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Sections & Films


Category: Edition 2007


Elmhurst, Queens, NY. Mameet is an immigrant teen. When his older brother Sanjay is gunned down, a wave of loss reverberates through Elmhurst. The neighbourhood loses a local basketball legend, the family loses a beloved firstborn son, Mameet loses a mentor and friend. One month later he’s seething with grief and confusion. He’s a benchwarmer on the basketball team, doesn’t listen to his coach, feels antagonistic towards the world. Along with friends Ritesh and Parnav he becomes a magnet for trouble, unable to suppress his fits of rage. An impulsive act lands him in a youth detention centre. His refusal to listen to coach plants him on the bench. A misguided attempt to protect his sister’s honour erodes already rocky family life. The lone bright is Shawni, a spirited romantic girl. Mameet finds himself struggling to muster a hope in a violent world that is determined to view him as an outsider.

Category Official Competition
Section Y Gen
Tipology Feature Film
Duration 83'
Production Year 2006
Nationality USA
Directed by Tanuj Chopra
Screenplay Tanuj Chopra, Hart Eddy
Script Tanuj Chopra, Hart Eddy
Director of photography Milton Kam
Editor Joe Murphy
Production Design Amanda Ford
Costume Design Kizzy Cox
Sound Jessie Malings
Music Devinder Sahota, Nishant Verma
Main cast Misu Khan (Mameet)
Nina Edmonds (Shawni)
Hassan El-Gendi (zio Sonny/uncle Sonny)
Ferdusy Dia (Dia)
Kazi Rahman (Parnav)
Taran Singh (Ritesh)
Produced by Tanuj Chopra

punching at the sun regTanuj Chopra

He has been making films since he cut his first student project HATE CRIME (1998). In 1999 he holds a BA in Arts Semiotics from Brown University. His short film BUTTERFLY (2003) won 3 best film awards in addition to playing at over 20 festivals across North America, Europe, India, Pakistan. His other short films ULJHAN and BADE BAHIYA (BIG BROTHER) have also played in a number of festivals. He has worked for organizations serving teenagers in California and New York. He facilitated media workshops for teens in Elmhurst and Harlem. His involvement with youth and his cross-cultural upbringing have informed his work as a writer and director. PUNCHING AT THE SUN is his first feature film as a director.


Director’s statement

“PUNCHING AT THE SUN is a project I started writing while living in Elmhurst, Queens. It’s a grass-roots community driven film made possible by the generous donation of time and resources of friends, non-profit organizations, and the talented teenage cast that worked long film hours for nothing except the dream of creating a movie that reflected their experiences. The movie was written for Misu Khan, a kid I met in 2001. At 14 year-old, he had the charisma, presence, poise and charm of a true star. He was like a young Bangladeshi James Dean”.

World sales
Festival contact
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6 west 20th st 10th floor, NY, NY 10011 - USA
phone +1 6462624547
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