This Man Has a Story to Tell

He’s the kind of guy you want to kick it with, drinking whiskey and talking about life.

He’s also the kind of guy who can pick up a camera and shoot poetic frames that he weaves into a powerful narrative.

Not a bad combination in one man.

Meet director Tanuj Chopra whose gentle nature belies his intense passion for storytelling. Spend a few minutes with Chopra talking about filmmaking and you’re drawn into his world – that magical place of making movies.

Born in Buffalo, Chopra and his heat-seeking Punjabi family quickly moved to the sunny climes of Palo Alto, California. Chopra left California for college and went back East to Brown University where he discovered his passion for filmmaking during his Junior year.

A post college trip to visit family in Delhi turned into a 3 year stint in India working on a TV show. This is where Chopra learned first hand the ins and outs of production. He put this knowledge into full effect when he went back to NY and to Columbia Film School on a fellowship. Chopra made his first feature film, PUNCHING AT THE SUN in 2006, while still in film school.

The film, based losely on his life experiences, was made with a tiny budget and through  the sheer will of the local community. PUNCHING AT THE SUN premiered at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, played at Tribeca and won the grand jury prize at the San Francisco International Asian American Film festival.

An auspicious start for a budding young filmmaker.

Chopra followed his first feature with several other award winning titles including BUTTERFLY, CLAP CLAP, CARBON DATED and the ITVS Futurestates film PIA.

He’s spent the years post-Sundance honing his craft, understanding storytelling and understanding himself.  And now he’s ready.

He’s not the only one who thinks so. He was recently chosen as one of six creative visionaries to take part in the VC Development Fund, an organization dedicated to the honest and accurate portrayals of the Asian Pacific American peoples.

All this and he’s just come off shooting NICE GIRLS CREW, an original web series starring starring Sheetal Sheth, Lynn Chen and Michelle Krusieche that he also  co-wrote and edited. Billed as a BRIDESMAIDS meets ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, NICE GIRLS CREW just premiered to a sold out audience in San Francisco. The all Asian American female cast delivers comedic performances in roles Sandra Bullock might covet.

We’re glad you’re ready Mr. Chopra, because we’re ready for you. Now how many ice cubes in that whiskey?

If you’re in LA, you can see NICE GIRLS CREW at the Asian Pacific Film Festival, May 15, 2012.

For a look a Tanuj Chopra’s work check out his films PIA and CLAP CLAP and visit

Written By
More from Geetanjali

Natacha Atlas and Nitin Sawhney. Where Arabian Melodies Meet the Tabla.

We heard, we loved, we got you a download. Enjoy. Hope featuring...
Read More