Ashwini is an actor, artist, and classical dancer. She is graduate from Sir. J.J. School of Arts, Mumbai, India, with a Masters in the Science of Waldorf Education, New York, USA. She is a Partner, in Kaavadi Productions LLP. ‘His Father’s Voice’, is her first feature film as an Actor, and as a Producer.
Narendran, an illustrious dancer, teacher and choreographer of Indian classical dance, has worked in theatre productions, with renowned institutions like L'Ecole-Atelier Rudra Béjart, and has performed in prestigious festivals in more than thirty countries. A star pupil, and a former faculty member at the Kalakshetra Foundation, Chennai, India, Narendran was a principle dancer in the Theatre Productions of this institution, for more than three decades.
Julia was born and raised in Switzerland. Exposed to multicultural challenges during her almost 7 year long journey working in Switzerland, South Africa, Romania and Thailand, she developed her understanding of different cultures and a sensorium to express and communicate over the boundaries of social & cultural background. After moving to India, she found the time and the supporting environment to express her long, life experience in art. She is also a beautician and make-up artist and has worked on numerous national and international sets.
Jeremy is a multi-talented American performing artist who started his artistic journey as a singer, dancer and lyricist at the age of 13. He has had several bands, recorded an album, toured the world and continues to play music as a primary passion. Over the past 15 years, he has worked on and off stage, acting in many theater productions, directing an award wining show, teaching acting for stage, television & film and leading workshops in physical theater, stage combat and live performance.
Sudharma is a young and gifted Bharatanatyam dancer. She is a disciple of Sri. A. Lakshman. A child prodigy, she had her arangetram before she reached the age of seven, under the able guidance of Smt. Srekala Bharath. As a soloist, she is one of the most promising, and sought after talents, in the field of Bharatanatyam.
Christopher, one of the frontline soloists of his generation, displays the best of his alma mater through his dance, and is known for his clean lines, captivating nritta and engaging stage presence. Born and raised in Perth, Western Australia, Christopher’s love and passion for dance, led him to the world renowned institute, 'Kalakshetra - Rukmini Devi College of Fine Arts’ in Chennai. Currently he is a performer in Leela Samson’s Spanda Dance Company, touring the USA, Canada, U.K and South east Asia.
Asha, born in Gondal, Gujarat is currently a seventh grade student, studying in Chennai. She has been learning Bharatanatyam from Prithvija Balagopalan. Asha never thought of becoming an actor, and yet she is a most natural performer, with immense potential.
Tsur was born in Israel and currently lives in Auroville universal township, South India. Ever since the age of six, he has been participating in theatre plays. Besides acting, Tsur is currently learning to play the Tabla. He is also a Ninjitsu practitioner.
Yam was born and lives in Auroville universal township, in South India. Originally from Israel, where he lived for six years, he studied acting at the Jerusalem Khan Theatre. Ever since the age of seven, he has been participating in theatre plays.
Sadana is a talented seven year old, who loves drawing and dancing. She has a gift to understand the intricacies of a language and grasps new movements with ease. She has a great sense of humor, and is loved by her fellow classmates, at her school in Auroville.
Srimoyi completed her studies in Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, Pondicherry. She worked with theatre director, Veenapani Chawla in some of her theatrical productions in Mumbai, in the early 80s. Since 1986, she has been living in Auroville and likes to do theatre. She was also an active Odissi dancer until a few years ago.
Alois Otto, born in Austria in 1953, has been living and working in Auroville, India since 1981. He has been enjoying acting on stage for the last 25 years.
Professor C K Balagopalan is considered a Master in Kathakali, especially in enacting the female roles (Sthree Vesham). After fifty four years of association with the Kalakshetra Foundation, Professor Balagopalan retired from this prestigious institution in 2000. Since 2001, he runs his own institution named, “BALANRITHYALAYA”, in Chennai, India.
Bragha Bessell is an internationally acclaimed Bharatanatyam exponent, performer and choreographer. She has given numerous performances in India and abroad. Her master classes, workshops and lecture demonstrations are regularly featured in Asia, Europe, Canada and America. She is an abhinaya expert, and is actively involved in teaching & tutoring for advanced students, teachers and professional performers.
Anand is a performing artist who is currently exploring the relationship between mathematics and the performing arts. He is a theatre practitioner, trained in Bharatanatyam, and Kathakali. He also has an MBA, and is an engineering graduate.
