Dr Shuchi Tarun Kothari

BA(Hons), MA, PhD

Biography

Writer, producer, co-founder of the Pan Asian Screen Collective, and academic Dr. Shuchi Kothari has written and produced shorts, features and television projects that have garnered distinctions and awards in national and international film festivals such as Cannes, Venice, Telluride and Toronto.

Besides being recognised for her critically acclaimed work, Shuchi is a well-regarded script mentor and industry expert who serves on funding panels, development initiatives, writers’ labs, and practice-based workshops.

Shuchi's commitment to inclusive storytelling is reflected in her own creative writing but also in the projects she produces or mentors.

In 2008 she formed the Thousand Apologies Collective, a group of filmmakers of Asian descent with whom she co-produced New Zealand’s first Asian prime-time broadcast sketch show for TV-3 titled A Thousand Apologies.  

Ten years later in 2018, Shuchi co-founded PASC – The Pan-Asian Screen Collective to develop and advocate for more equitable resourses for Asian creative practitioners in the screen industry.  

Shuchi also publishes in the field production studies and South Asian popular culture.  She is currently the coordinator of the Screen Production programme at the University of Auckland where she teaches screenplay writing.

Research | Current

  • Films
  • Screenplay writing
  • Producing
  • Academic Project

Films: Recently completed

  1. RANN a collaborative documentary http://www.rannshortfilm.com/
  2. Shit One Carries http://shitonecarries.com/
  3. Elder Birdsong http://elderbirdsongfilm.mystrikingly.com/     or   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWfRKdWcIcY

Film (current project)

Threads: Sustaining Indian's Textile Traditions. A collaboration between  Shuchi Kothari & Katherine Sender, the documentary explores the idea of sustainibility through relationships between fashion designers and textile artisans in contemporary India. The film is currently in post production.

Screenplay (current project)

Navratri aka Nine Nights, feature screenplay for production in India. Set during the 9 carnivalesque nights of the dance festival of Navratri, this ensemble feature explores sexual and romantic desire in contemporary Gujarat.  With support from the New Zealand Film Commission, the script consultant on the project is writer and lyricist Varun Grover. 

Producer (current)

Shuchi has been invited to join producers Kerry Warkia and Kiel McNaughten to produce the feature film Kāinga, which is the final chapter of the trilogy of anthology films produced by BSAG. After the internationally successful films Waru (directed by 8 wahine Maori) and Vai (directed by 8 Pasifika women), Kāinga, brings together 11 writers/directors of various Asian descent to tell a story about finding/making home from an Asian immigrant perspective.

Previous creative research outputs
Shuchi's Screen Credits

  • This is Us (Executive Producer) digital stories, 15 mins, Disorient Pictures, New Zealand 2020
  • Directed by Ghazaleh Golbaksh, This is Us is series of digital films made by and about Muslim New Zealanders to commemorate one year since March 15th 2019, funded by RNZ and NZOA. Release date: March 15, 2020
  • Elder Birdsong (Writer, Director, Producer) Animation 5 mins, Nomadz Unlimited, 2019
  • Written, directed and produced by Shuchi Kothari & Sarina Pearson, Elder Birdsong is an animated short in which an owl, tui, and godwits sing to us some hard truths about growing old. 
  • Health for All Film Festival, World Health Organisation, 2020
  • 14th Show Me Shorts International Film Festival, New Zealand October 2019 (world premiere)

Other screenings:

