Academy award winner Lisa Fruchtman has worked as an editor in Hollywood films and television. She has worked in such iconic films like Apocalypse Now, The Right Stuff, Children of A Lesser God, Godfather-3 among others. And recently she released her first documentary film Sweet Dreams that she made with her brother Bob Fruchtman.
Lisae got her start with Chicago-based Kartemquin Films and then moved to San Francisco Bay area where she worked in documentaries and Hollywood films. In the 1970s and 1980s Francis Ford Coppola and Phil Kaufman made their iconic films from the bay area.
n Part-2 of our conversation Lisa talks about how she began her career in the film industry as an editor and what it was like working with Coppola and Kaufman. For instance, they worked on Coppola’s Apocalypse Now for over 2 years. Besides mainstream Hollywood films Lisa also worked on The Grateful Dead documentary.
Photo credit: Sweet Dreams website
Academy award winner Lisa Fruchtman has worked as an editor in Hollywood films and television, and now has her first documentary out called “Sweet Dreams.” She collaborated with her brother Rob Fruchtman in making this unusual film that captures the dreams, hopes and the healing of a group of women in Rwanda.
Through “Sweet Dreams,” the Fruchtmans’ highlight how drumming and opening an ice cream shop helped a group of women rebuild their lives in post-genocide Rwanda. The 1994 genocide in Rwanda left the country badly scarred and battered with uneasy relationships between the various tribal groups in the country. Healing and rebuilding their lives was a major challenge for many, who had lost their family members. A group of women found their way to healing and happiness in an unusual way. They first created the first all-women drumming group and then went on to open an ice cream shop with the help of 2 New York entrepreneurs.
In Part-1 of our interview we spoke with Lisa on how and why she got to make this unusual film set in Rwanda.
“Sweet Dreams” has won a handful of awards in various film festivals and releases in San Francisco bay area on Dec 6, 2013.
Lisa has worked as an editor in many well-known Hollywood films like “Godfather 3,” “Apocalypse Now,” ”The Right Suff,” and others.
Photo credit: Sweet Dreams
When you think of Americans in India in the early 20thc not too many names may come to your mind right? But, there was a small trickle of Americans who came to India in the early 20thc and one of them was Samuel Evans Stokes, who later was known by his Indian name Satyanand Stokes. He was a Quaker by heritage as his grand-daughter Asha Sharma puts it. In 1904 Stokes had just turned 21 years old when he made his journey from Philadelphia to India.
That 1904 visit turned into a very long one and eventually Stokes settled down in India and raised a family in Himachal Pradesh. He was the American, who brought in a certain strain of apples (Delicious) into Himachal Pradesh and helped start an apple revolution in that state. Today, apples form a key cash crop of Himachal Pradesh.
The story of Stokes is chronicled in An American in Gandhi’s India by his grand-daughter Asha Sharma, who lives in the San Francisco bay area. We spoke with her about her American-Pahadi (pahadi means from the mountains) grandfather’s journey to India. Stokes was the only American to go to jail for fighting alongside Mahatma Gandhi during India’s freedom struggle.
This interview was originally recorded for TV and aired in the SF bay area. You can watch the video interview here.
Photo credit: Asha Sharma
Los Angeles-based filmmaker Sushrut Jain’s new documentary is inspired by cricket. Cricket and films are his twin passions, and his documentary “Beyond All Boundaries” is a perfect reflection of his passions.
Set against the 2011 Cricket World Cup match in India, the film highlights the powerful influence that cricket has on millions of people in India and how it has changed their lives. The documentary traces the lives of 3 very different super fans, who are united in their love for the game. Two of the super fans are cricket players from Mumbai (Bombay), while the third is Sudhir Kumar from Bihar, a huge fan of cricket, who travels around the country to show his support to the game. The young man lives almost a monk like existence in his single-minded devotion to the game. Lack of money does not deter him from traveling around the country and display his devotion to his favorite cricket played Sachin Tendulkar, who just retired from the sports a few days ago.
The film shows you a very different picture of India and how cricket has inspired millions of Indians around the country. It is very rare to see a sport-related film on India, and Sushrat Jain does a brilliant job of capturing the other India that we barely get to see in films.
