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Across the Ocean

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Across the Ocean
Directed byUma Kumarapuram and Nicole Donadio
Produced byUma Kumarapuram and Nicole Donadio
Written byUma Kumarapuram and Nicole Donadio
Starring
  • Apoorva Bose
  • Anna Jaller
  • Sreeram Ramachandran
  • Jon Eric Hoffman
  • Muthumani
  • Devika Krishnan
  • Austin Arnold
  • Darin Toonder
  • Veena Nair
CinematographyUma Kumarapuram and Nicole Donadio
Edited byNoufal Ahmed, Nicole Donadio
Production
company
  • Quadd Productions
  • Krahen Media
Release date
Running time
82 minutes..[1]
CountryIndia, United States
LanguageMalayalam, English
Budget$35,000 (estimated)

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Across the Ocean is a 2019 Indian-American comedy-drama film written, directed and produced by Nicole Donadio and Uma Kumarapuram. The film is about two young women, Nila from India and Holly from the US, wanting to travel to the other country, and has to find creative ways to overcome their social obstacles. The movie stars Anna Jaller and Apoorva Bose in the lead roles, and has Sreeram Ramachandran, Austin Arnold, Darin Toonder, Muthumani and others in the supporting cast. The movie is portrayed in an intercut narrative pattern of two parallel stories happening in India and the US. Across The Ocean is the first movie to have a collaboration between two filmmakers from two continents to make a narrative fiction, while not having any physical meetup or in-person contact during the entire process[2]

Produced by Donadio and Kumarapuram through their production companies, the movie had its World Premiere at Chicago South Asian Film Festival on 21st September 2019, and is released internationally via the pay-per-view platform Cinemapreneur on April 16th, 2021.[3]. Across The Ocean is a 2019 Indian-American comedy-drama film written, directed and produced by Nicole Donadio and Uma Kumarapuram. The film is about two young women, Nila from India and Holly from the US, wanting to travel to the other country, and has to find creative ways to overcome their social obstacles. The movie stars Anna Jaller and Apoorva Bose in the lead roles, and has Sreeram Ramachandran, Austin Arnold, Darin Toonder, Muthumani and others in the supporting cast. The movie is portrayed in an intercut narrative pattern of two parallel stories happening in India and the US. Across The Ocean is the first movie to have a collaboration between two filmmakers from two continents to make a narrative fiction, while not having any physical meetup or in-person contact during the entire process[2]

Produced by Donadio and Kumarapuram through their production companies, the movie had its World Premiere at Chicago South Asian Film Festival on 21st September 2019, and is released internationally via the pay-per-view platform Cinemapreneur on April 16th, 2021[3].

Plot[edit]

Holly (Anna Jaller), a young executive working in California, is unenthusiastic about her current mundane job and life. She dreams of travelling the world. Thousands of miles away in India, Nila (Apoorva Bose), a mid-20s software engineer from Cochin, has her eyes set in migrating to USA, by finding a US-working fiancée.

Holly is excited to get an offer of opportunity to work in Cochin, but Jacob (Jon Eric Hoffman), her boyfriend isn’t much interested in leaving the safety of his current job and life. And Nila gets a shock, when Anand (Sreeram Ramachandran), her US-working-fiancée tells her of his intention to settle in India post-marriage. Desperate, Nila starts trying to figure out how to use her till-then-neglected-career as a way to travel to USA. And Holly decides to take up the job in India, leading to her break-up with Jacob, just as he was planning to propose to her.

But still things doesn’t go as they wish for both young ladies. Holly’s job opportunity is cancelled last minute when the investors pull away. And Nila is taken out of the office team despite her good work, because of her carelessness in the past. Both ladies realize that if they want to get to their dreams, they have to get creative and take a bold step at the moment.

Cast[edit]

  • Apoorva Bose as Nila Menon
  • Anna Jaller as Holly Morgan
  • Sreeram Ramachandran as Anand
  • Jon Eric Hoffman as Jacob
  • Muthumani as Gayathri Ram
  • Devika Krishnan as Sumi
  • Austin Arnold as Marcus
  • Darin Toonder as Shawn
  • Veena Nair as Jamila Rahman
  • Jolly Chirayath as Saraswathi Amma
  • Warren Davis as Hughes
  • ErinRose Widner as Zoe
  • Mohan Angamaly as Raghava Menon
  • Thankam Mohan as Parvathi Amma
  • Vishnu Mohan as Nivin Menon
  • Adam Pilver as Mitch
  • Shelley Phillips as Susan
  • Sharath Menon as Arjun
  • Krishna Smitha as Aanya Johar
  • Meghan Bradley as Rose
  • Gopu Kesav as Anand’s Father
  • Pria Menon as Anand’s Mother
  • Anthony Brannan as Jonathan
  • Ganga G Nair as the Beautician