C B Ramkumar is an author, speaker, trainer, consultant and an entrepreneur. He is a specialist in climate change & sustainable tourism. He developed a model for sustainable living when he built the first 100% eco resort, near Bangalore, in India. Ram had been an advertising and marketing professional for two decades. His long career in Advertising & Marketing took him to global companies like Saatchi & Saatchi, Ogilvy & Mather, Publicis, and Standard Chartered Bank. He has spent most of his professional career outside India, in the Middle East.
Parvathy is a serious practitioner and instructor of Bharatanatyam. After completing her studies at Kalakshetra, she has embarked upon an extremely successful independent career in performance. Despite her young age, her name is included in the lists of India’s most talented dancers. Her outstanding expressive skills, combined with her proficiency in the traditional dance repertoire, imbue her performances with an extraordinary elegance.
Ramaa is a practitioner and teacher of Bharatanatyam, with over two decades of experience in performing and teaching this art form. Apart from having several stellar performances to her credit as a soloist, Ramaa’s passion, commitment and expertise as a classical dancer has also contributed in creating innovative choreographies with like-minded dancers.
Ganga is a trained musician and classical dancer. She hails from Kozhikode. Since her graduation from Kalakshetra, she continues to teach in many reputed educational institutions, including Kalakshetra. Her interest in dance and music, has also led her to explore, painting and drama.
India and France are two countries that have shaped Kaarthikeyan. He is an alumnus of both the FTII, in Pune, and the FEMIS, in Paris. He has been a Coproducer and Executive Producer for six feature films, collaborating with companies such as Gaumont, Boréales and SFP Productions, in France. ‘His Father’s Voice’ is his début feature film, as Writer, Director and Cinematographer.
Ashwini is an actor, artist, and classical dancer. She is a graduate from the Sir. J.J. School of Arts, Mumbai, India, with a Masters in the Science of Waldorf Education, New York, USA. She is a Partner, in Kaavadi Productions LLP. ‘His Father’s Voice’, is her first feature film as an Actor, and as a Producer.
Shankar has over 25 years of manufacturing, finance and management experience across a range of industries. Born in India, and living most of his life in the United States, he has had the wonderful opportunity to travel the globe and work with people from many walks of life. His passions include art that elevates the soul and eastern mysticism.
Vedanth is a multi-faceted musician, with over 18 years of experience in performance, composing, teaching and training. Vedanth specialises in singing Sufi & Bhakti poetry, Indian Classical & Folk, Light classical & Ghazals, Blues & Popular Music. He is also an accomplished guitarist and Banjo player.
With more than 30 years of experience in both film & video formats, Ganeson has served as the cinematographer on numerous feature films, commercials, documentaries and TV serials across India.
Shaurya is a dreamer who believes that the mere fact...that we breathe...is magical in itself, & this world we are gifted with, is a beautiful one...
Keerthana is an arctic monkeys fan and a self proclaimed aficionado of films & travel. She graduated out of L.V. Prasad, and has worked in an array of fiction and documentaries, before venturing into independent cinema.
Divya has been in the fashion industry for more than 18 years as a fashion and accessories designer; having almost covered all aspects required in the industry. She currently is the Production Manager (Fashion) at Vastrakala Exports Pvt. Ltd., Chennai.
Rajarajan hails from Cheyyar, in the Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu. He enjoys painting, sculpting and the movies. He has been a colorist for the past 10 years. His aim is to work on at least one film a year that gives him complete soul satisfaction. And he believes ‘His Father’s Voice’ is that film, for this calendar year.
Sinoy, having been in the film industry for more than a decade, has worked on more than 500 films as a mixing engineer. He also has three films under his belt as a Sound Designer. In 2013, Sinoy received a National Award for 'Re-recordist of the Final Mixed Track' for the film 'Gangs of Wasseypur'.
R Elangovan is a FTII trained sound recordist based in Chennai. He has been working as a location sound recordist for more than twenty years. He has been part of many international films and television productions.
Vishal is an extremely passionate and active cinematographer. He is an alumni of L.V. Prasad Film And TV Academy. Along with cinematography, he is a DI artist too. He has shot over 11 short films and 4 Documentaries, and 'His Father's Voice' is his first feature as an Associate Cinematographer.
Priyank is extremely passionate about creating beautiful visuals that aid the storytelling of a film. Being associated with great masters of the field has helped him gain conceptual clarity as a cinematographer.
Kalaichelvan started his career as an actor and was trained in all aspects of theatre at Koothu-P-Pattarai, Chennai. He designed sound, lighting and sets, for several theatre and dance productions. He later joined Min Bimbangal's virtual studio for five years, where he worked as a sound engineer and lighting designer for over 1000 hours of programming including live productions. Later as a freelancer, he has worked as a live sound recordist for many documentaries and short films. His recent works include 'Ponnien Selvan', a Tamil play and 'Invoking Justice', a documentary in Tamil.
