SJSU RTVF grad Saila Kariat’s feature-length drama “The Valley,” about an Indian high tech entrepreneur whose college freshman daughter commits suicide, is having a Bay Area Theatrical release in Pale Alto (www.bit.ly/thevalleypaloalto), San Francisco (www.bit.ly/thevalleysanfran), and other cities across the country, as well as a simultaneous VOD release. 

On the heels of a successful film festival run, the acclaimed, award-winning drama will enjoy a one-week theatrical run, opening June 8, in Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco and Washington D.C.; as well as a special screening in Palo Alto, Calif., June 11-12. The film will also be available on VOD June 16 on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play. It was written, produced and directed by SJSU radio-television-film major Saila Kariat in her feature film debut; and stars Alyy Khan, Suchitra Pillai, Jake T. Austin, Barry Corbin, Christa B. Allen, Agneeta Thacker, Salma Khan and Hope Lauren.

In “The Valley,” ambitious and highly successful Indian-American entrepreneur Neal Kumar (Alyy Kahn) – with wife, Roopa (Suchitra Pillai), and daughters, Monica (Salma Kahn) and Maya (Agneeta Thacker) – enjoy an affluent Silicon Valley lifestyle that appears idyllic, so when Maya tragically commits suicide during her freshman year at college, no one seems to know why. With the family struggling to survive a culture in which relationships and human connection are almost impossible to maintain, Neal embarks on a frantic journey to uncover the truth about his daughter’s death. When he doesn’t find answers at home, he travels to her campus to speak with the people who surrounded Maya in her final days. As work and family unravel in the chaos, the fractured nature of his life begins to become apparent to him and everyone around him. When the elusive reasons are finally revealed – as well as the heartbreaking secrets kept by her and the rest of his family – is it too late for them all to come back together?

“The Valley” – which also had a week-long theatrical run in April in India in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Delhi and Mumbia – has been awarded Best Feature Film, Best Actress (Suchitra Pillai), Best Supporting Actress (Agneeta Thacker) and Best Original Score (Jacob Yoffee), 2017 Long Island International Film Festival; Best Feature Film and Best Director—Female (Saila Kariat), 2017 Out of the Can Film Festival; Best Original Screenplay (Saila Kariat), 2017 Madrid International Film Festival; Best Lead Actress (Suchitra Pillai), 2017 Milan International Filmmaker Festival; Best Film and Best Cinematographer (Paul Nordin), 2017 International Filmmaker Festival of World Cinema Berlin; Best Feature Film Jury Award, 2017 DC South Asian Film Festival, Best Feature Film Grand Jury Award, 2017 Portland Film Festival. More information, and a trailer, can be found at www.thevalleyfilm.com.

Kudos to Professor Amy Glazer for KEPLER’S DREAM!

Catch Professor Glazer’s latest family film in theatres or on Fandango NOW!

Congratulations to the Department of Film & Theatre Faculty

The faculty listed below have been awarded grants for their research, scholarly, and creative activity:

Stipend Jan 18 Glazer, Amy Film Adaptation- The Book of Aron by Jim Shepard
Stipend Jan 18 Normington, Kathleen The Dreamer Project
Dean’s Prof Development Bechert, Andrea Attend the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) Conference & Stage Expo
Dean’s Prof Development Mathias, Harry Present at the International Cinema Technology Association (ICTA) conference
Dean’s Prof Development McKee, Alison Deliver peer-reviewed/juried paper at the 8th International Conference on The Image
Dean’s Prof Development Sublett, Scott Invite for a staged reading of my play
Programming Bechert, Andrea Production – “As You Like It”
Programming Dallas, Barnaby Production – “Picasso at the Lapin Agile”
Programming Dallas, Barnaby Production – “In the Heights”


Professor Scott Winfield Sublett’s new play “The Repeating Arms of Sarah Winchester” will be the subject of a staged reading for one night only on Monday, December 4, in the Hammer Theatre Center’s new “black box” space: the Hammer 4.

The play explores Sarah Winchester’s exposure to the new and progressive religion of Spiritualism while she is still a young widow residing in New Haven, Connecticut. The reading will be produced by the Dept. of Film and Theatre in partnership with The San Jose Stage Company, directed by Kirsten Brandt, and produced by Barnaby Dallas, with set designs under the supervision of Prof. Andrea Bechert.

“At this point in her life, Mrs. Winchester is a rational, well-read, progressive suffragette, searching, like many Americans were in the late 1800s, for a new religion to replace the harsh Calvinism of her youth. This is not the fictional, kooky Sarah of the tourist attraction house,” Sublett said.\

Meanwhile, Prof. Sublett’s new musical, “Charleston Harbor,” will be given a staged reading by Manhattan’s legendary Amas Musical Theatre on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. Amas is noted for having invented “non-tradition casting” before the term was coined.

The play is about Robert Smalls, a slave who became the greatest black hero of the Civil War.

The great 19th century intellectual Frederick Douglass accompanied Captain Smalls to a meeting with President Lincoln, who was so impressed with Smalls’s military exploits that he was persuaded to allow blacks to enlist in the Union Army.

“Smalls was forgotten by history, lost, which shocked and disheartened me,” Sublett said. “It’s my hope that the play revives interest in Smalls by other artists, by scholars, and particularly by historians. He deserves a higher place in history than he has been given.”

Subtitled “A True Civil War Adventure with Historical Music,” the new play integrates authentic spirituals of 1800s into the dramatic action.


Christopher Scott will direct for Amas.