Filmmaker Spotlight: Anand Jay Kalra

SFTFF: What is the name of your film?

AK: Call and Response

SFTFF: What was the inspiration for your film?

AK: After my grandmother passed away earlier this year, I found a voicemail she left me while I was driving cross-country to move back to California in 2012. She mistakenly thought she’d hung up after saying goodbye, but the recording went on to reveal her explaining to a friend of hers who I am and that I’m trans– all in Hindi. All my life, she challenged me to commit myself to a path of nonviolence and service, but she never quite saw my work in the trans community as falling under that umbrella. Call and Response pairs her challenge with the voices of five trans men, who reflect on the meaning and purpose of privilege and community responsibility.

SFTFF: Describe your film in 3 words.

AK: meditative, pastoral, borderlands

SFTFF: What is one thing you learned from making your film?

AK: While we were shooting the interviews, my camera kept overheating and disrupting the recording process, so we would have to stop recording to let the camera cool off and then start again. On top of that, the camera didn’t have an audio input, so we were recording the sound separately. I ended up with 4-6 video files and 2-3 audio files per interivew, which I had to line up before I could edit. Definitely learned my ounce-of-prevention lesson for recording audio and video together!

SFTFF: If your film had to be summed up in one song, what song would it be?

AK: Shankar Tucker’s “Dhuan Dhuan”


Screening on Sunday, November 13 at 2pm at The Roxie Theater.
Purchase Tickets Here