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rediff Entertainment Bureau | August 03, 2007 19:56 IST
In its annual round up of the brightest talents in independent cinema, Filmmaker magazine throws up an Indian name: Vineet Dewan, who has been named in the magazine's list of 25 New Faces of Independent Film 2007.
Columbia University journalism professor Sreenath Srinivasan, blogging the news on the South Asian Journalists' Association website, points out that Dewan, who had earlier served as art department assistant on Mira Nair's 2001 sleeper hit Monsoon Wedding [Images], made waves for helming Clear Cut, Simple, a short film on war.
War, the creative spark for his film, has also played a pivotal role in Dewan's life. He was born in Bahrain, to parents of Indian origin; he moved away from there when the first Gulf War broke out following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in August 1990.
Alienation, which he experienced at the time, has since infused his creativity. Clear Cut, Simple, which is set against the backdrop of the first Iraq war and was made for a budget of just $10,000, breaks ground in many directions.
The movie is based on the experiences of war veteran Jason Delmarty, and follows a young American private whose budding friendship with an Iraqi translator is tested when he is suspected of Baath party membership.
The film, shot in Los Angeles and Santa Clara but remarkable for its simulation of war-time Iraq, was submitted as Dewan's University of California Master of Fine Arts thesis, and won various prizes including a student Emmy, student BAFTA and Directors Guild of America student filmmaking prize.
Dewan, 26, is now slated for a stint in NBC's director training program where he will be working on episodes of Friday Night Lights and Heroes, while developing feature film projects.