Pavitra Chalam is an award-winning documentary filmmaker based in Bangalore. She has directed over 200 films in the last 15 years and is the Founder of Curley Street.

Chalam’s journey with film started in 2003 where, as part of the Youth Initiative for Peace in Pakistan, she made her film debut Bus – a cinematic exposition on the shared ideals of the youth of both nations. Her thesis film at the New York Film Academy Anamika – Her Glorious Past went on to receive critical acclaim in festivals across the world and was screened at the World Bank in Washington DC.

Chalam has been privileged to receive numerous awards over the last decade including the Ability Media International Award in London for Best Film for Khushboo, a film about children with complex needs. She was awarded the Asia-Pacific Award for ‘Outstanding New Documentary Talent’ at the DocWeek film festival in Adelaide for Indelible, the story of seven people with Down syndrome living in India. She was also honored by the government of India in 2016 as one of 25 women achievers/ambassadors for social change.

In January 2019, Women In Film (Los Angeles) Chalam was named the 33rd annual Film Finishing Fund grant recipient for Rooting for Roona. As the recipient of the Stella Artois grant,t it was the only film from India among the year’s grantees.

Rooting for Roona had its world premiere at the International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala (IDSFFK) and was recently awarded the Audience Award for Best Short Film at the South Asian Film Festival of Orlando before being acquired by Netflix for the film’s worldwide release on October 15, 2020.

Pavitra is also the co-creator of The Mums Word, a first-of-its-kind Instagram platform for and by mothers in India.

Program Studied at NYFA: Filmmaking
Program Type: MFA
Year Graduated: 2006
Location: New York


NYFA Filmmaking Alum Pavitra Chalam Co-Directs ‘Rooting for Roona’ – Now Streaming on Netflix

NYFA Filmmaking Alum Pavitra Chalam Co-Directs ‘Rooting for Roona’ – Now Streaming on Netflix

Now available to stream on Netflix: Filmmaking alum Pavitra Chalam co-directs the new, inspirational documentary Rooting For Roona about a child named Roona with an advanced form of hydrocephalus, a condition…