It is as though I share with Kaarthikeyan Kirubhakaran, a
relationship across several lifetimes. It is so special. We
have so much in common, that inspires, and fuels what we
create. He dons several hats in the making of this film -
Producer, Writer, Director, and, Lyricist! As a Director of the
film, he is someone, with immense clarity and vision. The
music of ‘His Father’s Voice’ was born, from the collective
energies of one very special, and inspired morning, in the
encounter of Kaarthikeyan’s lyrics, and the words of his
screenplay, with our own sensibilities. It was magical!
It was wonderful to work with P T Narendran for composing the music for the dance in the film. It is the first time I have composed for a classical dance recital. Narendran, a gifted dancer, singer, and Teacher, helped me lay out the tunes for this 8th century Sanskrit drama, entitled, ‘Uttararamacharita’, by the playwright, Bhavabhuti. Again, as with Kaarthikeyan’s lyrics, the songs for the Drama, happened most spontaneously, at one go, as we all sat together, in Kaavadi.
Working with Ashwini Pratap Pawar, is like working with myself, because we are both persistent in our commitment to perfection. I still remember a moment in my studio, when Ashwini conducted my recording for a line in Sanskrit, which is of Rama, longing for Sita. We must have recorded this single line, at least twenty times or more, to bring out the right emotion. And finally, when we got it, it was utterly moving, as though we had given a voice, to Rama’s grief!
Bindhu Malini Narayanaswamy is the Artist with whom I collaborate the most often. She is the voice of Parvathi in the film. A voice soaked in honey, and drenched in sunshine! It is a voice that travels through time, and lingers in your being, long after you have seen the film. She contributes a whole lot more than her exquisite voice, as an Artist, as a Co-Creator, and, as a fellow Composer, brimming with ideas.
Jeremy Roske, the protagonist’s voice. One morning, at Kaarthikeyan’s house, all of us sat together. Kaarthikeyan was especially inspired, writing the lyrics in one uninterrupted flow. Jeremy and I were jamming, and we composed five songs straight, in about three or four hours. It was unbelievable. And that’s how the songs actually came about. When Jeremy came back to the Studio, to record for the songs, he had a deeply personal connection to them, as though they were his own. The character ‘Jon’ came to life, with Jeremy’s singing.
Anil Srinivasan, the Pianist, is certainly the best Musician I have ever come across. He is like my mentor, my teacher, and an elder brother, all rolled into one. It is a blessing that he is a part of the music of the film. We understand each other perfectly, without needing to use too many words. He has a deep understanding of emotions, and, since this film revolves so much around Indian classical music and the arts, it is a space which is home to him.
Napier Peter Naveenkumar is the best bass guitarist in our country, and one of the best guitarists in the world. Navin is one of those talented musicians who spoil you with their sheer talent. With him, like with almost every other musician on this film, it is a work of co-creation.
Navin Chandar is definitely the best flautist in the Indian Film Industry, and one of the best flautists in the world. He is also a Composer, who has composed for several films. Working with him is to co-create. I rarely have to tell him what to play. After listening to the song, he plays something that is exactly how I would have liked it! It is telepathic communication, in its most effective form.
Bhavani Prasad, I have known for almost 20 years. We have a great sense of ease and comfort, in working with each other. I have been a fan of his style of playing the Veena, from the very beginning. He is one of the most sought after Vainikas in the country, with a very original style. He combines multiple genres into his playing, defying the definition of a Carnatic Veena Player. His music has a global quality to it. And for all that, he is an extremely humble human being.
I have known M T Aditya Srinivasan, since he was a mere boy. I have been collaborating with him for over ten years now. He brings a global quality to his percussion, all the while being anchored to the Indian Classical and the folk traditions. Our space of work is one of co-creation. It is while working with Aditya, that our Thillana became the Santana Thillana!
Akshay Anantapadmanabhan composed the jathi for the dance interaction between Valli and Kris, enacting Chandraketu and Lava, playing both the Mridangam and the Khanjira for it. He also played the Khanjira for the theme song, ‘Fire and Ice’, helping create a music that incorporates many different genres, while staying true to its Carnatic roots.
