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Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY banner, which is dedicated to building up filmmakers of color and women, has unveiled its latest slate including the films Donkeyhead and Definition Please. Both will premiere on January 21 on Netflix in the U.S., U.K., Australia, and New Zealand.
The trailer for Donkeyhead, directed by and starring Agam Darshi, has debuted ahead of its streaming release. You can watch it above.
The film, which had its world premiere at the Mosaic International South Asian Film Festival at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, tackles the Punjabi Sikh experience in Canada. Here’s the synopsis: “‘Donkeyhead’ is a film whose title references a term of endearment used by Punjabi parents towards their children. Starring, written and directed by Darshi, the film follows Mona, a failed writer who carves out a life of isolation while caring for her ailing Sikh father. When he suffers a debilitating stroke, her three successful siblings show up on her doorstep determined to take control of the situation.”
English-Canadian writer-director and star Darshi most recently starred in Oscar-nominated director Deepa Mehta’s Funny Boy, which earned her a Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
The film received four awards at its world premiere including Best Fiction Feature and Best Canadian Feature. Darshi also appears in Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning director Ava DuVernay’s upcoming HBO Max series DMZ.
Darshi recently told Variety that the film draws inspiration from the talky family movies of Noah Baumbach, and is a family dramedy wrought from her own experiences coping with her father as he underwent chemotherapy. Donkeyhead also deals with pressure that South Asian families place on their children to have successful careers. “The pressure to have a successful career, whether it is being a doctor or writer, whatever you choose, it’s very high,” said Darshi. “It’s, in a lot of ways, keeping up with the Joneses. And then when you add the fact that it is an immigrant family, it’s even higher.”
Michael is a music and television junkie keen on most things that are not a complete and total bore. You can follow him on Twitter — @Tweetskoor