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Film News Making An Impact: Meet The Co-Founder Of Ten Twenty Production Sayali Upadhye!

SAYALI UPADHYE

Sayali Upadhye is a talented and driven filmmaker in Los Angeles, California, and the co-founder of Ten Twenty Productions. We had the chance to ask Sayali more about her upcoming projects and more for further confirmation. Read below to find out the latest news and follow Sayali on official social sites for all the latest.

Can you tell us more about Ten Twenty Productions?

I recently started a production company with my long-time collaborators, Bobbie Green and Trey Sutton. We have been working together for a long time now. Our last film, A Karaoke Space Odyssey, which is written and directed by Achim Mendoza, has been doing really well in the festival rounds. It is a sci-fi comedy about finding a true connection while struggling as an immigrant. The film has since then been showcased at the San Diego International Film Festival, The Asian American Showcase, and the LA Shorts International Film Festival. We will have our East Coast premiere in July at the New York Asian Film Festival. 

After we finished the film last year, while we were working on different projects, we thought about pooling our contacts, resources, and creative ideas together to form our own company. I always knew that I would start my own business someday, but with Bobbie and Trey’s addition, the plan accelerated to fruition.  The company is not just a  production house but a platform for creatives coming from underrepresented  communities to share their stories and have their voice heard. We also aim to nurture a creative community that is built on strong friendships and healthy working relations.

What are some projects that Ten20 Productions has in the works?

Through Ten Twenty, I also recently wrapped a short drama, Terms and Conditions, written and directed by Mar Sudac. I was the lead producer on the project. The film has Rosa Salazar (known for The Maze Runner and Alita: Battle Angel)  and George Basil as leads. The film is a modern take on the story of Adam and Eve and sheds light on the nature of modern-day relationships. Working on the movie with Mar, Rosa and George was an absolute delight and a rewarding experience. I can’t wait to share it with everyone. We are just about ready to start our festival run this fall. 

Apart from these, I’m currently in pre-production for 2 projects under the banner of Ten20 Productions – a production company I recently founded with Bobbie Green and Trey Sutton. The first one is a short thriller, Sparrow Falls Boulevard, written and directed by Albert Pritchard. Brett Pawlak is set to be the director of photography. The film delves into the dynamics of domestic violence and Generative AI. 

The second one is a coming-of-age film, Coconut Girl, which follows Swetha, the 7-year-old child of South Indian immigrants, who struggles to reconcile her Asian heritage. The film is written and directed by Ayesha Agarwal. The script won the 2024 WAVE grant by Wavelength Productions. This film is very close to my heart as I come from an Indian cultural background and relate with the identity struggle that the Indian American kids experience. Growing up, I never saw a true representation of the Indian culture. It was always stereotypical characters that were one-dimensional. My goal with Ten Twenty is to shed a spotlight on authentic, multi-dimensional, and strong narratives from the Indian sub-continent and the Indian diaspora in the U.S. 

I feel incredibly grateful to be a part of our company alongside my talented business partners, Bobbie and Trey. What makes our collaboration so special is how seamlessly we work together. Each of us brings unique strengths and fills in for each other’s weaknesses. Beyond being incredibly skilled professionals, they are also supportive friends. It’s almost surreal to think that I get to work with my friends indefinitely. It’s truly a dream come true for me.

How would you explain your filmmaking journey?

Making a career in filmmaking is incredibly tough. Running a film production company is  even harder — it’s not something you can do alone. You need all the help you can get.  Sometimes, you have to put in your own money or put your paycheck towards the  company. It’s long hours and you have very little time for yourself. I consider myself fortunate to have a strong support system I can rely on. My family and  friends are always there for me, whether it’s during challenging times or just to lend an ear to my worries. Especially my dad, who shares my passion for filmmaking. He’s the  reason I got into filmmaking, and he continues to support me unconditionally in every  way possible. He continues to be my guiding light and cheerleader in pursuing my film  dreams. Whether it is offering financial assistance, sharing invaluable business advice,  or simply sharing a good laugh, he’s been my rock throughout this journey.

Where can viewers follow you online?

https://www.instagram.com/hi_im_saay/

https://www.instagram.com/ten20productions

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