  • Age Concern National Conference, Wellington April 2019
  • Nelson Loneliness Coalition Conference, July 2019
  • Public Health and Palliative Care Conference, Blue Mountains, NSW, October 2019
  • Ageing Well NZ, National Science Challenge Conference, Wellington, Nov, 2019
  • Night of Short Films Programme, Aoteoa Square, December 2019
  • Whanau End of Life Care Digital Stories, (project producer) Te Arai Palliative Care & Digital Storytelling in the Pacific, 2020
  • This series marks a five-year collaboration between  project producers Shuchi Kothari, Sarina Pearson & Peter Simpson from the Faculty of Arts with colleagues Prof Merryn Gott & Dr. Tess Moeke-Maxwell in the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences.
  • Preview screening of all digital stories at Pae Herenga: An investigation of Māori whānau end of life cultural care customs hui at Waipapa Marae on August 1, 2019.
  • Official launch of the films is in November 2020.
  • Shit One Carries (Writer, Director, Producer), 17 mins, Indonz Film Company, New Zealand/Mumbai.
  • 19th New York Indian Film Festival, May 2019 (in competition)
  • 10th Gujarat International Film Festival, July 2019 (won best regional language film)
  • Indian Film Festival of Melbourne, August 2019
  • 14th Tasveer South Asian Film Festival, September 2019 (in competition)
  • 10th Jagran Film Festival, Mumbai, September 2019
  • Chicago South Asian Film Festival, October 2019
  • Berlin Down Under Film Festival, October 2019
  • South Asian Film Festival of Montreal, http://theconcordian.com/2019/11/film-review-shit-one-carries/, Nov 2019
  • New Zealand International Film Festival, Auckland July 2018 (world premiere)
  • Show Me Shorts International Film Festival, October 2018
  • Farewell/Haere Atu Ra (Writer, Director, Producer), 26 mins, docu-fiction, School of Nursing University of Auckland and Gainsborough Films, New Zealand, 2016
  • 2016  Future Landscapes for Palliative and End of Life Care Conference 29 June
  • 2016  21st International Congress on Palliative Care, Montreal, 19 October
  • 2016  Gerontology Association Conference, New Orleans, 18 November
  • 2016  Women’s Studies Association Conference, Auckland, 2 September
  • 2016  Hospice NZ Conferences, 14 September & 14 November
  • 2016  Indigenous Conference on Health and Wellbeing, Melbourne, 8 November
  • 2016  PRIDoC (Paciific Region Indigenous Doctors' Congress), 29 November
  • Firaaq (Writer),101 mins., Percept Picture Company, Mumbai, India, 2008
  • 2009 March Nationwide Theatrical Release in India
  • 2010 January Nominated in the category for Best Screenplay by the 52nd Annual Filmfare
  • Awards, Mumbai, India (India’s equivalent to the Academy Awards)
  • 2010 March Nominated in the category for Best Story by the Star Screen Awards, Mumbai,
  • India (India’s equivalent to the Golden Globe Awards)
  • 2010 January Best Film Award (Critics’ Choice) at the Star Screen Awards, Mumbai, India
  • 2010 Won Best Film at 9th Imagineindia Film Festival, Madrid, Spain, May

International Film Festivals Official Selection

  • 2008 Telluride International Film Festival, September, Film introduced by author Salman Rushdie
  • 2008 53rd Toronto International Film Festival, September
  • 2008 8th Dubai International Film Festival, December, won the Best Editing award
  • 2008 12th International Film Festival of Kerala December, won Best Debut Feature
  • 2008 49th Thessaloniki Film Festival November, won the Special Jury Prize
  • 2008 27th Vancouver International Film Festival, October 2008 Pusan International Film Festival, Korea, October 2008 52nd BFI London International Film Festival, October
  • 2008 Asian Film Festival of First Films, Singapore, won Best Screenplay and Best Film
  • 2009 The New India Cinema at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City, USA, June
  • 2009 Sao Paulo International Film Festival, Brazil, October
  • 2009 Independent FilmFest Osnabrueck Unabhaengiges, Germany, October
  • 2009 Oslo Films from the South, Norway, November
  • 2009 International Human Rights Film Festival in Nuremberg, Germany, September
  • 2009 Hamburg Film Festival, Germany, September
  • 2009 7th Vladivostok Festival of Asia-Pacific countries "Pacific Meridian" Russia,
  • September, won Special Jury Award 2009 New Zealand International Film Festival, New Zealand July
  • 2009 Durban International Film Festival, South Africa July
  • 2009 Flying Broom Ankara International Women's Film Festival Turkey May, won


