Home Movie film by a native of Victoria premiered at the Austin Film Festival | Business

film by a native of Victoria premiered at the Austin Film Festival | Business

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Kavita Parekh, 25, is from Victoria whose film “Two Tickets to Mars” will premiere at the Austin Film Festival at 1 pm Friday and 9 pm Wednesday at the Rollins Theater, 701 W. Riverside Drive in Austin.

A team of around 25 people, including the post-production team, helped make the 17-minute film, which explores the inner mania of a young woman, Asia, who wishes to seek the ultimate commitment to life. pre-apocalyptic New York City. She wins two tickets to an exclusive colony on Mars and she asks her former lover, Chester, to join her to live with her forever on another planet. Chester is a nihilist, believing that life is meaningless, and admits that he is happy to die on Earth. He does not intend to go to Mars with Asia.

“The movie is mostly set in her (Chester’s) apartment, and they’re talking about it,” Parekh said. “They explore existentialism and nihilism.”

Emily Sullivan, 26, a New York actress who also works in social media marketing, plays Asia in the film. With a background in theater, she was looking for more screen work, answered a call for actors, and had two rounds of auditions to secure the role. Sullivan said she was immediately drawn to Parekh’s handwriting.

“I loved the material, struggling with the horror and stress of suddenly having to face an existential crisis. She thinks she’s going to die with the rest of the planet, and then she has to decide who to take to an alien planet with her, ”Sullivan said of the film. “The stress and the desire to be loved and to try to survive – she grapples with that throughout the film.”

Sullivan also appreciated Parekh’s ability to put together a thoughtful and well-constructed script as well as a group of “brilliant” artists.

“She is generous, kind and able to clearly communicate her mission,” said Sullivan. “The screenplay is brilliantly written. It takes a certain type of person to think about the end of the world, to tackle it. “

Ranya Aloui, 24, the film’s cinematographer, met Parekh while they were both in their first year of the film and television program at New York University.

From a camera perspective, Aloui said his biggest challenge in making the film was trying to make a tiny New York apartment, the main setting of the film, feel fresh and different from everything. by following the emotional progress of the film.

“Kavita is very confident as a director. She really trusts the people she works with and makes them want to do their best, ”said Aloui. “She has the strong ability to act according to her particular vision, and trusting the director to guide you and your visual interpretation in the right way is very important.”

Aloui said that she could present Parekh with five good images that would work in the film, and that Parekh could always emotionally select the one that was perfect.

“She treats you like you’re the best at your job, and she makes the most of people who want to do a good job for her,” Aloui said. “It’s friendly and fun on set. It creates a welcoming environment.

Born and raised in Victoria, Parekh is the daughter of Dr Meena Parekh, pediatrician, and Pradip Parekh, engineer. She lived in Woodway with her parents and two older sisters who are now married with families in Houston and Florida.

Parekh attended a number of elementary schools in Victoria, but Dudley Elementary was his favorite. She got involved in theater in fifth grade when she played one of the lead roles in Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” at her school.

She then attended Howell Middle School and transferred to Cade Middle School in eighth grade. She graduated from West High School in 2015. While in high school, she helped an instructor who directed a play and attended a month-long summer filmmaking workshop at the New York University.

Like her parents, Parekh was good at math, so she considered pursuing a degree in aerospace engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. However, she ultimately made the decision to go to New York University where she obtained her degree in Film and Television Production. She did “Two Tickets to Mars” during her senior production class at NYU.

“I love everything that happens in cinema – the opportunity to keep learning all your life, to have new experiences and not work in one place,” she said. “I am interested in so many things, so here is an area where I can continue to learn more about all the things that interest me and do research for different stories that I can tell. “

Parekh credits his “amazing” teachers at Dudley Elementary School for his ability to think outside the box and ultimately pursue writing and a degree in film and television. Additionally, she hopes the Victoria School District will continue to encourage and promote the arts and teachers who care about creating that spark in their students.

“Education is really important to me, and when the administration supports passionate teachers, lives are really changed,” she said. “I couldn’t celebrate my first success without at least thanking these teachers.

Two months after the pandemic lockdown, Parekh moved with a few friends from New York to Portland, Oregon. They didn’t feel comfortable staying where they were.

Currently, she is an independent filmmaker. She started a production company with her friends and they recently produced an educational mental health series for Houston-based company Healthy Gamer. In the spring, she plans to return to New York to dive deeper into cinema. In the past, she has held screenwriter roles on film sets, so she intends to pursue this as a freelance writer. Her five-year goal is to make another short film and her long-term goal is to make feature films.

“Seeing ideas that have been in my head for so long come to life, working with actors, bringing characters close to you to life, and going beyond that with the actors who take them home is very rewarding,” said Parekh. “Writing is a lonely process, so stepping out of the writing area to collaborate in an artistic space is like nothing else. Getting a group of people together to tell a story and make art is super rewarding.

Elena Anita Watts is the feature editor for the Victoria Advocate. She covers faith, arts, culture and entertainment, and she can be reached at 361-580-6585 or [email protected]