India Rising

Brown men can jump...

Project type: Nonfiction Feature
Project status: Production
Executive Producer/Director/Producer: Shubhangi Shekhar
Executive Producer/Lead Talent: Gautam Kapur
Executive Producer/Advisor: Kunal Patel
Line Producer: Neil Thekdi
Director of Photography: Neeraj Jain
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The 12 best Indian ballers from around the world join forces to compete for $1 million dollars to show the world Indians can hoop on ESPN’s international stage.


India Rising is about showing the world that brown people have a place in sports.This is a story of the incredible, yet unseen athleticism within India and its diaspora of 30M+ people. A story that can inspire. A story that reminds us to dream big. India Rising follows this historic team as they pave the way for the next generation of brown athletes.

Meet the Filmmakers

Shubhangi Shekhar – Executive Producer/Director/Producer
Shubhangi Shekhar is a filmmaker with development, digital production, directing, marketing, and journalism experience from award-winning and critically acclaimed global media companies such as A24, Verizon Media, Roy Kapur Films, Condé Nast Entertainment, and Patreon. She was also part of the inaugural class of The Salon Mentorship Program for up-and-coming South Asian talent in the directing track, under the mentorship of TV director Anu Valia. She has also received The New York City Women in Film (Pano) microgrant as a producer, and the Brown Girl Magazine x The Cosmos Care Fund microgrant as a writer and director for her projects. She has produced numerous unscripted and narrative films and is currently in post-production for her second narrative short.

Gautam Kapur – Executive Producer/Lead Talent
Gautam Kapur spent the last 6 years working at the National Basketball Association (NBA) in New York. He spent most of his life overseas, growing up in India, Australia, Singapore, and the USA. Gautam is currently pursuing an MBA Degree at Stanford Graduate School of Business. His mission is to elevate the profile of brown athletes around the world. At the NBA, he was the portfolio manager for NBA Launchpad, the league’s first-ever sports tech incubator. His passion lies in athlete international development, having worked on the NBA India Academy and Basketball Africa League. Gautam founded India Rising and Brown Ballers to disrupt the status quo around brown athletes and create a new opportunity for the 20M+ Indian basketball community.

Kunal Patel – Executive Producer/Advisor
Kunal Patel is an entertainment attorney and co-founder of award winning multimedia production company Mild Mannered & Timid (MMT). Previously at Maxim, Universal Music Group and Vice Media, he has also released 7 albums, been featured on multiple bollywood soundtracks, video games, and performed at the IIFA awards. His work has been featured on NBC, All Def Digital, VIBE Magazine and more. He has lent his legal experience to shows like F*ck That’s Delicious, the Oscar Award winning film Coda, and M. Night Shyamalan’s Servant.
Kunal’s experience puts him in a unique position to understand the artist’s motivations while also having knowledge of the business that can influence an artist throughout not only their career, but their life.

Neil Thekdi – Line Producer
Neil Thekdi is a film and content producer based out of Los Angeles, CA. After graduating from NYUʼs Tisch School of the Arts, Neil moved back to California to be closer to family and begin his career. Neil is currently the Founder/CEO of his production company, Loveland Pictures, through which he produces short-form content ranging from corporate and commercial work to narrative and documentary projects. Neil is also the Co-Founder/President of Rickshaw Film Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on amplifying South Asian voices and stories in the Film and TV industry. The films that Neil has produced have been selected for Vimeo Staff Picks, LA Shorts International Film Festival, Aesthetica Film Festival, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, LAIFFA, and Latino Film Market, amongst dozens of other film festivals across the globe.

Neeraj Jain – Cinematographer
Neeraj Jain is an Indian American cinematographer and producer based out of Los Angeles and New York. He has shot projects in both the United States and India. During his time at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, he earned the Faculty Commendation in Cinematography. He has also been mentored by cinematographers such as Rodrigo Prieto A.S.C., Tom Houghton A.S.C., and Ben Kutchins.

His first feature film The Sound of The Wind (2020) released with many critics praising the cinematography of the film. Most recently, he shot the second season of Zoya Akhtar’s Made in Heaven (2022) for Amazon Prime.

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