rePROFilm Podcast

COUNTERFEIT KUNKOO with Reema Maya Sengupta

April 01, 2023 Season 1 Episode 20
COUNTERFEIT KUNKOO with Reema Maya Sengupta
rePROFilm Podcast
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rePROFilm Podcast
COUNTERFEIT KUNKOO with Reema Maya Sengupta
Apr 01, 2023 Season 1 Episode 20

Periodical Podcast host Asha Dahya chats with “Counterfeit Kunkoo” writer/director Reema Maya Sengupta about how her mother’s struggle to find housing as a single woman inspired her to write a “very angry script.” In a lovely full-circle moment, Reema’s mom served as the producer of the film and helped secure many of the set locations in the Mumbai slum where she grew up. 

Support the Show.

If you haven’t already, subscribe to our monthly newsletter where you will get each episode of the pod straight to your inbox. Learn more at or at @reprofilm The rePROFilm Podcast is executive produced by mamafilm. Looking forward to bringing you our next conversation!

Show Notes Transcript

Periodical Podcast host Asha Dahya chats with “Counterfeit Kunkoo” writer/director Reema Maya Sengupta about how her mother’s struggle to find housing as a single woman inspired her to write a “very angry script.” In a lovely full-circle moment, Reema’s mom served as the producer of the film and helped secure many of the set locations in the Mumbai slum where she grew up. 

Support the Show.

If you haven’t already, subscribe to our monthly newsletter where you will get each episode of the pod straight to your inbox. Learn more at or at @reprofilm The rePROFilm Podcast is executive produced by mamafilm. Looking forward to bringing you our next conversation!

Asha Dahya:
Welcome to another episode of the Repro Film podcast! I’m your host Asha Dahya, and it is always the most exciting time of the month for me to share a conversation with a brilliant filmmaker, artist, activist or repro health expert with you. This month, we are featuring the short film ‘Counterfeit Kunkoo’ from Indian filmmaker Reema Maya, which screened at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Counterfeit Kunkoo is an exploration of social issues that plague the daily life of an Indian woman. It is the story of Smita who is trying to find a house to rent in Mumbai. Smita, who has recently found her way out of an abusive marriage, is unable to rent an apartment because of her divorced status. This film is an intimate perspective on the ‘ideal Indian woman’ in contemporary urban India. It addresses housing discrimination and marital rape.

So trigger warning, the film comes from a deep sense of anger and helplessness about the fact that the need for a roof over your head can be exploited as an opportunity to employ social prejudice.For those unfamiliar, Kunkoo’ is the Marathi word for the red sindoor or vermillion powder that married Hindu women wear in the parting on their head. ‘Counterfeit Kunkoo’ therefore denotes signs of marriage that have lost meaning. This beautifully-shot film shows SO much in a short amount of time, and with limited dialog. It is a reminder that what goes unsaid in society, often speaks the loudest, and in this case, it is stereotypes, social expectations, and cultural norms that for too long go unchallenged.

You may be wondering what this all has to do with reproductive issues? Well, everything actually! In fact, we are always trying to find ways to underscore that reproductive issues are intersectional, meaning, they don’t sit in a silo or category by themselves. A person’s reproductive decisions are often informed by their living situation, their income status, their geographical location, their age, their employment status, whether they have a support system around them or not, and how the laws where they live impact their everyday lives. In the beginning of the film we see Smita at a clinic getting an abortion, but that is only one aspect of her story.

So I wanted to ask Reema about all of this, as well as talk about the rest of her work through the company she started, Catnip productions, and how filmmaking first grabbed a hold of her as a child. While most children went on family vacations, Reema spent her summer breaks attending screenwriting and directing workshops. From films and music videos to commercials, she has tried her hand at everything. Reema received 16 awards for her first short film at the age of 21, and today her career is nothing short of inspiring to watch, as I’ve been doing via Instagram stalking, ahem, I mean “research”! Her clients include Puma, Netflix, H&M and many more, alongside the many film projects she is working on, the most recent of which just screened at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival! So, enough chit chat from me, here is Reema Maya to talk about all things filmmaking, storytelling and Counterfeit Kunkoo.