Best Debut Feature

  • 2009 Off Camera Independent Film Festival, Poland, April
  • 2009 Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, April, won Grand Jury Prize Honorable
  • Mention for Best Narrative Feature
  • 2009 Istanbul International Film Festival, Turkey, April, won Special Jury Prize FACE
  • 2009 Copenhagen International Film Festival - Asia Section, Denmark, April
  • 2009 Festival Cinematografico Internacional del Uruguay, Uruguay, March
  • 2009 Amsterdam Amnesty International Film Festival, The Netherlands, March
  • 2009 Guadalajara Festival International de Cine - Puntos Cardinales / Cardinal Points,
  • Mexico, March
  • 2009 London Human Rights Watch International Film Festival, March
  • 2009 Fribourg Film Festival, Switzerland, March
  • 2009 Bruges Cinema Novo Festival, Belgium, March
  • 2009 Deauville Asian Film Festival, France, March
  • 2009 Cinequest 19 Film Festival, San Jose, USA, February, won Maverick Spirit Award
  • 2009 Kara Film Festival, Pakistan, February, won Best Feature Film
  • 2009 The Tromso International Film Festival, Norway, January
  • 2009 Palm Springs International Film Festival, USA, January
  • 2010 9th Imagineindia Film Festival, Madrid, Spain, May, won Best Film
  • Apron Strings (Writer/Co-Producer), 90 mins., Great Southern Film and Television, New Zealand 2008
  • 2008 July, opening film of the 40th New Zealand International Film Festival
  • 2008 August, Nationwide Theatrical Release in New Zealand, Rialto Distribution
  • 2009 May, Special Selection Cannes Film Festival (Cinephile), France
  • 2009 September, Qantas Finalist Best Screenplay, Best Film, Best Director, New Zealand Film and Television Awards
  • International Film Festivals Official Selection
  • 2008 Kuala Lumpur International Film Festival, Malaysia, November
  • 2008 5th Dubai International Film Festival, UAE, December
  • 2008 53rd Toronto International Film Festival, Canada, September
  • 2008 39th International Film Festival of India, November
  • 2008 45th Golden Horse Film Festival in Taipei, Taiwan, November
  • 2009 MIAAC Ninth Annual Film Festival, New York, USA, October
  • 2009 Mill Valley International Film Festival, USA, October
  • 2009 Seattle International Film Festival, Seattle, USA, May
  • 2009 Minneapolis St.Paul Film Festival, Minneapolis, USA, April
  • 2009 Off Camera International Film Festival, Poland, April
  • 2009 Creteil Women's Film Festival, France, March
  • 2009 Cleveland International Film Festival, USA, March
  • 2009 Santa Barbara International Film Festival, USA, January
  • Six Dollar Fifty Man (Executive Producer),14 mins., Sticky Pictures, New Zealand 2009

International Awards

  • 2009 62nd Festival De Cannes, France, awarded Special Distinction
  • 2010 Sundance Film Festival, USA, won Jury Prize in International Short Filmmaking
  • 2010 60th Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin– Generation Kplus, Germany, awarded Special Mention
  • 2010 Six Dollar Fifty Man Aspen Shortsfest, USA, won Best Drama
  • 2010 Six Dollar Fifty Man British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), Los Angeles, awarded Prize for Excellence
  • Take-3 (Executive Producer), 8 mins., Frame-Up Films, New Zealand 2008


International Awards

  • 2008 58th Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin– Generation Kplus, Germany, awarded Special Mention
  • 2008 Valladolid International Film Festival, won Meeting Point Audience Award for Best Foreign Short
  • Coffee & Allah (Writer/Producer), 14 mins., Nomadz Unlimited Ltd, New Zealand 2007
  • International Film Festivals Official Selection
  • 2007 63rd Venice International Film Festival, Corto Cortissimo, Italy, August
  • 2007 52nd Valladolid International Film Festival, Spain, September
  • 2008 34th Seattle International Film Festival, USA, June
  • 2008 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Prague, July
  • 2008 Palm Springs International Film Festival, USA, July
  • 2008 40th Auckland International Film Festival, New Zealand, July
  • 2008 Hof International Film Festival, Germany, November
  • 2008 51st San Francisco International Film Festival, USA, April
  • 2008 Hawaii International Film Festival, won Best Short Film 2008 Golden Minbar International Muslim Cinema Festival, Tatarstan, won Best short Film
  • 2009 Kara Film Festival, Pakistan, February
  • 2009 Opening Gala: Award Winners From Around the World, Worldwide Short Film Festival, Toronto, Canada, June
  • 2009 Licensed for broadcast to MTS (New Zealand) Rialto Entertainment (New Zealand)
  • 2009 Licensed for broadcast to Cinephil Cable TV (Japan)
  • Clean Linen (Writer/Producer), 13 mins., Nomadz Unlimited Ltd, New Zealand 2007

