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Parminder Nagra shines in new film AWAKEN, from director Leena Pendharkar

Ryan Davis
Parminder Nagra shines in new film AWAKEN, from director Leena Pendharkar

A detached daughter finds herself alone with her agitated Alzheimer’s stricken mother, unsure of how to help her. But a moment of awakening enlightens both of them.

AWAKEN is a short film about Rakhi Singh, who has recently put her mom, Uma, into a “care center” after exploring other options for her Alzheimers Disease. Rakhi’s mom isn’t taking well to it, and still has long spells of crying, and bouts of confusion. Rakhi brings her mom home in hopes of comforting her, helping her reset, and to find her way, only to learn that it’s not only unhelpful, but also breaking her family apart. Rakhi is at a loss as to what to do, but when her mother disappears, she finds herself lost in a moment from the past, paving the way for a solution. It’s not an easy one, but it’s something.

AWAKEN is directed by Leena Pendharkar. Says Leena, "The challenges of caregiving aren't black and white. I think in the Asian community in particular, there is a lot of fear and resistance toward getting help, not to mention the loss of one's support system when a parent gets ill. I wanted to explore a main character who is outwardly successful but is feeling more alone than ever."

The film is now available to stream at Shorted and Retrospective of Jupiter

Parminder Nagra recently finished the BBC limited series “Intergalactic”. Prior she was seen in the Netflix Original movie “Bird Box” opposite Sandra Bullock and Sarah Paulson. She was also cast in the CBS Films feature “Five Feet Apart” with Cole Sprouse and Haley Lu Richardson . She also recurred on Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why” and on the CBS comedy-drama “God Friended Me”.

She has starred in the sci-fi psychological thriller “Fortitude” opposite Dennis Quaid for Sky Atlantic as well as playing CIA agent "Meera Malik" on NBC’s high-action government crime thriller “The Blacklist”. Nagra is well known for her role as Neela Rasgotra, a British-Indian surgical intern on long-running American medical drama, “ER.” She also has recurred on “Marvel Agent’s of Shield” (ABC) and “Elementary” (CBS).

Leena Pendharkar is an award-winning writer and director. She premiered her sophomore feature film, 20 WEEKS, at the Los Angeles Film Festival. It was selected as one of the best indie films of 2017 by Film Threat, and was described as an “intimate, compassionate take on abortion” by the Los Angeles Times. It was released theatrically in 10 cities in April of 2018 and on Hulu, and a number of other platforms.

Leena has also directed several short films, including the recent Awaken, starring Parminder Nagra. She also directed Dandekar Makes a Sandwich, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Indian Film Festival of LA, and was selected as a Vimeo Staff pick. Leena was most recently in the Warner Brothers and CBS/Paramount programs for television directing.

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20 weeksleena pendharkarparminder nagrashort film

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