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Critically Acclaimed ‘Tabula Rasa (Kora Kagazz)’ Makes its U.S. Premiere

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Critically Acclaimed ‘Tabula Rasa (Kora Kagazz)’ Makes its U.S. Premiere at Cinequest 2023 with Filmmaker Nawneet Ranjan in Attendance August 20 & 26

16 August 2023 – San Francisco Bay Area: On Sunday, August 20, at 3:45pm cinephiles will gather at San Jose’s California Theatre (345 S. 1st Street) and then again with a second screening on Saturday, August 26 at 6:25pm at the ICON Theatre & Kitchen # 3 in Mountain View (2575 California Street, Suite 601) for the eagerly awaited U.S. premiere of Kora Kagazz (‘Tabula Rasa”)

The screening is a featured event at the acclaimed annual Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival 2023. The Latin term “Tabula Rasa” translates to “blank slate,” a concept deeply embedded in the narrative of this film. Tickets may be purchased at the link below, which also contains a trailer for the film:

Brought to life under the meticulous direction of Nawneet Ranjan and penned by the collaborative brilliance of Donna Laemmlen & Nawneet Ranjan, ‘Tabula Rasa (Kora Kagazz)‘ narrates the poignant tale of three wandering souls searching for solace. Divya, a dedicated juvenile home warden, and Vivek, a passionate actor striving for authenticity in his art, come across Sandhya, a 14-year-old girl, shadowed by her tumultuous past. United by destiny, their lives intertwine as they endeavour to rise above adversity.

Leading the cast are the talented Rajat Kapoor, Swastika Mukherjee, and the prodigious Aishani Yadav. The drama is a touching exploration of human connections and the lessons we impart upon one another through our life journeys. Central to the narrative is the philosophy: “Life is just a Kora Kagazz (blank slate), and what truly defines us is what we choose to inscribe upon it.” This ethos is beautifully depicted, emphasizing the protagonist’s courage and determination to voice her emotions.

Renowned critic Archika Khurana of The Times of India lauds the film, stating, “‘Kora Kagazz’ deserves to be seen for its sincere efforts of telling a heartfelt story.”

Nawneet Ranjan’s journey as a filmmaker is as captivating as his movies. After almost seven years in the U.S., including a stint studying in San Francisco, Ranjan was beckoned by the tales from the bylanes of Mumbai’s Dharavi, resulting in the well-received ‘Dharavi Diaries’. However, his passion for community service drew him back to Mumbai, where he dedicated himself to empowering children through education.

Legendary actress Diane Baker, acclaimed for her collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock such as Marnie, her role in Silence of the Lambs and as producer of A Woman of Substance Emmy Nominated for Best Mini-Series among other extensive credits has expressed admiration for Ranjan, having known and mentored him during his academic journey at San Francisco’s Academy of Arts University Film Program.

“I’m so proud of Nawneet, and so impressed by his talent,” said Baker. “I hope his film is distributed in the USA either on Netflix, Amazon, or Apple! It’s very good and worthy of distribution especially from a new young filmmaker who raised his own funds in India to write and direct and produce!”

“Cinequest has always been a beacon for world cinema, and I’m thrilled to showcase our film here,” said Nawneet Ranjan. Both he and Donna Laemmlen will grace the Cinequest Film Festival 2023 with their presence.

The 2023 Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival, running August 15 through 30 is themed ‘energized’ this year and promises to be a melting pot of cinematic treasures from across the globe. 

Cinequest fuses innovation with the arts to empower great creations and to engage audiences, youth, artists, and innovators with these creations and with each other forging community, joy, and our future. Set in Silicon Valley, Cinequest’s uniqueness, impact, and legacy result from applying this powerful integration of creativity, technology, and community to inspire and transform lives. Cinequest does this through the Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival, Maverick Studio, and Picture The Possibilities youth creativity services.

Perhaps USA Today said it best“Move over Cannes! Of the more than 4,000 film festivals around the globe, more than half take place on U.S. soil, and many rank among the best of the best. Our panel of film experts, movie buffs and festival gurus were tasked with narrowing down the field to the best 20 film festivals in the nation before we turned it over to USA TODAY and 10Best readers to choose their favorites. After four weeks of voting, we have a winner. Cinequest Voted Best Film Festival!”