While making the “The Road Home,” I saw the potential in expanding the short into a feature film. Working with my screenwriting partner (Andreas Eigenmann), I’ve turned Pico’s story into a coming-of-age, adventure road movie. Although the feature script is faster paced than the short, it stays true to the “flavor” and themes of the original film. Here’s a preview of the storyline:
“Where are you from?” is not an easy question for ten-year-old Pico to answer. “England” is how he usually responds, even though England is just one of many countries he has lived in. This is incomprehensible to his new schoolmates who strip him completely naked and paint him white, all because Pico dares to say, “I’m not Indian. I’m British” despite his Indian looks. With life becoming unbearable in his new Himalayan boarding school, Pico sees no other way than to escape from the school to get back to his parents in England. He runs away with Rachel, a spirited American teenager, concerned about her father’s safety in New Delhi.
Catapulted from the safety of the boarding school, the two runaways now find themselves in the middle of India - a country caught in the maelstrom of an election where one politician (popularly called The Professor) campaigns with the slogan “An India in Indian hands,” hoping to rid India of its Western parasitic influence. Little does the Professor (or anyone else) know that his right-hand man Kobad – has covertly bombed the offices of Ken Robins, an American CEO accused of displacing slum dwellers to the outskirts of Delhi to make way for his international supermarket chain. With this attack failing to push Ken Robins out of India, Kobad devises a new strategy when he discovers Rachel’s background: she is the daughter of Ken Robins. He then dispatches a kidnapper to capture the two runaways, so he can use them for emotional blackmail and force Ken Robins out of the country, thus ensuring the Professor’s election win.
Soon, the kids are sucked into a wild chase across a country they do not know. Their struggle to get home – and to survive – takes them on a journey that will shape their lives forever. Rachel discovers a frightening but exciting world beyond her sheltered upbringing, while Pico grows into an identity that goes far beyond his British passport, English mother tongue, and Indian skin color.
But with this kidnapper after them, will Pico and Rachel outsmart him and find their way back home?
My slideshow depicts the larger visual canvas of the feature film and showcases some of the locations where I plan to shoot.
I also share more of my vision for the feature in a video you can download if you'd like to hear more: