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Ronak Shah

writer/director Love Goes Through Your Mind, Fountain of Youth, ABC Gangstas
Ronak moved between Mumbai, India, and New Jersey, USA, until she was fourteen years old. Because of this, she considers herself as much of an immigrant as American. While pursuing an art degree at Parsons School of Design, Ronak unexpectedly discovered her love for storytelling, so she proceeded to work in the film industry in New York City before moving to Los Angeles to get her MFA in Writing/Directing at UCLA. As a labor of love over a period of five years, Ronak wrote and directed her first feature film, ‘Love Goes Through Your Mind’, which is about an Indian-American family and its implosion under the pressures of one of their member's untreated mental illness. With this film, she aims to challenge the stigma toward mental illnesses in the Asian American community while providing encouragement to step beyond the shame and seek help before it's too late. Ronak is ecstatic to have its world premiere at the 25th Austin Film Festival 2018.
Amongst many other things, the film made Ronak realize her passion to tell character-driven stories about the psychological struggles of immigrants and their children as they survive in a land far away from home. Staying true to that, she is currently in production on her second feature, 'Fountain of Youth', a dramedy about a brilliant Korean-American lesbian post-doctoral researcher's journey through a human clinical trial to find a cure for Alzheimer's. When one of the patients turns out to be her estranged mother who now doesn't remember her, she has to choose between curing her while reliving their past and the possibility of losing her mom all over again. This film has been made possible by partial funding from the Sloan Foundation: https://www.sloanfilmsummit.org/spirit-awards/nominee/fountain-of-youth.
As a minority, female independent storyteller, Ronak is proud to make poignant films that move, challenge and inspire audiences to reflect on their unyielding beliefs. When she isn’t spending time making movies, Ronak lives to hike, meditate and paint.
p.s. She isn't always as serious as the photo frames her out to be.

My Panelists Sessions

Saturday, October 27

9:00am CDT