• Director

    Richa Rudola

  • Country, Year, Length

    United States/India, 2019, 15 min

  • Category

    Short Narrative

  • Format


  • Festival Year


Cast: Shahana Goswami
Crew: Producers: Naomi Mcdougall Jones, Jess Weiss, Vaishnavi Sundar – Screenwriters: Richa Rudola –

A young woman receives a mysterious package that upends her sedated life

Richa Rudola is an award-winning NYC-based filmmaker. Films were not a big part of Richa’s childhood growing up in India, but it wasn’t until pursuing a statistics graduate degree in the U.S that she discovered independent and foreign cinema and fell in love with the medium. Her first short film, TAAZA KHOON (FRESH BLOOD), screened at Nashville Film Festival and won 7 awards across 27 film festivals eventually picking up distribution by Shorts TV India. She received the 2019 Future of Film is Female award for her second short film THE SEAL. She has directed Off Broadway plays and films for Visible Poetry Project. Richa’s scripts have been shortlisted for Oscar-qualifying festivals such as HollyShorts Film Festival, Nashville Film Festival and received accolades from ScreenCraft Film Fund and Shore Scripts Film Fund. She was selected as 1 of 50 film directors from across the world for the Shore Scripts’ Directors Roster. Her film writings have appeared on Static Mass Emporium, a UK-based independent film publication. Richa is a strong proponent for increasing diversity in storytelling and serves as the Vice President of Development for NYC Women Filmmakers, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting women in film.

Filmmaker’s Note

THE SEAL is a psychological thriller about a woman’s journey of healing from trauma. It’s about the battle between the mind that wants to forget, and the body that remembers. Unaware of her PTSD, the protagonist Sheetal has spent her life being unkind to herself and running away from painful memories. With the arrival of the sealed package, the seal in Sheetal’s mind gives way to reveal what lay hidden underneath. Her imaginary childhood friend and the haunting homeless woman seem to point her to the truth Sheetal doesn’t want to acknowledge. I haven’t experienced anything close to her ordeal but growing up in India did expose me to a deep-rooted fear of men and abuse. Nightmares of being molested by men, both strange and known to me, entered my body’s vocabulary early. It was only through writing and making films that I began my process of healing. All my works are centered around South Asian experiences but are rooted in people finding the courage to do the right thing.