Reema thank you for joining me on the podcast today! I’d love to start off by learning how you got into the film industry. Can you talk about your ambition as a young girl? I love this story. Tell us all about it.

Reema Maya (03:40):
Well, I come from a pretty unique background in that both my parents are born and raised in the slums of Bombay and still lived there. And I was born and very, like, even as a kid, as a young girl, I would find myself feeling very emotionally overwhelmed by just like social, political things that were happening in the world, even if they didn't have a direct impact on my life. And I used to think, you know, most people don't even think to ask about these things. Why do I get so emotionally overwhelmed about it? And my conclusion was that until, unless you don't feel strongly about something, you're never gonna do anything about it. And so I started thinking, okay, what am I supposed to do? How do I do it? And film just made sense because they have such great sense of influence.

People already, you know, watch burns and want to copy behavior. It's almost the form of social validation. it's the closest you can come to actually being someone else. So it has this incredible capacity to incite empathy. And it's a really smart and efficient medium because you work really hard and you make it once, but then it exists forever. So my love of making didn't come from a sense of romance, a romanticism for the big screen. It really was a very rational observational decision for the things that I really wanted to say. So very early on, you know, in school other kids would go on summer vacations and I would do direction workshops and screenwriting workshops and theater workshops and stuff like that. So my journey to become a filmmaker started very, very young, like at the 10 12. And yeah, I would be in these, these classrooms full of 30 somethings just, you know <laugh> being this little aspiring filmmaker. So my entire life has in a lot of ways been working towards just being a writer director.

Asha Dahya (05:40):
It's almost like the film industry called to you rather than you seeking it out. It was like the thing that became your voice and medium and to share about so many issues that you're passionate about.

Reema Maya (05:50):
Absolutely. And you know, it's so interesting because nobody around me is from the media industry or the film industry, and they really had no idea at all how these things work or, you know, even the, the difference between like what a director does or what a producer does. Like, I come from absolutely zero background and it's really strange that I very intensely got into like, I'm gonna become a writer director. So early on that I'm really glad that I did. Cause I love it.

Asha Dahya (06:22):
Yeah, I love that story and I love stories about people who have no connection to the film industry and then get to where you are today. I think it's really inspirational and, and brave too. You know, you're stepping outside your comfort zone. So I think that's really inspirational for us, especially filmmakers who are listening to this who also have no connection. so let's talk about your films. This month we're highlighting your acclaimed short film, counterfeit Kcu, which screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 2018. No big deal. just, you know, the biggest film festival for filmmakers on earth. where did the inspiration for the story and the main character come from?

Reema Maya (06:58):
The inspiration for that really did come from when my mother had to, so my parents separated and my mother had to find a house for herself on rent in Mumbai. And everywhere she went, she just faced intense housing discrimination, which was really infuriating because, you know, she was always the one financially running the household. She's really strong and had the money that she needed. She's from Mumbai, she's, you know, she has a sense of community here. She's not an outsider not that that justifies anything. She really had everything in her favor. This is her city. She had the money for it, and still everywhere she went, the first conversation was, where's your husband? And are you alone? Like, are you a family or a bachelor? And she would try to explain that she has a daughter, but she's, I was studying abroad. I wasn't here at that time.

So I remember being really far away and feeling so angry and feeling so helpless about the entire situation that I wrote like an angry screenplay back in 2011 and just put it away. I never really thought of making a film, like actually making the film. I just wanted to vent. but many years later, after just doing a lot of like advertising and commission projects and needed to make something very personal that sort of resets my artistic compass. And that's why I picked up the script up was very, very personal. We got a small group of family and parents together and that's how Kunkoo happened.

