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Buried Seeds, a film by Andrei Severny, is a timeless and true story of human passion, willpower, and resolve in the face of adversity. The film follows Michelin Star Chef Vikas Khanna on his journey as an immigrant.
Director Biography - Andrei Severny
Andrei Severny is a filmmaker, photographer and video artist. Severny’s narrative and documentary films explore art, drama, human perception and psychology. On his quest to reveal the inner world, Severny engages in both reality and abstraction. His works operate on multiple levels engaging both intuition and intellect.
Andrei Severny’s first feature-length narrative film Condition received a special award at the 29th Torino Film Festival, Italy and was screened on French television.
Since 2007, Severny has collaborated with Edward Tufte, a world renowned master of analytical design. Tufte served as the producer of Severny’s 2012 documentary Teaching to See. The film was listed as one of the 100 best design films of all time.
In 2015 Severny directed and edited the black & white art film Gravitation: Variation in Time and Space, starring Diana Vishneva, the top Russian principle ballet dancer at the American Ballet Theater and the Mariinsky Ballet. The award-winning film represents unique synergy of dance, cinema and metaphorical exploration of the universe. The use of space imagery prompted NASA to feature Andrei Severny’s film at the Houston Festival of Cinema Arts. The film was selected by over 15 international film festivals around the world. It’s most recent screening took place at the prestigious Walter Reade Theater, selected by the Lincoln Film Society in New York.
In 2016 Andrei Severny co-directed and edited the innovative interactive documentary Inside Risk: Shadows of Medellin. The live version of the complex multi-language project is currently touring the world and the interactive version will premiere on Swiss and other European TV channels.
Andrei Severny's 2018 feature documentary is a transformative immigrant story of the Indian Michelin Star Chef and cultural ambassador Vikas Khanna.
Severny was born in 1977 in Moscow, Russia into a family of astronomers. He moved to New York city in 2004, where he lives and works.
When Vikas came to our photo studio in New York in 2015, I didn’t know I was doing a portrait of a chef that had become a legend in India. I quickly noticed the intense creativity that manifested in everything he did and every word he said. Vikas continued to return for more photos. Each time he would tell me a little bit of his life story. It was a story of a man destined to travel outside of his troubled native land and arrive at the largest melting pot in the world. It was a story of a child in pursuit of his dream. It was a story I knew. I came to New York from Russia just a few years after Vikas moved from Amritsar. I was born in the USSR and I saw its collapse. From the windows of my home I watched cars burning and a tank firing shells at the parliament. I witnessed my country transform.
Since early childhood my dream was to become a photographer and a filmmaker. Reality would always push the dream away. During a road trip across the US with my friend we stopped to visit the Grand Canyon. We stood at the edge. Rain drops falling. I held an umbrella and a bolt of lightning went through me. I was not hurt, but it made me think about life in whole different way. I went home to Moscow, saved money, finished all my business, and came to New York to make films.
New York is made of stories like Vikas’ or mine. New York also teaches you to be more resilient, to take action, to take responsibility, not to give in to adversity.
I am grateful to Vikas for allowing me to tell his story. The interviews that we recorded during the last two years were deep and personal. I hope this film will make the viewers think and look at their own lives and dreams in a new light.
Buried Seeds gives a fresh look at the American dream at this difficult time in history when immigration is being questioned. When the media is full of stories of mistrust and hatred between nations, nationalities, social groups and neighbors – this is the time to see what unites us.
The seeds are inside each of us. Governments and people alike may claim that they own you. They may try to intimidate and control you. The truth will prevail in spite of the destruction. The seeds will grow strong. The old “you” will die to give space to the new “you” – a particle in the long chain of generations, a speck of dust of collective wisdom and an everlasting sacrifice for the children and those who come after.