PINBALL: A film that explores immigration rights on a school bus speedway in Southern Indiana - Friends of Friends / Freunde von Freunden (FvF)

PINBALL: A film that explores immigration rights on a school bus speedway in Southern Indiana


Global politics in 2016 centered on a rhetoric of fear: from Brexit to Trump, questions of belonging and immigration were granted main stage in political campaigns worldwide. American filmmakers, Bryn Silverman and Naveen Chaubal are bringing these questions to the fore in their latest short film, Pinball.

Bryn and Naveen met at film school in Los Angeles, and have worked together producing and directing films across the world—from Jordan to Germany, from Guatemala to the States. Their latest project Pinball is a short film that looks at questions of immigration in America. Explored against the unlikely backdrop of a speedway in Southern Indiana—where school buses are raced in a demolition style derby—the position of outsider is given a voice through a boy named Eduardo. Banned from the infamous school bus speedway because the town believes he is cursed, Eduardo steals his rival’s bus and throws himself into a race—hoping a win will prove his worth to his community, and himself.

For Bryn and Naveen, Pinball is more than a film—it’s part of a dialogue that will help shape and define the way we understand the question of migration and belonging in the future. “Our hope is that the film can convey that being an outsider can motivate us to reach our greatest potential at a time in American and global history where immigration and themes of the outsider are of great political and social relevance”, explains Bryn. While fictional, Pinball is meant to express the trials that are inherent to this immigrant experience. For Naveen, this idea is particularly pertinent: “As the writer, both of my parents immigrated to the US from India and their story has informed where I situate myself culturally. Hearing about how their lives changed by coming to the U.S. has played a huge role in my own cultural journey.” While Pinball is set in a history that isn’t his own, it is reflective of the experiences of his parents, and of the wider conversation and history that surrounds concepts of nationalism and community.

For more of the video-prowess of FvF contributor Bryn Silverman, see her work with us here.

Their Kickstarter campaign has raised a whopping $22K in just two weeks, help them achieve their goal by donating online here.

Text:Rosie Flanagan
Images:Naveen Chaubal
Video: Shot by Daphne Wu, Edited by Bryn Silverman and Naveen Chaubal