Asha Dahya (08:25): And has your mom seen the film? What, what are her, what has been her? My

Reema Maya (08:29):
Mom is the producer of the film. Oh, beautiful. And she's an absolute badass and she's the reason we had access to the spaces that we, that we did, we have, we had access to the characters, the actors that we did. it's all her goodwill and her community. And we've shot so much in spaces that are from the neighborhood that she grew up in and that that we lived in. Which Isard Village? <inaudible>. Yeah.

Asha Dahya (08:59):
Oh, what a beautiful thought, full circle moment. That almost made me tear up a little bit. That's so great. <laugh>. Aw, I'm so glad that she had her experience validated in this way. And you got to go on that journey with her through film. And, and there's something that I really love about this story of Smita is how intersectional so many of the issues are from reproductive healthcare. We see Smita getting an abortion at the start of the film stigma, like you said, around being a divorced or a single woman classism, sexism, housing discrimination. How do these issues play into the stereotype of the quote unquote ideal Indian woman that you were looking to examine or dissect in the film?

Reema Maya (09:37):
I knew that I wanted to choose someone who really has societally speaking, no agency, which is why I chose this very like lower middle class woman who is really still living in the slums with her husband and is, has been trying to escape this very abusive marriage and has now started like her journey on financial independence. I think what was really important is that even though society wasn't affording her any sense of agency, she took that agency for herself in understanding that Mari rape is wrong. I feel like so many people don't even have that dualization. I think that's one of her biggest moments of agency. The second one is her decision that she doesn't have to spend the rest of her life being abused like that. And the third moment of agency for her is her decision of not bringing a child into a less than ideal, you know, life.

And I think in she really was a person that yeah, society didn't think they were affording any agency to, but her agency was hers to, to take and to claim. and I wanted to sort of explore yeah, the intersectionality and the, the sense of discrimination through these aspects because she's not completely divorced yet, but she's just on the precipice of it, right? It's that first step you take getting out of the violence. And the question really is, we, we talk about like, everyone agrees, right, that domestic violence is wrong and everybody agrees that emotional abuse is wrong and the husband shouldn't beat their wives or rape their, I think morally, we as a society, everyone agrees with that and we applaud women for taking that step to get outta these situations. And we're like, oh, that's so brave, but what are we offering as a society for the women who've actually taken that step? There's no infrastructure for them. So Smta has escaped this really violent situation and literally doesn't have a roof over her head, and there are no opportunities for her to actually have that independent safe life. So that really is the question, okay, someone manages to do everything they can to get out of this really difficult situation, but what next is that sustainability?

Asha Dahya (11:59):
Yeah, absolutely. And, and you know, thinking about marital rape, the fact that it was only criminalized in the early nineties in the US and in Indian not that long ago, correct?

Reema Maya (12:09):
I need to double check if it's even illegal. I know it wasn't criminalized when I was making the film, which is five, six years ago. I need to double check what the current situation is, but it's, it's absolutely bizarre. And actually while I was saying you know, what I was saying a, a minute ago in that all of us agree that marital rape is wrong, be like all of us as a literally people like us, the word like-minded agreed. but there is unfortunately a decent amount of population of people who maybe don't understand why it's rape or if the husband is expecting sex as well.

Asha Dahya (12:49):
And even that cultural lack of knowledge leads to laws not being passed or, you know, marital rape not being criminalized up until the point when there is such huge public outrage. And so it's on us, but also the laws need to reflect what the culture is. And if the culture is not looking at these women as needing support, then we get what we get in the law. So, yeah, it's really interesting to see. And, and I'll put some information in the, in the intro on the outro about marital rate laws. Just for context, for people who wanna know, how pervasive is this stereotype in India today? I mean, have you, I know you talked about your mother, but have you ever felt this pressure in your life? Have, do you see it with the people that you know today and and p some of your peers and the women that you know

Reema Maya (13:32): Well with housing discrimination?

Asha Dahya (13:34): Yeah. With this stereotype of the ideal Indian woman and, and housing discrimination, all those things that your mom experienced.

