Mom & Me (post-production)


A daughter misses the South Asian mother who raised her, a vibrant award-winning social worker. After living together during the pandemic, the daughter confronts her mother’s 20-year struggle with depression, becomes a caregiver and accepts their new reality.

Brief Synopsis

Mom & Me encapsulates my relationship with my mother, Shipra Somani, an 82-year-old retired, award-winning social worker and widow, as we spend most of 2021 together weathering her depression and a global pandemic. My mother’s mental illness was instigated by the loss of her husband (my dad) 20 years ago. In recent years, she’s been doing better in the summers, where she regains her independence and strength and no longer feels depressed. While my mother regains her independence and strength in the summer, she still has not come to terms with a long- term plan, which I hope to uncover in the film.

Artistic Approach

As with her other films that encompass India and/or Indian culture, religion, immigration and family, Indira weaves observational footage plus archival footage (8mm footage shot between 1966-1979) and still pictures, to share this powerful mother-daughter. The story will captivate the audience with their touching and humorous moments throughout the film, which takes place mainly in Springfield, IL, but also includes Denver, LA and Atlantic City, NJ.


  • Caucus Foundation, 2022
  • Mary Pickford Donor Award, 2022
  • Developing the Short Film, 2022
  • Carole Fielding Grant, (UFVA), 2022
  • Mary Pickford Donor Award, 2021
  • Center for the Study of Women (UCLA), Travel Grant, 2021

Key Crew

Indira S. Somani, Ph.D. is an Independent Documentary Filmmaker. After a 26-year-career as a television newscast producer and broadcast journalism professor, Somani moved to LA and enrolled in the MFA in Directing/Production, Documentary film program at UCLA. She is currently in post-production with her film, Mom & Me, a personal documentary about her role as a caregiver for her Mom who battles depression and how their relationship has evolved, since 2002. Other films Somani has directed and produced include Life on the Ganges (2017), a 10-minute documentary directed, produced and filmed in Varanasi, India, during Dev Diwali, when people from all over India travel there to bathe in the Ganges River. The film screened in film festivals in the U.S., India and Europe and won Best Short Documentary at the Berlin Independent Film Festival, and the Cannes Short Film Festival. Another film Somani directed, produced and wrote was, Crossing Lines (2007), a 30-minute personal essay documentary about her struggle to stay connected to India after the loss of her father and to maintain and preserve her Indian cultural identity. The film won numerous awards, screened in film festivals nationally and internationally, aired on PBS affiliates through NETA from 2008-2011, and has been used by more than 100 universities as a tool to teach intercultural communication in the classroom. Both films are in distribution through New Day films. She has also been a leader of SAJA, South Asian Journalists Assn.

Raquel Hagman graduated from the University of Central Florida with a BFA in Film Production. After graduation, she worked as a videographer/editor for the NBC local news affiliate in Cleveland Ohio. She has received a regional Edward R. Murrow award for an investigative series on the opioid crisis 'Riders on the Storm' in 2018 and has been nominated for a couple regional Emmys. Raquel is currently enrolled in the UCLA Graduate Cinematography program. She has completed her third year at UCLA and is the cinematography student representative.