As a young boy, Ramakant watches his beloved older brother Udai leave their small Northern Indian village for the much-vaunted “Umrika” in search of something bigger and better. Over the years, Udai’s letters breathe life into Jitvapur, inspiring new traditions, sparking community debate, and even providing the impetus for Ramakant to learn how to read. After a family tragedy, Ramakant uncovers a long-held deception about Udai’s whereabouts. He sets out for Bombay, determined to trace his brother’s path and unexpectedly finds himself charting his own. All the while, Ramakant inherits the tradition of inventing the letters detailing Udai's adventures in America.
Set in the mid-1980s, and provided color and contrast through global events and cultural phenomena, Umrika, anchored by Life of Pi star Suraj Sharma in his Bollywood debut, creates a touching portrait of one young man's march toward his own destiny. Writer/director Prashant Nair blends scenes of unmistakable warmth and a delightfully quirky comic touch with a sobering reflection on the palpable perils of chasing the American Dream. —H.Z.
Prashant Nair was born in India but raised across Africa and Europe. He has since lived and worked in Paris, Prague, Berlin, and New York City. A former social media entrepreneur, his first film, the micro-budget Delhi In A Day, was released in theatres by PVR Director's Rare in 2012. Umrika, his second feature film, was developed in the 2012 Mumbai Mantra Sundance Institute Screenwriting Lab and received a Sundance Institute Post-Production Grant in 2014.