The disease that stops Indian kids growing up and the system that lets them die needlessly
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Nimisha Mukerji is an award-winning director whose debut feature 65_RedRoses was hailed by The New York Times as "illuminating... an affecting, unnerving portrait of one family's encounter with the harshest of realities." It went on to be officially selected for Oprah Winfrey's Documentary Club on OWN USA and won top prizes at the Hot Docs International Film Festival (2010 Don Haig award), and the Vancouver International Film Festival (Audience award Best Canadian Film and Best Documentary). At the 2010 Banff World Television Awards 65_RedRoses won Best Canadian Program following its broadcast premiere on CBC's The Passionate Eye. For her work on the film Nimisha was awarded the 2009 Artistic Merit award from Women in Film Vancouver, as well as garnering a 2010 Gemini nomination for Best Direction in a Documentary Program. Nimisha's narrative short films have screened internationally and The Arrival Hour won TIFF's 2012 Audience Choice award at the RBC Emerging Filmmaker's Competition. Blood Relative is Nimisha's second feature documentary and was produced in association with the Knowledge Network. Nimisha is an alumnus of the CTV National Fellowship Program ('10) as well as TIFF's Talent Campus ('11).
I had never heard of Thalassemia before, and I was surprised to learn that its the number one genetic disease in the world. The tagline for our film is Indias heroes arent just in Bollywood, and from the beginning I loved the idea of focusing on Indians in the country working to create positive change. Ive often seen films about foreigners going into third world countries to save the day. But in Vinay I found this remarkable man, born and raised in India, who was tirelessly working to get these children help. I wanted the film to focus on his positivity and hope for the future, as well as the strength that children like Divya and Imran possess.