Arts

Locally made film tackles a tough, timely topic

Museum holds screening of Los Altos filmmaker Saila Kariat's 'The Valley,' which delves into teen suicide

Saila Kariat delved into teen depression and suicide and Silicon Valley's high-pressure culture in her 2017 film "The Valley." The Los Altos History Museum hosts a screening of the film and discussion with Kariat on May 7. Courtesy Los Altos History Museum

The Los Altos History Museum is hosting an online screening on May 7 of the feature film "The Valley," followed by a discussion with its director, Los Altos filmmaker Saila Kariat.

The film, which was Kariat's feature directorial debut, tells of Silicon Valley entrepreneur Neal Kumar and his family as they struggle with grief and look for answers after daughter Maya dies by suicide during her freshman year in college. Kariat delved into questions about the pressures of life in Silicon Valley and explored an aspect of the vast Asian American experience in the Bay Area.

She also had another personal connection to the film's subject.

"I read a lot of material on mental health and know first hand how it impacts a family. First and foremost, I wanted to tell an honest, compassionate story and not glamorize or sensationalize it," Kariat said in an interview with the Palo Alto Weekly, when the film had its theatrical release in 2018.

"The Valley" premiered at the Cinequest festival in 2017 and since its debut, has participated in over two dozen film festivals internationally and garnered 12 awards, including five for best feature film.

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The film was shot locally and features a number of familiar South Bay and Peninsula locations.

The screening begins at 7 p.m. For more information, visit losaltoshistory.org.

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Locally made film tackles a tough, timely topic

Museum holds screening of Los Altos filmmaker Saila Kariat's 'The Valley,' which delves into teen suicide

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Thu, May 6, 2021, 10:20 am

The Los Altos History Museum is hosting an online screening on May 7 of the feature film "The Valley," followed by a discussion with its director, Los Altos filmmaker Saila Kariat.

The film, which was Kariat's feature directorial debut, tells of Silicon Valley entrepreneur Neal Kumar and his family as they struggle with grief and look for answers after daughter Maya dies by suicide during her freshman year in college. Kariat delved into questions about the pressures of life in Silicon Valley and explored an aspect of the vast Asian American experience in the Bay Area.

She also had another personal connection to the film's subject.

"I read a lot of material on mental health and know first hand how it impacts a family. First and foremost, I wanted to tell an honest, compassionate story and not glamorize or sensationalize it," Kariat said in an interview with the Palo Alto Weekly, when the film had its theatrical release in 2018.

"The Valley" premiered at the Cinequest festival in 2017 and since its debut, has participated in over two dozen film festivals internationally and garnered 12 awards, including five for best feature film.

The film was shot locally and features a number of familiar South Bay and Peninsula locations.

The screening begins at 7 p.m. For more information, visit losaltoshistory.org.

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