Ms. Kavery Kaul
Specialization: Filmmaking/ Regional Studies--India
Home institution in US: Filmmaker, New York City, New York
Host Institution in India: Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata, West Bengal     
Start date/Month in India: January 2013
Duration of grant: 5 months

Brief Bio:
Ms. Kavery Kaul, Kolkata-born and US-raised, has directed and produced award-winning documentaries screened worldwide in theaters and on television. Her films have been featured at festivals such as Telluride, London, Berlin, Sydney, and in countries including India, Japan and Burkina Faso. Her work bridges worlds and shatter the barriers between “them” and “us”. Susan Connors, President of the Brain Injury Association of America, calls her documentary Back Walking Forward a “compelling story about a complex public health issue.” Her film about race, class and culture in America, Long Way from Home, was a Critics’ Pick in Booklist, Time Out and Film Threat. One Hand Don’t Clap was released theatrically in the U.S., Japan and Europe. First Look (PBS-TV) won the Latin-American Cinema Festival’s Best Cultural Film Prize and the Italian Festival of Films on Art’s Silver Prize. Wild at Art (PBS-TV) was featured at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (Washington, D.C.). A Harvard University graduate, Ms. Kaul has received two awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Film, and multiple grants from the New York State Council on the Arts. She teaches filmmaking at City College of New York and speaks frequently at educational and cultural institutions.

For her Fulbright project, “Streetcar to Kolkata,” Ms. Kaul will research Bengali socio-cultural history for a documentary, which takes American writer Fatima Shaik from her native New Orleans, Louisiana to Kolkata, the birthplace of her grandfather Shaik Mohamed Musa. One of the first immigrants from India to the U.S., Shaik arrived in New Orleans in 1893 and became the only Bengali Muslim in Fatima’s African-American Christian family. Now, Fatima’s reverse journey takes her across borders of time and place in this story of two cultures, two religions and two cities worlds apart. It reveals new ways of looking at ourselves, the societies we live in and the ones we cross into.