International Film Festivals Official Selection

  • 2008 26th San Francisco International Film Festival, USA, April
  • 2008 San Diego Asian Film Festival, USA, May
  • 2008 South Asian International Film Festival, New York City, USA, November 2007 Melbourne International Film Festival, Australia, July
  • 2007 39th Auckland International Film Festival, New Zealand, July
  • Fleeting Beauty (Writer/Producer) 7 mins., Nomadz Unlimited Ltd, New Zealand 2004


International Film Festivals Official Selection

  • 2004 36th Auckland International Film Festival, New Zealand, July
  • 2004 Montreal World Film Festival, Canada, September
  • 2004 49th Valladolid International Film Festival, October
  • 2004 9th Kerala International Film Festival, India, December
  • 2005 Indian International Film Festival of Los Angeles, USA, April
  • 2005 Hof International Film Festival, Germany October
  • 2005 Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival, Taiwan, November
  • 2005 International Women's Film Festival, Torino, Italy, October
  • 2005 Palm Springs International Film Festival, USA, September
  • 2005 28th International Asian American Film Festival and national tour in affiliation with the Asia Society of New York, USA, July
  • 2005 Worldwide Short Film Festival in Toronto, Canada, June
  • 2005 Aotearoa Asia Film Festival 2005 Kiwi Classics Film Series - Rialto, Auckland
  • 2004 Licensed for broadcast on Canal + (Poland)
  • 2005 Licensed for broadcast to Maori Television Service, Rialto Entertainment, New Zealand

Television Credits

  • A Thousand Apologies (Writer/Producer), 22 mins. x 6 episodes, Great Southern Television, New Zealand, 2008
  • Episode 1, TV3 & Great Southern Television, 05-09-2008 Episode 2, TV3 & Great Southern Television, 12-09-2008 Episode 3, TV3 & Great Southern Television, 19-09-2008 Episode 4, TV3 & Great Southern Television, 26-09-2008 Episode 5, TV3 & Great Southern Television, 03-10-2008 Episode 6, TV3 & Great Southern Television, 10-10-2008
  • A Taste of Place: Stories of Food & Longing (Writer/Presenter) 46 mins., Nomadz Unlimited Ltd. New Zealand 2001
  • TV-1 (TVNZ) New Zealand 05-02-2001 2001 Hawaii International Film Festival, USA


Refereed Journal Articles

PEARSON, S.R. and KOTHARI, S.T., “Menus for a Multicultural New Zealand”, Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, 21.1 (2007): 45-58.

KOTHARI, S.T., “From Genre To Zenana: Urdu Drama serials and Women's culture in Pakistan”, Contemporary South Asia, 14.3 (2005): 289-305.

KOTHARI, S.T. and KOTHARI R.A., “Roots and Routes: Two Partition Narratives” Indian Journal of World Literature and Culture, 1.1(2004): 95-100.

Sections in Books

KOTHARI, S.T. and PEARSON, S.R., “Producing Media: The project, the producer, the vision and the budget.” In Luke Goode and Nabeel Zuberi (eds.) Media Studies in Aotearoa/ New Zealand. Auckland: Pearson, 1-11, 2010. KOTHARI, S.T. and KOTHARI, R.A., “Crossing the Border in Opposite Directions: Two Partition Narratives.” In Anjali Gera Roy and Nandi Bhatia (eds.), Partitioned Lives: Narratives of Home, Displacement

and Resettlement, Delhi: Pearson Longman, 146-156, 2007.

KOTHARI, S.T. “Questioning the Audience.” In Luke Goode and Nabeel Zuberi (eds.), Media Studies in Aotearoa/New Zealand, Auckland: Pearson, 46-58, 2004.

KOTHARI, S.T., PEARSON, S.R., ZUBERI, N.M. “Multiculturalism and Television in Aotearoa/New Zealand.” In Roger Horrocks and Nick Perry (eds.), Television in New Zealand: Programming the Nation, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 135-151, 2004.

KOTHARI, S.T. and PEARSON, S.R. “Taste of Place: Stories of Food and Loss.” In Michael Hanne (ed) Creativity in Exile, Amsterdam: Rodopi, 227-228, 2004.

KOTHARI, S.T. “Such a Long Journey by Rohinton Mistry, film by Sturla Gunnarsson.” In Jaina C Sanga (ed), South Asian Literature in English: An Encyclopedia, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 313-315, 2004.

