A Saila Kariat Film
coming 2017 Devastated by his daughter's suicide, an immigrant entrepreneur working in high-tech seeks answers to his lingering questions. The Valley explores the struggle of one family to survive intact amidst a culture in which relationships and human connection are almost impossible to maintain. It is the story of an Indian American entrepreneur Neal Kumar, his wife Roopa and his daughters Monica and Maya who reside in the high octane, technologically driven culture that is silicon valley. His ambitious, affluent life appears idyllic from the exterior, however, when his daughter Maya tragically commits suicide, the fractured nature of his interior life becomes apparent to himself and those around him.
DIRECTOR • WRITER Saila Kariat
CAST Alyy Khan•Suchitra Pillai Barry Corbin• Jack T. Austin Christa B. Allen•Samina Peerzada Introducing: Agneeta Thacker Salma Khan• Hope Lauren
A Saila Kariat Film
coming 2017
DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE What is success? Neal is driven because of his humble background, and his family is a part of the story he wants to tell. Weakness, mental illness or losing are not tolerated for either himself, or his family. Neal’s wife Roopa and his daughters Maya and Monica are well aware of this. Not only their father, but their friends and everyone they know have a similar outlook. In the past, both career and a happy family and social atmosphere were measures of the quality of a person's life. We live in an age where the barometers of success are money, achievement, power or fame - family and relationships take a back seat. Anxiety, depression and suicide are on the rise amongst adolescents, regardless of the demographic to which they belong. Girls are more vulnerable than boys, and the problem is highly acute amongst immigrants, where an "A-" is an "immigrant C". The internet and social networks, which are supposed to increase our connectivity, often make teenagers feel more disconnected and inadequate. Affluent children, who supposedly have everything, are under enormous pressure to "succeed", and are even more prone to be damaged by what ails our society. This is the culture which I depict in "The Valley". The story of The Valley evolved from many of my observations and life experiences. I have witnessed the pressure that young people undergo to meet their parents expectations and its deleterious effects, particularly in the immigrant community. I have also seen mental health issues ignored because of the stigma and shame associated with them. My brother, a vibrant dynamic person, was struck down with schizophrenia in his late teens. His constant struggles are something I will never forget. My background is very diverse - I followed the traditionally prescribed path for second generation Indian Americans, and studied electrical engineering, making it all the way to a Ph.D. I worked for many years as an engineer, and then had two daughters. I wanted to prioritize my time so that I could spend more time with my daughters, so I started a successful building business, designing and building custom residential homes. In parallel, I pursued my lifelong passion, and completed a degree in film at San Jose State. It was not until later in life that I finally got the opportunity to do what I wanted to do all along. I hope that The Valley will resonate not only amongst immigrants, but with all people struggling to keep up with the pace, demands and lack of real human connection of modern life. It is my desire that "The Valley" finds a large audience consisting of a diverse set of ethnicities, and age groups. - Saila Kariat
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A Saila Kariat Film
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