Reema Maya (13:40):
Oh, it's very, very prevalent. I mean, housing discrimination is not just against a single woman. It's also against like actual bachelor's, like unmarried. basically anyone who's not a family find it really hard to find a house, especially single women. A lot of people from minority religions find it really hard to find a house. There are entire neighborhoods where you won't find a house if you eat knowledge, food, it's, yeah, it's, it becomes very, very prescriptive. And the moral policing is, it's pretty intense, I would say. So that's to do with housing discrimination, but the idea of the ideal, and in woman, I think there's two parts to it. There are certain sections of society that are a little bit more conservative where it's very on the nose and a lot of the other the other side of it is a lot of internalized conditioning.

So I feel like because we've grown up from with it and it's been constantly reinforced on us. I think we've also internalized to such a great extent the idea of what this ideal Indian Indian woman used to be. Like, even when we're talking about sexual liberation, right? Like, I would feel so guilty to way into my twenties if I were just engaged in anything sexual, because I would just feel like I'm being a bad daughter. They're so deep seated and it takes so much constant questioning to understand what is part of your own personality and what is just part of this intense conditioning. And honestly, like life is easier if you just adhere to that idea. <laugh>, it's unfair. It's also the conversation about intergenerational trauma, right? Like someone has to stand up and say, Hey, no, if you're telling me not to wear sleeveless clothes, I don't think that makes sense, so I'm not going to agree to that. And then you fight side side and then there comes a time where people understand and then it's easier for the next person. So I think that those first steps are really important. And I think as important as it is to be respectful to your elders or the generation before you, it's equally important to take thae responsibility to have these difficult conversations with them and to educate them and to challenge them in the right way.

Asha Dahya (15:56):
That's so interesting. I come from an Indian family too. I grew up in Australia, but for me the, there was issue of living with your partner before you were married. I mean, there was, it was very taboo. And my cousins and friends and other Indian families, it was like such a big deal. But then I, I did it and other people did it, and then all of a sudden it's like, it's no big deal. But I sometimes would talk to my aunties and they were like, oh yeah, you know, Rakesh is living with his girlfriend. They'd, you know, have those shifty eyes. And I'm like, oh, great, I hope he's happy. And then they'd realize, oh, it's not such a big deal. Yeah. Unless you make it a big deal. And I know that's a small example, and granted, no,

Reema Maya (16:31): Absolutely

Asha Dahya (16:32):
We're living in Australia, but you know, just those examples of, well, let's look at the bigger context. You, your family has love, you have great relationships, and you respect each other, and that's the main thing. And people are healthy and thriving. And so I think once you put that into perspective and realize, oh yeah, why are we holding onto these rules? And some people wanna hold onto themselves for whatever reason, and that's okay. But you know, when we force it on other people and make it a societal quote unquote rule, then it's like, well, why? Let's question this and let's examine that. So yeah, I think that it's really important to see how this is being, you know, how you are showing this in film and using film as a medium to question these things and, and confront people with these stereotypes. And what reaction have you gotten from Indian audiences specifically, but, or audiences in general?

Reema Maya (17:20):
The reactions from the audiences have been amazing. I think what's been most striking is how universally resonant the film has been. And we're talking, you know, all the way from high school girls in France to women in their sixties and seventies from Brooklyn. Everybody has really felt so strongly and related to the film and everyone has like an anecdote to share about something that, that it reminded them of or that really resonated with them. I remember specifically, there was this one Indian woman who I met at a in, and she said that she's separating from her husband after, you know, like 18 or 20 years of marriage. And watching the film made her feel like it's gonna be okay. And I thought that was a really, really big moment. We, we ended up having a lot more international screenings than we did Indian screenings, but definitely the, the custom crew screening where I had my family and friends did that was a really special one. It was a really emotional one. And then I asked my grandmother if she figured what Smitha was doing in that last scene, and she said that, oh yeah, she was just scratching herself, right? So now I'm like confused about whether she just didn't wanna tell me or she like generally didn't get it, which is more shocking. <laugh> 

Asha Dahya (18:45): Good on you for asking her that question, <laugh>.