Development and production[edit]

Donadio and Kumarapuram met online, when Kumarapuram chanced upon the video “Women of Wallstreet[4]” in YouTube, directed by Donadio, a gender-reversed parody trailer of the movie “Wolf of Wallstreet”. Finding the video interesting, Kumarapuram sent a congratulatory message to Donadio on Facebook, which started off a friendship and a unique filmmaking partnership across the continents. Donadio was working as a producer/director with Fox and later ABC at the time, and Kumarapuram was working as a Cinematographer in the Malayalam feature film industry.

Filming[edit]

Donadio and Kumarapuram wrote the script in a year, exchanging their ideas and drafts over thousands of emails over the months. Once the scripting was over, they chose crowdfunding to finance the movie. Two crowdfunding campaigns, Donadio’s in Kickstarter and Kumarapuram’s in Wishberry India[5] was conducted successfully in 2016 to finance the production of the movie.

The filming took place in Los Angeles, USA for Donadio’s story and Cochin, India for Kumarapuram’s story. Two crews worked simultaneously during 2017, with artists and technicians from Movie, Television and Drama spaces of California and Cochin. The two crews kept discussing and checking dailies at the time of filming, over the internet, to ensure the consistency of the output.

Once they finished shooting, Donadio and Kumarapuram did a rough edit and sent to each other for comparison and carried out necessary patch shoots based on that. The intercutting points were already discussed and set during the late scripting stage, so that the story transitioned from one place to the other smoothly. Once the whole shooting was done, both filmmakers edited their halves and sent the cuts for the final edit.

The final Editor Rashin Ahmed was from Kerala and the music composer Crystal Grooms Mangano was from Los Angeles, which was a conscious decision from Donadio and Kumarapuram to keep the flavour of the movie intact. The final post production of the movie was done in Los Angeles.

Not once, during any of the stages of the moviemaking, did Donadio or Kumarapuram, or anyone from the two crew teams met face to face[6]

Release[edit]

Across The Ocean had its world premiere at the Chicago South Asian Film Festival in September 2019, and went on to participate in various film festivals including Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival, LIFFT India Filmotsav, International Film Festival of Thrissur, International Film Festival of Ahmednagar etc.

Across The Ocean got released internationally on the pay-per-view platform Cinemapreneur on April 16th, 2021.

Reception[edit]

The film has received generally positive reviews from critics and viewers. The unique story behind the filming itself has attracted many, garnering a curiosity to watch the movie. Jigar Shah, the festival manager of Chicago South Indian Film Festival calls the movie “a very new and unique concept[7]”, while Keyur Setha of Cinestaan rated the movie 3 out 4, calling it “an interesting experiment but also a moving tale of two women based in different parts of the world having the same goal[8]”.

Across The Ocean was one among the Film Bazaar Recommends movies in the NFDC Film Market of 2018 in Goa, and went on to win the Best Screenplay, Best Editing and Best Actress for Apoorva Bose at the International Film Festival of Ahmednagar, the Best Feature award at the Asian Film Festival of LA Hollywood, get nominated for Best Comedy Feature and Best Actress for Bose at the Genre Celebration Festival, and bag the Best Original Idea and get nominated for Best Feature, Best Writing and Best Editing at the Top Indie Film Awards.

References[edit]

  1. "Across the Ocean".
  2. 2.0 2.1 "'Across the Ocean': How two women in different continents made a film together". The News Minute. 2019-09-21. Retrieved 2021-03-29.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Correspondent, Our. "The Great Indian Kitchen, Aunty Sudha Aunty Radha to be available on Cinemapreneur in April". Cinestaan. Retrieved 2021-04-02.
  4. The Women of Wall Street - (Trailer Parody of The Wolf of Wall Street), retrieved 2021-03-29
  5. "Across The Ocean". www.wishberry.in. Retrieved 2021-03-29.
  6. "Across The Ocean: Making a Film From Two Ends of The World. Q&A with Nicole Donadio & Uma Kumarapuram". B-Raja. 2019-09-22. Retrieved 2021-03-29.
  7. "Celebrating Ten Years of CSAFF: A Talk with Festival Manager, Jigar Shah". B-Raja. 2019-10-07. Retrieved 2021-03-29.
  8. Seta, Keyur. "Across The Ocean review: Story of two women from different continents having the same goal is heartwarming". Cinestaan. Retrieved 2021-03-29.

External Links[edit]


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