“My Dearest Amena”
After receiving an email from her dream medical school requesting an interview, a young woman, Neera, finds herself faced with the difficult decision of attending her dream university or following love abroad where another considerable future awaits. Feeling torn, Neera confides in her eccentric auntie, Auntie Neena. Understanding Neera’s plight, Auntie Neena bestows upon Neera a collection of enchanted letters imbued with familial wisdom from generations past. As Neera contemplates her decision, she finds comfort in the letters, identifying unique similarities between she and her ancestor's journeys. On the night before Neera's interview, Auntie Neena drops off the final letter in the collection that reveals the outcome of her ancestor's choices. The next day, Neera exits her interview feeling confident in her decision. Her choice, however, is quickly challenged when a life altering moment leaves her stunned, forcing her to reevaluate the future she just chose.
My dearest Amena was born from my experience of growing up in a refugee family in a quaint English village. The juxtaposition of these cultures sparked an interest from an early age, of heritage as an influential factor in major life decisions, whether we are aware of them or not. I experienced first hand how the choices made by my mother directly informed my present reality and opportunity to make choices in the future. I am fascinated with the idea of women passing life lessons through generations and the impact of nature versus nurture. This is what drew me to exploring this subject in the short. The story of a woman making a choice on her own with the inter-generational female figures of her past guiding her, is something I think about often. This short explores this concept through the idea of letter writing between generations to guide future choices. It is no coincidence that as a film maker I am drawn to stories about women inspiring change through generations. I am particularly drawn to women who have a personal story to tell and are facing a moral dilemma or unspoken truth, that is not fully realized. With My Dearest Amena, I want to tell a story that I did not have access to when I was growing up that may have helped me and I want people to know that you are not alone, because there is a secret guidance from women in your past that may have been on the same journey. I hope that people can relate to the elements in this film and connect to the hidden magic forces of our own histories.