Naveen Chaubal is a Louisville based director, producer, and cinematographer. His work aims to reveal what immigrant suburbia can tell us about this country. He’s a fellow of Film Independent’s Project: Involve and Fast Track programs. His short film “Pinball” screened at the DGA, Montana International Film Festival, KC Film Fest, Speed Art Museum and premiered online on NoBudge, where it won Audience Choice. He co-produced and co-shot Tomorrow We Disappear, a feature documentary that premiered at Tribeca, where it was named “Best of the Fest” by the Wall Street Journal. It also screened at Hot Docs and CPH:DOX. Naveen has worked for AJ+, Vice News, and Bon Appétit, and has produced music videos for Vince Staples, James Blake, and Frank Ocean. Naveen’s work has been supported by ITVS, the Southern Documentary Fund, New Orleans Film Society, and Louisville Visual Art.
Pinball is a feature documentary about Yosef–a typical American college kid, who is coming of age twenty years after the U.S. invaded his home country of Iraq and displaced his family. Yosef was four years old when they fled Baghdad. Of all places, they received asylum in Louisville, Kentucky. Pinball follows Yosef as he straddles two cultures and struggles to figure out what to do after high school.
It’s clear that becoming an adult in this country is not going to be easy. But Yosef does whatever it takes to carve a life for himself and there is a sense of triumph in the effort that ensues. A meditative film about memory and the American Dream, Pinball bears witness to Yosef’s growth; the beginning stages of understanding adulthood and the vulnerability of family structures and friendships.