second wife of his father, Baki, the tax collector. Baki had died in his sleep the week before so his first wife decides to marry Ranga off to her drunkard son, Shimul – who runs away at the sight of Ranga’s large feet the very night of their marriage. Jheel then relates how she was born to Ranga and how her childish passion for different foods and tastes emerged. As she grows she then learned of the delights of growing food, of the unusual love between Ranga and Sagor, of Ranga’s dream to become an actress, and of Sagor’s sacrifice. But all reveries come to an end when circumstances push Jheel to make the journey to Bombay. Once in Bombay, Jheel awkwardly finds love and redemption by first devising the redemption of the man who killed her family.
Shireen Pasha has been making independent films since 2002. She has made two documentaries, What is time? (a question of the concept of time as people rebuild lives in post-tsunami Sri Lanka), and Slowly Slowly Mud and Lotus (a view into the insights of Afghan artisans as they rebuild the Old City in Kabul) – both films premiered at the 3rd i San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival. She has also made one docu-drama The Ruti Eaters (about a Muslim immigrant family adjusting to post 9/11 America with love). Filmmaker Godfrey Reggio calls Slowly Slowly Mud and Lotus a joyful insight into the intelligence, tradition and profound conviviality of artisans in Afghanistan. In addition to Godfrey Reggio, Shireen’s films have been reviewed by the BBC, San Francisco Bay Guardian, and Kishore Mahbubani. Tony Safford, Executive Vice President of World-Wide Acquisitions at 20th Century Fox says of You of Many Days, “It is my hope and belief that it can work globally and stand among the best in international cinema.”
Zena Howard is a highly experienced marketing, communications, sponsorship and project management professional. Her career has spanned commercial clients including the film and TV industries; charities including BAFTA, and the British Film Institute (BFI). Working for BAFTA, she enabled the refurbishment of BAFTA’s famous screening room by mobilising key figures in the film and TV industries to sponsor the project. In the film industry, Zena has marketed over 100 Art House and American Independent feature films, (including Waltz with Bashir, Revanche, Le Havre, O’Horten, Edge of Heaven), several of which then went on to be BAFTA and OSCAR nominated.