We caught up with Sushrat Jain at the 3rd i South Asian International Film Festival in San Francisco and talked about how he switched his jobs and became a filmmaker and what inspired him to make this documentary. Trained as an economist from Stanford University, he worked as a consultant for a few years before he switched his career and became a filmmaker. His first short film was “Andheri.” We also spoke to him about how Kunal Nayyar of “The Big Bang Theory,” fame teamed up with him to raise money via Kickstarter for “Beyond All Boundaries.”
The film is currently being shown at various film festivals.
Americans in India go back a couple of hundred years ago – think 17thc when the British were establishing their presence in India. When you think of 17thc there are couple of names that come to mind: Elihu Yale, President of Madras and Nathaniel Higginson, who was the first mayor of Madras in the 17thc. Yale University is named after Elihu Yale, who was born in Boston, but grew up in England. He was an Englishman. Nathaniel Higginson was born in Massachusetts, studied at Harvard and then went to England to work and from there made his way to India.
But, that was in the 17thc. What about Americans in recent times? We talked to Deirdré Straughan of San Francisco, who share her story about studying in an American school that was founded in 19thc in a remote town in the Indian Himalayas. That school was Woodstock founded in 1854 in Landour, Uttarakhand in India. The school was started by an American and a British points out Deirdré.
Woodstock was originally started for girls, but today it is an international co-educational school with students from different parts of the world. But, why did the founders choose Landour, a remote Himalayan town for their school? During the 19thc hill stations were popular and noted for their relatively safety from a health perspective. The hill stations were far from the hot plains and far from mosquitoes. You have to think pre-antibiotics time points out Deidre and that may have colored the founders of Woodstock to establish the school at Landour.
The school was originally meant for missionary children, whose parents worked in British India and neighboring states. By the time Deirdre came as a student to Woodstock in the mid-1970s the composition of the students had changed. Only a third of the students were missionary children, the others were a mix of students from around the world.
Deirdre highlights an interesting cultural dimension about the students who study at Woodstock. These are kids who were born in one country, grew up in another and now live in a different country points out Deirdre. The term “Third Culture Kids,” is used to describe these students, who learn to straddle different countries and cultures. Filmmaker and Woodstock alum Rahul Gandotra brilliantly captures this idea of “Third Culture Kids” in his film ”The Road Home.” Gandotra’s short film was a finalist in this year’s Oscars.
Tune in to find out more about this little bit of Americana in India tune in to find out what Deirdré has to say about being an American in India and its distinguished alumni like Tom Alter and his cousins and TED curator Chris Anderson.
This interview was recorded and broadcast on TV in the San Francisco bay area. You can watch the full video interview here.
Dhrishti (means vision), is a start-up she founded with Kiran Anandampillai, her techie husband. Dhristi’s goal is is provide quality eye-care in underserved areas where people have far less income compared to their urban counterparts.
Anjali and her husband worked for Infosys for many years, and went on to work for other companies. A couple of years ago the couple decided to do something different, where they could make a difference to people. After evaluating lot of options, they settled on eye care, an area where millions of Indians are still underserved and struggle to get effective and economical options. Healthcare costs says Anjali is one of the top reasons why the poor people get into debts in India. What is the number one reason for debt? Wedding expenses. The couple have teamed with Dr. Rajesh Babu, who brings in his medical expertise to Dhrishti.
Dhrishti’s initial goal is to test their business model in one district and turn into a viable and economical model and then scale it to different areas Karnataka state. Currently they are testing their model in Devanahalli located right next to Bangalore, the IT and tech hub of India.
Last year they raised an initial round of funding from Lok Capital.
In this interview recorded in Palo Alto Anjali talks about how they came up with the idea of Dhrishti, social entrepreneurship, their business model and future plans.
When you think of Americans in India in the early 20thc not too many names may come to your mind right? But, there was a small trickle of Americans who came to India in the early 20thc and one of them was Samuel Evans Stokes, who later was known by his Indian name Satyanand Stokes. He [...]
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Academy award winner Lisa Fruchtman has worked as an editor in Hollywood films and television. She has worked in such iconic films like Apocalypse Now, The Right Stuff, Children of A Lesser God, Godfather-3 among others. And recently she released her first documentary film Sweet Dreams that she made with her brother Bob Fruchtman. Lisae got her [...]