Audience Award Winner 2013


Los Angeles Times Review by Gary Goldstein

“The span of an entire romance unfolds in a most unconventional way in the unique — and uniquely captivating — "Hank and Asha." While director James E. Duff, who co-wrote and produced with editor Julia Morrison, has fashioned a love story for the Skype-and-selfies age, the film's themes of personal connection, aspiration and destiny remain timeless. … The beguiling lead performances are what ultimately make "Hank and Asha" such a watchable little adventure. Like the film itself, Kakkar and Pastides are lively, adorable and thoroughly winning.”

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New York Times Review by Nicolas Rapold

"Winsome ... shimmers along with the charming urge to connect and reveal yourself. … This is a movie by people who honor the pleasures of waiting, wondering, and longing in an instantaneous world."

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Indie Wire Top 5 Pick for Slamdance Breakout Film

“Hank and Asha”: James E. Duff’s infectiously sincere love story centers on Asha (Mahira Kakkar), an Indian film student studying in Prague, and Hank (Andrew Pastides), an emerging filmmaker living in New York, paying his dues as a gofer on a reality TV shoot. When Asha contacts Hank about his ballroom-dancing film, which she saw at a Czech film festival, they strike up a friendship, sending each other creative video messages. The relationship quickly turns into something more, and the two are faced with the great “What Next” question -- are some romances better left at a distance? Duff doesn’t force any answers, instead presenting a quiet, thoughtful portrait of love caught in the pull between hyper-connectivity and loneliness.”
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Smells Like Screen Spirit Review by Don Simpson

“With video technology [Hank and Asha] craft the romantic poetry of our new millennia, effortlessly communicating a rainbow of emotions and insights that mere words could never possibly do justice. Admirably never straying from the artistic integrity of this project, writer- director James E. Duff’s Hank and Asha develops a faithful collage of found footage into an intriguing treatise on modern communication, technology and human relationships.”
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Film Threat Review by Mark Bell

"extremely entertaining... Mahira Kakkar[‘s] charismatic joy and energy drives the film forward…. It’s the type of performance that can’t help but make you smile and, when things do get more emotional, you’re already so engaged with her character that you feel that much more for Asha. … In the end, Hank and Asha is a very entertaining film that is far more interesting in its execution than it may seem in simple explanation. It has the feel of a crowd-pleaser, and it wears its heart on its sleeve. With a character like Asha, how could it not?”
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Film School Rejects Review by Christopher Campbell

“Hank and Asha’ is a Sweet Epistolary Romance for the 21st Century …original…it carries on with great charm and a romantic spirit that’s rarely found at the movies today. Kakkar and Pastides appear so comfortable …I started to think they were real people and couldn’t wait for them to meet to either fulfill my cynical anticipation for devastating awkwardness or to warm my heart with an impractical yet acceptable fantasy situation… Hank and Asha is a cute, clever and compelling little film that both satisfies and reinvents the indie rom-com for a new generation used to developing relationships through digital and virtual means… A fresh structure with convincing and likable leads results in one of the most inventive romantic pictures in a long time.”
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Sydney’s Buzz Review on Indiewire by Carlos Aguilar

“Sharply executed and taking advantage of this surrealist virtual era, James E. Duff’s tiny delight Hank and Asha finds warmth in such ephemeral connections through screens. … Each heartfelt, and sometimes heartbreaking, cyber postcard unveils a different layer of each of their personalities; they are getting to know each other not instantly but over time. Whether messages are written on paper or shot on HD, knowing someone waits on the other side is something small that should keep us alive.”

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TMN The Movie Network Review

“The acting in "Hank and Asha" is second to none, thanks to Andrew Pastides and Mahira Kakkar. These relative unknowns are destined for great things in the movie industry, and their sincere performances make this independent masterpiece what it is. … “Hank and Asha" is one comedic drama that no independent film fan should miss. The main actors are smart and refreshing, making it easy to root for their blossoming romance from day one. The set-up of the story as a whole is unique and makes creative use of modern technology, giving the film a believable quality. "Hank and Asha" is a ray of hope for those wondering if finding true love is even possible in a world consumed by technology, and it shows that even the things that seem to be dividing humanity can also be used to bring the right people together.”

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Filmstalker Review

“This is a heart-warming and touching tale that will grab hold of the romantic in you, or grab hold of those romantic memories from your past and wrap its arms around them. You'll feel drawn to the characters, connected with them, and believe them throughout, and through clever scripting and direction these natural performances will pull you right into the middle of their relationship. I loved Hank and Asha, and if you give it a go you will too.”

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Camel City Dispatch Review by Chad Nance - Editor's Pick

"I absolutely love this film. James E. Duff’s Hank and Asha is a warm, heartfelt exploration of 21st romance with all of the stupid ripped out. Duff, his co-writer Julia Morrison, and his cast have managed to create something wholly original that still operates within the frame-work of the romantic comedy. Beautiful to look at, emotionally engaging, and entertaining from start to finish.”

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The Script Lab Review by Natalia Lusinski

"If Before Sunrise were made in today’s technologically savvy age, it would look a lot like Hank and Asha. ... If you are a fan of romantic comedies, or just want a dose of romance in your life, Hank and Asha is a must-see. Whether or not you are a romantic-at-heart, the movie will give you hope. And that’s what each of us yearns for or has yearned for, right? In matters of love, and in general."
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Cinema Beach Review by Adam Fox

“Hank And Asha is a touching and adventurously conceived romantic comedy that, at it’s best recalls the lighthearted creativity and earthy warmth of Amélie. … Mahira Kakkar is the gem here. It is a hugely convincing, delicately evocative and emotionally raw performance. Asha runs the gamut of tumultuous, romantic whimsy and every arc is handled with honesty and grace. … Director James E. Duff, his co-writer, co-producer and editor Julia Morrison and cinematographer Bianca Butti pull out all the stops to craft an elegant, original tale. …With light feet and a glimmer in its eye, Hank And Asha is a keeper.”
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Flixist Review by Hubert Vigilla (Editor’s Choice)

“There's so much about reality and idealization bubbling in this film that hits the right spots in my head, but what really captivated me was the film's honesty. There's a genuine heart beating in this film, and also a genuine loneliness…these characters feel so real even if they are, like online personas, just inventions…the lives are so well played that they slip through the run time and exist outside the film, away from our watching eyes. Everyone should see this film…regardless of their film interests. Chances are, you’ll be talking about it for awhile.”
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The NYC Movie Guru Review

“Hank & Asha might be the best modern love story since Once or Before Sunset. It's beautifully written, tender, honest, funny and sweet without veering into melodramatic or schmaltzy territory. This is the rare love story that has both style and substance.”
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Unseen Films Review by Steve Kopian

“The film scores major points in that Andrew Pastides as Hank and Mahira Kakkar as Asha are so good at what they do… Its a perfect package of a pretty much perfect film as a result. This film is a treasure…Trust me on this, this is one of those films that you’ll want to run out and see.”
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News, Interviews and Features


Host Rachel Martin interviews husband-and-wife team James Duff and Julia Morrison

[Listen to the interview]


“Director, James E. Duff and writer Julia Morrison recount their experiences developing the concept and maximizing their story within the constraints of its form. The end result is both charming and creative.”

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“'Hank and Asha': How Two Newlyweds Shot a Long-Distance Romance on Their Honeymoon.” Anne Thompson Interviews James E. Duff and Julia Morrison.

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The Filmmakers of Hank and Asha Pick Their Favorite Romantic Films

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Slamdance TV Spotlight

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'Hank and Asha' is a sweet study about technology and relationships
Park Record Feature by Scott Iwasaki

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