Festival Of Lights


Released theatrically in 2012 in New York, Atlanta and Los Angeles; available on iTunes for Rent & Purchase.

A rebellious teenage girl struggles to navigate a broken relationship with her mother and a troubled adolescence, while memories of her absent father continue to haunt her. After receiving shocking news about her father, she embarks on a journey from New York to Guyana to discover the truth about her family’s mysterious past.

Durga Entertainment is drawn to the profound human story of forced migration across generations. Lost love, lost parents and lost homes is the emotional anchor of Festival of Lights- a directorial debut and a deeply personal story of global relevance by Guyanese-American filmmaker Shundell Prasad.

Written & Directed by

Shundell Prasad


Melinda Shankar, Aidan Quinn, Ritu Singh Pande, Jimi Mistry

“A high-wattage narrative that opens our eyes to a subculture about which most of us know very little…Festival of Lights’ narrative—the hurdles faced by misjudged immigrants who work hard to make America a better place for themselves as well as their new neighbors—is worth the time and effort. Meena, the mother (is) played with haunting beauty and genuine sincerity by Ritu Singh Pande.” 

– Rex Reed, The New York Observer

“Festival of Lights stands out.”

– Film Journal International

“There are flashes of brilliance among the lead performances that are brimming with emotion.”

– Paste Magazine

“Engaging…(Festival of Lights) shows Hindiuism in a country other than India and goes beyond the festival (Diwali), treating it as a symbol… Aidan Qunn was good, been too long since we’ve seen him.”

– Education Update

“Prasad (has a) gift for capturing actual scenes of traditional holiday community celebrations with flourishes of radiant imagery.”

– News Blaze

“This film offers such a rare thing in 21st century America—a compassionate, nuanced conversation about immigration that transcends the current shrill public conversation…gorgeous opening scenes…beautiful locations…a fascinating window into the Guyanese-American community. Hopefully, (director) Shundell Prasad continues to perfect her hand with feature films, because there is much heart, beauty, and hope in this one.”

– St. Louis Magazine