Reema Maya (18:49):
Oh, wow. Because honestly, like it's not beyond imagination that there might be a lot of women in our society who haven't had the exposure to understand that women can naturally pleasure themselves. Yeah, yeah. Not the most spoken about thing.

Asha Dahya (19:05):
Again, it goes back to those taboos, you know, what is the ideal woman? What's the proper thing to do? What's the way to interact with your own sexuality? Are you even allowed to do that? I mean, it goes back to all those internalized messages that we have. I wanna talk about social justice for a minute. And, you know, you touched on this earlier about your upbringing, about how passionate you are about using film as a, as a medium for social change. I'd love for you to talk about how you, you know, as a creative, how you interweave messages of social change or social justice with a story on, on camera, a story on screen. Like how do you interweave the two?

Reema Maya (19:42):
I think with every project, the conversation is what is the objective, right? You need to have, at least I set specific objectives for myself at the beginning of a project, and as long as I'm meeting them, everything else is engineered around that. So if I need to talk about, like in in counter Fuku for example, the objective is to simply raise awareness about the fact that this problem exists. So it's done in a very simplistic accessible way that is, that just has this emotional shred. And that ultimately only said that, hey, housing discrimination exists and it's unfair. Of course, it's then layered with a lot of different things. And then on other projects depending again on who I want to talk to and what exactly I want to say and how and wants I want to be the protagonist and the story and the tone are sort of chosen are a really important rule that I personally follow, is that if you're getting so many people together to work really hard and create something, you might as well say something important and significant through it and respect your audience so that it entertains and impacts them so you're not just preaching.

I think the art that we create really come so much from the life experiences that we've had consciously or subconsciously when I decide I want to say something, I think the first thing that I do is look inward and, and try to identify very instinctively what is that one thing that I feel so strongly that this just absolutely needs to be said right now. And that is the beginning moment of the journey of any project. From there, you know, the moment you've started the journey with, what do I need to say, there is always an experience that is attached to it and there are always characters that are attached to it that come onto the table. And then of course, you, you craft it. But I think because the intention comes from a place of, no, I wouldn't necessarily say social impact, I would simply say just have a sense of social consciousness.

I think you then go from there. But this doesn't just stay limited to my independent fiction work. I do a lot of advertising work and it finds its ways in a completely different form in the advertising projects, which are, you know, brighter and glossier and speaking to a completely different demographic through a completely different set of characters. But somewhere the essence of what we want to say in our shared human condition remains similarly. I do a lot of music videos and, and there the format is different and you kind of draw from what a different genre artist has created, which are these songs, but again, some sense of who you are and the essence of you always finds its way into pretty much everything that you do. And I think because the, the seed of who I am is someone that wants people to work together to towards a better world, I think everything just goes from there.

Asha Dahya (22:45):
I love that. That's so well said. And I was looking at, on your Instagram, I think it was it an H&M commercial that you worked on? Yeah. And all the characters and the different scenarios and in the different rooms in the house and everything that they're saying. I, and, and there was just such a sense of joy and love and togetherness then. Yeah, I, I think I was just thinking of that as you were mentioning that. So yeah,

Reema Maya (23:05):
That one, that was such a fun project. And that was the, it was based on a poem that I wrote called Hope and just, it was just an exploration of

Asha Dahya (23:13): Oh, you wrote and you narrated it, right?

Reema Maya (23:15):
Yes, and I narrated it. They were really sweet. Like I did the scratch version and I think they were just like, oh, just let's not get it recorded. Yeah. <laugh>, that's

Asha Dahya (23:24):
Beautiful. Yeah, we'll have to link to that in the show notes cuz it's a really great example of some of the other work types of work that you're doing today. and speaking of words, I'd love to talk about the title for a second: Counterfeit Kunkoo. Can you explain explain how you came up with it, what it means, and how it wasn't the original title that you chose? Right.

Reema Maya (23:43):
I am so bad at naming my films. I've had some really terrible, terrible titles and I feel like that's the one thing I find so difficult to do, and I end up spending way too much time being extremely indecisive about the title that the film's going to have. But Counterfeit Kunkoo means kumkum, it's a red vermillion powder that married women, married Hindu women wear in the pattern of their head. It signifies that they're married. So in Marathi it's called kumkum, which is [--] and counterfeit, because it's fake and the title really speaks about fake symbol of societal institutions that you need to sort of display as an ID card <laugh> to just get through the basic necessities of life. I had some help from friends, I remembered sort of doing these focus group sessions with a bunch of different friends, just throwing my long list of names, add them, and seeing what sticks. And I think it was through one of these jam sessions with a couple of fellow filmmakers that they sort of pushed me and said, no, it has to be more, it has to be more. And I think that's how we arrived at Counterfeit Kunkoo.

Asha Dahya (24:58):
I mean, it's a lot of pressure, a title because it's gonna have all this meaning and you want it to, you know, have all this symbolism, but it's just such a perfect indicator of not only the physical powder that the, the married woman wear, but also all the symbols and all the, the issues that you're talking about. So I think it's, it's really brilliant. I’ve been watching some social media clips of you and actress Kani Kusrati and something which I had no idea about was that she didn’t speak a word of Hindi or Marathi before doing this film. How did you both work around the language barrier in preparing to shoot? and how did you choose her?

Reema Maya (25:38):
Kani is absolutely incredible. It was a common friend [--] who recommended that I should definitely meet her. So I met her for coffee for the first time, and I wanted to talk to her about the script. And within the first two minutes she told me that she doesn't speak Hindi, like, let alone Marathi, that she doesn't understand Hindi at all. I sort of didn't even bring the film up to her and I, I just, we just generally caught up. But I went back home and I couldn't stop being her at Smith's face. I was just like, we had just become imprinted onto that character. And I mean, of course she has this really striking face and she's incredibly, incredibly talented. So I think I, I hit her up again, I said, Hey, this is, there's this film and you know, it has, I think I counted a number of lines, Smitha has and it was like seven lines or something really not that many. So I said, okay, it's these many lines and you know, should we do it? And she was amazing. So she understands phonetics really well. So I say the lines and she would sort of emulate it after me. She did. Yeah. There was just this one scene where it was like a one shot, one take of her just reacting to something that someone was saying off screen. I think we got it in like two takes. 

Asha Dahya (27:02):
She's brilliant. I mean, she says so much just in her facial expression and body language too, which is the mark of a great actress, but wow. I mean, so, so talented for her to, to bring that to life, you know, in verbal and non-verbal way. So I, I love that story. And she's, she's definitely brilliant.

Reema Maya (27:18): I got so lucky. I, I'm really lucky that she was, she agreed to be a part of this project.

Asha Dahya (27:23):
Yeah, she's amazing. And what do you hope audiences, especially our repro film audiences and listeners will love most or think about after watching Counterfeit Kcu and people who have, who have never seen it before, and I'm gonna watch it for the first time?

Reema Maya (27:36):
Wow, that's a really interesting question. Usually I go into screenings with zero expectations of how the audience will react because it's such a subjective experience. And I think we've kept the film lose ended enough for you to take from what, what you want. But usually there are two things that I think that people feel really strongly about. One is the abortion sequence at the beginning and the marial rape aspect of it. So like the marriage and sexual agency aspect of it. The second is housing discrimination and how just absolutely ridiculous that idea is. I mean, how can you not find a house to rent if you have done nothing wrong and you have the funds to pay for it? And I would be really keen to see how people react to the last scene because I think that's a really special, special scene and just such a moment of joy and victory in the smallest, smallest, it's the only victory she has, right? So I think I'm very curious to see how, how the audience reacts to those aspects. And I really hope that this phone in a smaller big way ignites conversations about sexual agency and marital rape. And what do you do once someone actually steps out of an abusive situation? What then, and how can we as a community provide better support at such a difficult dad?

Asha Dahya (29:06):
Well, at the beginning you spoke about how film has become a way for you to talk about issues that you care about. And you know, this film really sums that up so beautifully and just a microcosm of all the work that you're doing. So thank you for making this film and for sharing it with the world. I think it's really impactful and engaging as well as entertaining. So thank you so much. But before you go, can you tell us what you are working on right now and where can we continue following your projects and general life events that you want us to know about?

Reema Maya (29:38):
Well, I have a new baby not an actual baby, a new short film called Nocturnal Burger. And Nocturnal Burger had its World Premiere at Sundance just now.

Asha Dahya (29:49): Yay. Congrats. That's amazing.

Reema Maya (29:51):
Thank you. Thank you. Oh, you we're absolutely thrilled. So Nocturnal Burger's just starting out on its festival journey, we're, we're going to some really exciting customers next. It's been, yeah, great to sort of go back to these spaces after counter people and just, you know, it feels like especially fun dance, I think really felt like homecoming and they feel like family and they've been such, such a big sense of support for me over these years and like such great cheerleaders. So that's the big thing that is happening. I just dropped this big music video this hiphop music video for this amazing artist called Divine, which was doing really well. And then there's like various long and short format projects that are always in the works. You can follow my work on my company's Vimeo page and you can stay up to date with what I've been up to on Instagram and my handle is @reemsen.

Asha Dahya (30:46): Awesome. And you did a, you did something for Netflix in India recently. Was there, I saw some video clips on your Instagram

Reema Maya (30:52):
<laugh> There's so much. So I actually have like three alter egos. I do a lot of work in the music space, do a lot of work in the advertising space with like big conceptual campaigns. I did one for Puma called <inaudible> that won the YouTube books Best Long Storytelling award a couple of years ago. Did this ad for Bumble that won the Blue Elephant for Best Writing and et cetera, et cetera. So that's the advertising work. And then there's my independent fiction work, which you can see people who worked on Nocturnal Burger, are a part of the Netflix work that, that you mentioned. Are these like, it's kinda a cross between the first and second thing. I did this music video for their Valentine's Day campaign a few years ago called Love Stories, which it's like this swarm fuzzy love story between two brown boys Should check it out. And then I did this big hip hop music video for them that dropped together. Divine, Badshah, and Jonita Ghandi were these three incredible and successful Indian artists and singers and rappers together for the first time in this like epic music video. So that's another thing that I did for them. And then I did a few songs.

Asha Dahya (32:02):
Yes, be sure to follow Reema on Instagram and you get to see her amazing Netflix work. You get to see her inaction behind the camera on set with these big celebrities. you get to see her h and m work and her short films. And this is, it's just really wonderful. So if you're anything like me, you'll be spending plenty of time stalking her work and liking everything and sharing. So do all the things. But Reema, thank you so much for joining us today.

Reema Maya (32:26): Thank you so much. Thanks for having me.

Asha Dahya (32:31):
Since we mentioned it in the interview and weren’t sure of the actual data, I did a bit of digging and learned that the US outlawed marital rape across the nation in 1993, but India only made it illegal in 2022. So it’s not hard to imagine the cultural bias and patriarchal standards still causing harm to women even today. With that in mind, be sure to watch ‘Counterfeit Kunkoo’ in this month’s Repro Periodical by heading to, and if you haven’t already, sign up to the periodical while you’re there to receive every episode of this podcast straight to your inbox every month! You can check out more of Reema’s work by following her on Instagram, @Reem-sen and check out more of the film @counterfeitkunkoo. Share this episode with a friend and help us spread the repro film message and mission.

The rePROFilm Podcast is executive produced by
Hosted and produced by me, Asha Dahya, Edited by Kylie Brown, With original music by ParisJane and Marrice Anthony. The Periodical is programmed by Neha Aziz and written by Emily Christensen. Alex Sgambati is our Social Media Manager and Rebecca Sosa is our Distribution & Impact Strategist. You can find us on social media @reprofilm on Instagram and @reprofilmfest on Twitter. I look forward to bringing you our next conversation. 
Bye for now!