KOTHARI, S.T. “Upamanyu Chatterjee.” In Jaina C Sanga (ed), South Asian Literature in English: An Encyclopedia, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 44-46, 2004.

KOTHARI, S.T. and ZUBERI, N.M. “The Heart is still Indian: Bollywood and the South Asian Diaspora.” In Alexandra Schneider and Cecilia Hausheer (eds), Alpine Reflections on an Indian Silver Screen, Zurich, Museum Für Gestaltung, 162-169, 2002.

Teaching | Current

SCREEN 301 Screenplay Writing

SCREEN 714 Advanced Screenwriting: Drama

Distinctions/Honours

2019   Marsden Fund Grant, Royal Society of New Zealand (NZ$850,000)  Principal Investigators Sarina Pearson and Shuchi Kothari 

2019   Best Regional Language Film Award for Shit One Carries, 7th Gujarat International Film Festival, India  

2019   Asia-New Zealand Arts Foundation Award for Film Industry Advocacy

2017   Named team member on Principal Investigator Dr. Tess-Moeke Maxwell’s New Zealand Health Research Council Grant (NZ$1.1million)

2013   Professional Development award, New Zealand Film Commission

2012   Exhibition of three short films at T2F Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan

2011   Professional Development Award, New Zealand Film Commission, New Zealand

2010 Nominated in the category for Best Screenplay by the 52nd Annual Filmfare Awards, Mumbai, India (India’s equivalent to the Academy Awards) for the feature film Firaaq (writer).

2010 Nominated in the category for Best Story by the Star Screen Awards, Mumbai, India (India’s equivalent to the Golden Globe Awards) for the feature film Firaaq (writer).

2010 Best Film Award (Critics’ Choice) for Firaaq (writer) at the Star Screen Awards, Mumbai, India

2010 Six Dollar Fifty Man (executive producer) Awarded Jury Prize in International Short Filmmaking, Sundance Film Festival, USA

2009 Received the Writer’s Award by the New Zealand Film Commission (NZD $50,000)

2009 Apron Strings (co-writer/co-producer) Special Selection 62nd Festival De Cannes (Cinephile), France, May

2009 Six Dollar Fifty Man (executive producer) In Competition - 62nd Festival De Cannes, Awarded Special Distinction- 62nd Festival De Cannes, France

2008 Invited as a writer, to attend the world premiere for two features (Firaaq, Apron Strings) by the Toronto International Film Festival, Canada, September

2007 Coffee & Allah (writer/producer) In Competition at the Venice International Film Festival

2007 Awarded (jointly with Sarina Pearson and Great Southern Television) a grant from New Zealand On 2007 Air for the production of A Thousand Apologies, New Zealand’s first Asian prime-time television series (NZ$645,000)

2006 Selected by the New Zealand Film Commission as mentor and Executive Producer for six short films for NZ$345,000 

2005 Awarded (jointly with Sarina Pearson) the Vice Chancellor’s Strategic Development Fund for a pilot episode of A Thousand Apologies (NZ$90,000)

1999 Awarded (jointly with Sarina Pearson) a grant from New Zealand On Air for the television documentary A Taste of Place: Stories of Food and Longing

1992 Awarded the James Michener Fellowship for Screenplay writing, Texas Centre for Writers, University of Texas at Austin (US$30,000)

Areas of expertise

Screenplay writing, producing, digital storytelling

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Kothari, S. T., & Taylor, D. (10/7/2008). Apron Strings, Great Southern Film. Toronto International Film Festival: Great Southern Film/New Zealand Film Commission, Rialto Distribution.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/17332
  • Kothari, S. T., & Das, N. J. (1/1/2008). Firaaq, Percept Picture Company. Toronto International Film Festival.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/17331
  • Kothari, S. T. (1/1/2008). A Thousand Apologies: 6-part Asian Sketch Comedy Television Series [video for broadcast], TV-3.
  • Kothari, S. T. (5/9/2007). Coffee & Allah. Nomadz Unlimited, New Zealand Film Commission.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/17333

Contact details

Primary office location

HSB - EAST - Bldg 201E
Level 5, Room 519
10 SYMONDS ST
AUCKLAND CENTRAL
AUCKLAND 1010
New Zealand