Art & Entertainment

India-Born Director Makes Waves In International Film Fests

India-born Jayesh Jaidka, a New York City-based film director, has finished the film festival round for his latest short film, ‘Preet’, having travelled to 11 film festivals like Dances With Films LA, New York Indian Film Festival, Big Apple Film Festival, LA Diversity Film Festival, Chicago South Asian Film Festival, and Soho International Film Festival, to name a few.

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India-born Jayesh Jaidka, a New York City-based film director, has finished the film festival round for his latest short film, ‘Preet’, having travelled to 11 film festivals like Dances With Films LA, New York Indian Film Festival, Big Apple Film Festival, LA Diversity Film Festival, Chicago South Asian Film Festival, and Soho International Film Festival, to name a few.

The short film won Best Short Film at the Indian Film Festival of Houston and attracted great attention from the audience.

One such audience member was the lead anchor of FOX News and Jayesh, 27, was later interviewed by FOX26 news about his journey related to ‘Preet’. He revealed that the short film is a proof of concept for a feature film that has been in the works for the past three years.

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As a first-generation immigrant in the US, Jayesh has achieved a lot in five years. A Telly Award Winner, he’s a Gotham Film and Television Institute alumni.

He moved to New York in 2020, just a few days before it became the hub of the pandemic.

He is currently leading his production company, The PillowTalk Productions having garnered 18 plus awards and 50 plus film festival screenings for his directorial pursuits with distribution deals with streaming networks like Disney+, Hotstar, and Shorts.tv.

Jaidka told IANS over phone that he plans to bring two of the biggest film and TV industries -- Hollywood and the Indian film Industry -- together for his first directorial feature film, ‘Preet’, a South Asian suspense thriller that talks about the life of a domestic abuse survivor from India, Preet, who moves to New York City for a better life but when her only friend in the country goes missing, Preet finds herself uncovering the darkest secrets of the world of undocumented exploitation.

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For him, ‘Preet’ is an experience that showcases the deep psychological trauma of a survivor, going beyond the physical aspect to highlight the often unnoticed mental turmoil of a survivor in society.

‘Preet’ took inception in 2020 when Jayesh worked for UNICEF.

During that time, gender-based violence against women rose exponentially due to COVID-19 and was later termed a Shadow Pandemic by UN Women. It was then when Jayesh was writing short documentaries for UNICEF and the inspiration came to him.

‘Preet’ has now finished scripting and multiple producers both in India and the US have shown interest but Jayesh remains patient to find the right suitors to tackle a sensitive topic of this nature.

His plans for the next few months have him directing a TV pilot, ‘Honor To The Father’, directing and shooting a food documentary for a Norwegian company while delving into the world of advertisements and brand videos to grow his company.

He also plans to revive his show, ‘Highbread’, a pilot that got him major success in the US film Festival circuit with 16 awards and 35 film festival screenings but was shut down due to COVID-19.

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