I have seen Keshava Kaarthikeyan over several years now, ever since he was a small child and truly a musical prodigy, playing the Tabla. Every time I was at Kaavadi, for a music discussion, I saw Keshava practicing his tabla, sitting in a corner all by himself. His music was the background to our discussion. One piece that he played gave me a strong visual cue. It was exactly that, which I needed for the film. His being there, at this moment in time, to record for the film, I count as a great blessing.
Prashanth Techno and I have been collaborating for several years now. So, there is a perfect understanding between us, of the kind of music that I enjoy creating. He is a wonderful human being who understands several genres of music, and where they come from. One of the most sought after, Music Producers in the Film Industry, and in the Independent Music Industry, it is always a pleasure to work with him.
The sound mix is as important as the music itself. Navneeth Balachanderan, with his touch, carried the music of the film, to greater heights, and brilliance, with his extraordinary sensitivity.
At a time when AVENGERS ENDGAME has changed the way audiences are fed special effects and a thrill-a-minute action, HIS FATHER’S VOICE uses the gentle lap of the ocean waves to remind us that life is lived one breath at a time. Certainly worth a watch for classical dance and music fans who can see how a traditional art can become the trigger for a universal story.Dr. Anita Ratnam
Arts Presenter/Scholar/Writer/Cultural Activist
NARTHAKI.COM - Indian Dance Online
His Father’s Voice is the rare ode to the influence a father’s love has on a person, as well as the richness of Indian culture.Amari Allah
It has been over a decade since Kris (Skanda) was whisked away from Kaavadi, Tamilnadu, India. That was the place he grew up, met his best friend Valli, and fell in love with Bharatanatyam.
Wherever I Look
His Father’s Voice is a 2019 drama about a gifted male dancer separated from his musician father in childhood who must return to him, to be able to dance again.David Duprey
Indian films have sort become defined by the Bollywood wave; big, brashy action and musical films that take over-the-top to heights previously not thought possible. So it is that perhaps all Indian films – at least in Western eyes – might seem the same.
That Moment In
Your past can be something filled with joy or tinged with regret. We dream of the past but sometimes forget the effect it has on our present and future. This is especially true when it comes to the issues around a parent’s separation because it adds a whole other layer of issues with how we interpret the past.Brian MacNamara
TL;DR Movie Reviews
Kaarthikeyan Kirubhakaran’s His Father’s Voice centers on two families. One of them – mother Parvathi (Ashwini Pratap Pawar), father Nagarajan (P.T. Narendran), and their daughter Valli (Asha Bhola) – is Indian. The other – Clara (Julia Koch), Jon (Jeremy Roske), and their son Kris (Yam Yardeni) – is white. At the start of the film, the two families live together in a secluded music and dance school in southeast India, and they spend their days meditating, singing, and practicing an ancient form of Indian dance called Bharatanatyam.Andrew Emerson
When Kris returns to Tamilnadu, India, to the Music and Dance school in which he spent most of his childhood, he is forced to confront resentments and painful memories.Romy Somerset
The story sways between past and present, documenting his childhood, loved dearly by his American parents who raised him in the school alongside Parvathi and her daughter Valli.
"Never together yet never apart."Rouven Linnarz
Every country has its own source of legends and tales which has defined its culture. While for example the Nibelungen have left their mark on German culture and history, its characters have inspired writers ranging from J.R.R. Tolkien to George R.R. Martin. Similarly, the influence of Homer, beyond his home country of Greece, is undeniable, extending far beyond geographical and generational borders.
Asian Movie Pulse
What is love, without understanding?Richard Propes
Written and directed by India-based filmmaker Kaarthikeyan Kirubhakaran, His Father's Voice is a strong feature directing debut for the sure to be up-and-coming director. The film kicks off with the American family of Jon (Jeremy Roske), Clara (Julia Koch), and their son Kris (Christopher Gurusamy) living alongside Parvathi (Ashwini Pratap Pawar), Nagarajan (Narendran Pangathody), and their daughter, Valli (Sudharma Vaithiyanathan), inside a music and dance school in Tamilnadu, India.
The Independent Critic
Composer Vedanth Bharadwaj discusses scoring music for ‘His Father’s Voice’, and how he caught Carlos Santana’s attention with one of the tracksAkhila Krishnamurthy
Last week, an indie musical, His Father’s Voice, which features classical Indian dance, and for which he had scored the music, premiered in Hollywood.
“It all began looking at the plight of children torn between parents, who can no longer get along and are forced to pay a heavy emotional price for no fault of theirs…” begins director Kaarthikeyan Kirubhakaran, an alumnus of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune talking about his maiden feature film, His Father’s Voice.Karan Bali
Filmmaker | Founder of Upperstall.com