Payal Sethi (India)

Payal Sethi is a writer and director from Bangalore, India. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Vassar College and studied 16-mm Film Production and Screenwriting at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Sight and Sound Program. She has worked at acclaimed filmmaker Mira Nair’s Mirabai Films and the Tribeca Film Festival in development and programming. Her first short film, Grant St. Shaving Co. (2010), won the Best Film Award at The Smalls Film Festival in the United Kingdom, the Audience Award at Florence River to River Indian Film Festival, and the Silver Palm Award at the Mexico International Film Festival. She is the recipient of Asia Society’s Fellowship for Screenwriters for her screenplay Panther. Her second short film, Leeches (2016), won the Indian National Film Award for Best Music and has screened at over 60 renowned film festivals worldwide, including Tampere, Palm Springs Shortfest, Durban and Hawaii International Film Festivals, the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, Sapporo Short Fest and Dharamshala International Film Festival. The film picked up the Grand Prix International at Brussels Short Film Festival, an Audience Award at Seoul International Women’s Film Festival, and the Silver Dhow at Zanzibar International Film Festival. Recently, Payal was creative producer for Ritu Goes Online, a short documentary about a homemaker from Haryana who single-mindedly negotiated the patriarchal mind-sets of her environment to turn her love of handbags into a thriving business opportunity. Kurinji, Payal’s current feature script, was selected for Produire au Sud’s KoPro/PAS co-production workshop in January 2021.

Kurinji After living apart from her husband for twelve long years, a “Gulf Wife” in coastal Kerala searches for answers to his sudden disappearance through a popular TV show about missing migrants.