Carol Nahra talks to Smriti Mundhra about a film which inspired her - and a film which changed her life. Smriti is an Academy Award-nominated director/producer and one of DOC NYC’s 40 Under 40 Filmmakers to Watch.
Her short film St. Louis Superman, co-directed with Sami Khan, was nominated for a 2020 Oscar in the short documentary category. The film follows Bruce Franks Jr., a celebrated battle rapper and activist. Franks had won a seat on the Missouri State Legislature; the directors followed him in the summer of 2018 as he worked to get a law passed that would recognize gun violence as a public health epidemic.
In this DocHouse Conversations episode Carol will talk to Smriti about the making of A Suitable Girl and how it changed her life. They’ll also discuss what it’s like covering the same subject matter in two very different styles: an independent observational documentary shot over many years, and a fast turnaround reality series for Netflix.
A Suitable Girl / Dir. Smriti Mundhra / 2017
Smriti’s feature doc debut, co-directed with Sarita Khurana, is an observational documentary covering many of the same themes of Indian Matchmaking in a very different style. The film world premiered in competition at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival to rave reviews from Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, New York Magazine and was awarded the Albert Maysles Best Documentary Director prize at the festival.
Junun / Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson / 2015
Smriti’s choice for the film that has inspired her is Paul Thomas Anderson’s Junun. The 2015 immersive documentary chronicles a three week musical collaboration between Israeli composer Shye Ben Tzur, Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood and ‘The Rajasthan Express’, in a 15th century fort in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.