Mr. Chavan

Story: Created for the Asian American Film Lab 72 Hour Shootout from brief to finish under the theme, ‘A Guest In My Own Country,’ a young dedicated home-care aide to an isolated elder man is burdened with an unexpected and lonely responsibility.

[Drama, 6 Mins, Color, Vietnamese with English Subtitles]
Written-Directed by Eddie Shieh
Cinematogarphy by Dave Giles
Starring Chausa Hoang & Cliff Samara

Mr. Chavan was created for the 2013 Asian American Film Lab 72 Hour Shootout Festival where filmmakers create a 5 minute max film from brief to finish. This film was inspired by my aging father and his own home-care aide whom I call, Amber, and a modified scene from my feature screenplay.

Amber dutifully traveled by public transportation and walked for more than an hour to reach my father several days a week in any weather condition. Once there, she performed chores for my father, accompanied him on walks, and read while he watched TV or dilly-dallied online. Yet their relationship was a silent one where they rarely spoke unless it was necessary. And it was all very effective.

The real Amber was a single 42 year old strong simple Caribbean woman with a 25 year-old man-child living at home who didn’t contribute to the rent. Amber emigrated to the United States at a young age but had no notable skills. She did not know how to drive, no computer, nor did she cook very well or often enough. And with limited skill sets, Amber worked every night at hospitals to supplement her financial needs.

My father, Mr. Chavan, suffers from dementia exacerbated by heart surgery, and had failing kidneys from stubborn tumors. He was untrusting, combative, ornery, very particular, and occasionally believed that conspiracies were set against him. But he didn’t mind Amber. In fact, my father requested her after returning home from the hospital. I’m sure he knew there would be communication gaps and yes, at times it got challenging. Nevertheless, it worked and when it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Facts like these made me wonder more about Amber and her journey up to today. Who was she as a pregnant teen? What did she feel at that moment of discovery? What were her options? Who and where is the father? Where is What dreams did Amber sacrifice to bear a child? Was she alone? In Mr. Chavan’s own world, would he see or understand that Amber was suffering?

Mr. Chavan is my interpretation of this moment in time when Amber discovers her pregnancy and how I hoped Mr. Chavan, my father, would have acted in her moment of need.

2013

AAFL 72 Hour Film Shootout (USA) FINALIST

2014

Cannes / Short Film Corner (France)
Kansas City Film Festival (USA)
TISFEST: Teen International Short Festival (Turkey) BY INVITATION
Athens International Film + Video Festival of Ohio (USA) ACADEMY® QUALIFIER
New York Indian Film Festival (USA)
Los Angeles Pan Asian American Film Festival (USA)
NewFilmmakersLA Film Festival (USA)
ACT Film Festival (USA) BY INVITATION
Columbia Gorge International Film Festival (USA) BY INVITATION
Viewster Film Festival (Online)
New York City Chain Film Festival (USA)
Filmstock Film Fest (USA)
Harlem International Film Festival (USA)
Minneapolis Underground Film Festival (USA)
Columbus International Film & Video Festival (USA) HONORABLE MENTION
Vancouver Asian Film Festival (Canada)

2015

9180 Shortfest (India) FINALIST

2016

Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival (USA)
FringePop Short Film & Play Festival (USA)

May 26, 2015: Review by GirlsOnFilm.com
Fortunately the review of Mr Chavan is far more enthusiastic than I appear in this Q&A session.
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Girls On Film

June 14, 2014: NewFilmmakersLA Interview by MovieMaker Magazine
I realized long ago that I’m far better behind the camera than in front of it.
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NFMLA MovieMaker Interview

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