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Desires of the Heart


Behind the Scenes in India


Dr. Kris Sharma (Val Lauren, The Last Knights, Interior. Leather Bar., Sal) is a psychiatrist from India practicing in Savannah, Georgia when he meets Madeline (Alicia Minshew, “All My Children”), a local artist with a mysterious past. While their relationship begins to blossom in America, Kris is summoned home by his brother (Gulshan Grover, Hera Pheri) to marry the woman (Priya Ahuja, “Kumkum”) chosen by his parents.  But as he begins to make decisions about his future, he discovers centuries old secrets that may seal the fate of his destiny.

From Producer/Executive Producer Solila Parida (Vishkanya), Desires of the Heart is directed by James Kicklighter (FollowedThe Car Wash) and co-directed in India by Rajesh Rathi (Chase). The associate producer is Jitendra Mishra (I Am Kalam).  The director of photography is Tim Gill (Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies).

The film was released in theaters across India by Luminosity Pictures on November 6th, 2015.

Awards and Film Festivals

2013 L.A. Femme Film Festival, Best Foreign Film
2014 Cannes Marche du Film
2014 Central Florida Film Festival
2014 Hoboken International Film Festival
(Nominated for Best Supporting Actress, Alicia Minshew, and Best Screenplay)
2014 Macon Film Festival
2014 Sedona Film Festival


Desires of the Heart: Review

  • A skillfully shot film with gorgeous cinematography, authentic set design and solid performances from the entire cast (4 / 5 stars).

    Boom! Film Reviews >>

Desires of the Heart review (2015)

  • An extremely well made independent film, [Desires of the Heart]…is achingly beautiful and captured with awe-inspiring imagery.

    ScreenCritix >>

Desires of the Heart releasing on 6th November in India

  • After receiving worldwide recognition, Odisha born film producer & writer Solila Parida’s Hollywood film Desires of the Heart is all set to be released in India on 6th November 2015. The producers of the film hosted a grand premiere of the film at Sandy Tower, Bhubaneswar in India. The film is directed by award winning director James Kicklighter & co-directed by Rajesh Rathi in India. Luminosity Pictures, Mumbai is distributing the film, released in major cities of India like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Jaipur and Bhubaneswar.

    E! News Odia India >>

Comparing Bollywood To American Filmmaking

  • If people worked as hard as they do in [India] on films, I think you’d see a lot of independent films in [America] made faster.

    Film Courage >>

Director James Kicklighter, Interview Part I

  • I was delighted to speak with impressively busy director, James Kicklighter on his latest efforts, the short documentary ‘A Few Things About Cancer,’ which chronicles his friend’s frightening battle with stage 4 cancer. The film is a raw telling of the young Caleb and his loving wife, and offers hope where it would otherwise be lost, and his feature debut, ‘Desires of the Heart,’ the story of an Indian psychiatrist practicing in America while he struggles with identity and his controversial relationship with a mysterious artist.

    Cinemaman Steve >>

Desires of the Heart Review: Expertly Written and Translated

  • Ever so slowly (Or maybe not that slowly) things changed. A lot…Let me just say that Desires of the Heart switches the perceived genre quickly, and not just once. Some films attempt to change genre styles to baffle and blow away the viewer, in an attempt to hide a flawed script. Not here. Desires of the Heart is expertly written and translated to the screen in a brilliant way.

    IndyRed >>

Desires of the Heart Review: Ambitious & Involving Film

  • Desires of the Heart is a beautiful and involving film featuring two fine performances by its leads who are tasked with bringing to life a film that is both intelligent and fantastic, no small task. Desires of the Heart challenges both heart and mind with a story that is culturally grounded, somewhat mystical in nature, and yet psychologically insightful. I will confess that there are times when I find these types of films, especially when cast with impossibly attractive people, to be detached and unrealistic. In this case, it works.

    The Independent Critic >>

Desires of the Heart Review: Expansive & Gorgeous

  • The film matches its narrative’s expansive ambitions with gorgeous visions that turn both Georgia and India into almost permanent states of postcard-friendly imagery. The quality scenery is matched by the attractiveness of the leads, Val Lauren and Alicia Minshew, who offer up another element to enjoy…they succeed in their performances, keeping a tale that can be somewhat fantastical grounded in a sense of reality. Mastery to be found throughout…it’s a strong film

    Film Threat >>

Hollywood vs. Bollywood

  • Kicklighter notes that as Hollywood explores partnerships with financing and distribution deals, ‘it is clear that the market is important to Hollywood.’ Kicklighter sees the main barrier to Bollywood’s power is not film output, but the accessibility to Western markets: ‘Bollywood has a style that is uniquely its own. As the international market becomes more important than the domestic market, I am curious to see how this relationship evolves over the next few decades.’

    PolicyMic >>

First Time Goer to Macon Film Festival

  • [Desires of the Heart] is a story of love, to say the least, but not love in the cliché overdone way…the film was beautifully executed. Kicklighter worked with Solila Parida on Desires. Parida has worked on a series of Bollywood films and had been developing Desires over the past ten years. ‘I worked with her to really make it a film about our identity and the choices we make versus the choices that are made for us,’ said Kicklighter.

    Make It Work Molly >>

Alicia Minshew talks shooting ‘Desires of The Heart’

  • ‘Desires of the Heart’ was such a great experience. I loved playing opposite Val Lauren, he is just a delicious human, such a great actor and such an awesome person! He made me laugh the entire shoot. I have not had chemistry like that since working with Thorsten Kaye (Zach, All My Children). That was a rare thing. But Val and I hit it off and it felt very natural. The crew, director James Kicklighter and producer Solila Parida are all great! We bonded! I miss them and was sad to see it end. >>

Cannes Film Festival to screen Odisha-born producer’s film

  • The movie will be shown May 17, at 4 p.m. in Screen-Gray 5 theatre at Cannes as part of the market screening section of the 67th edition of the festival. Desires of the Heart has already received best film award this year in LA Femme International Film Festival, and received critical acclaim in festivals like Sedona International Film Festival and Macon Film Festival. Award-winning director James Kicklighter went behind the camera to narrate the story.

    Bollywood Life >>

Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker in 2014

  • In 2012, Savannah experienced the highest number of projects, employment, and local spending in its history—over $12 million locally and $26 million economically. CBGB, Desires of the Heart, Four Senses, The Sacrament and many others took advantage.

    MovieMaker Magazine >>

Odisha-born producer’s film wins top award at LA Femme Festival

  • English movie “Desires of the Heart,” produced by Odisha-born Solila Parida, has won the best foreign film award at the LA Femme Film Festival in Los Angeles; Award-winning director James Kicklighter went behind the camera to narrate the story.

    Yahoo! News India >>

City of Savannah 2012 Film Report

  • The opportunity to direct the international feature film ‘Desires of the Heart’ here in Savannah was extraordinary. While many aspire to be full-time professionals in the film industry, Savannah is fortunate to have many citizens who earn their living in this field.

    City of Savannah >>

All My Children’s Alicia Minshew Nabs Lead

  • All My Children star Alicia Minshew will play the lead in the film Desires of the Heart, which began production in Savannah, GA, on Monday. The actress, who has been nominated for two Daytime Emmys for her role as Kendall Hart on the soap, will play Madeline, an artist who lives in Georgia and catches the eye of a psychiatrist (Val Lauren) visiting from India. However, as the duo begin to develop a relationship, the psychiatrist is sent home to India to marry a woman chosen for him by his parents.

    The Hollywood Reporter >>

  • November 12, 2013
  • Desires of the Heart