PARCHED

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When it comes to your life...have you ever followed your heart?  Does your family have a cycle you desperately want to break?

Living your one life you've been given, following your heart and breaking the cycle is the theme exquisitely played out in the latest film from Director Leena Yadav.

Parched follows the life of three women from the same village in a West Indian desert who all are trying to break a cycle. Widowed Rani desperately wants to continue the tradition of finding her son a wife, so she can chill for the rest of her life.  Lajjo is vivacious, full of life and wants to have a child to share all that energy with.  Last, but not least erotic dancer Bijli, underneath her sexy confidence just wants to be loved and be a regular chick.

Their conversations about sec, men and the lives they are experiencing under the antiquated rules of dictated by the their village tradition.  As they begin to question those traditions, the treatment and disrespect of women, their enlightenment ultimately becomes their freedom.

Gorgeously shot by  Academy Award winning cinematographer Russell Carpenter(Titanic), Leena Yadav illustrates the thirst these women have to experience a different palette of life.  It's funny, poignant, timely and moving at all the right times and boasts a message and issue that is not isolated to Indian women...but women worldwide.  One of my favorite moments is watching these three vibrant women riding on their butterfly bike to a freedom and a new life.

Yadav said, "I was raised to judge and treat people as human beings, above and beyond their gender, religion or caste.  This story is my reaction to a misogynistic society that treats women  as objects of sex, where their greatest role is to serve men.  Giving my women characters a voice that observes, absorbs and reacts was what drove me to write this drama about ordinary women who are driven to extraordinary ends."

Leena Yadav was gracious enough to chat with me about PARCHED, her humble beginnings and her relationship with DP Russell Carpenter.  Take a listen and check out PARCHED which has a limited theatrical release on Friday, June 17th in Los Angeles (Laemmle Music Hall), New York (AMC Empire 25), the Bay Area (Cine Grand in Fremont) and Camera 12 in San Jose.

Carla Renata

Hey My Fellow Movie Lovers...

A Bison, Virgo, devoted daughter, yoga and spinning enthusiasts, graduate of  the "mecca" - Howard University's School of Communications, former publicist, actress, branding influencer and "doggie mom" to an adorably smart-energetic maltese are just a few of the characteristics that make up the essence of me -- Carla Renata.

Formerly of UBNRAdio.com, where I Co-Hosted "On Air With Tony Sweet", this Fall, I will be hosting a new show for Black Hollywood Live owned by E! Correspondent Maria Menounos  and am a freelance contributor for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.

I absolutely adore talking about all things cinema and it is my sincere hope that although not every opinion I have will or will not be embraced, know that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share!  Enjoy and see you on the red carpet!!!