2023 Angel Film Awards - Monaco International Film Festival angel awards




Written by Sumathy Ram and Charles Leopardo (US)


This fifty-four-page multi-award-winning script serves as the Television Limited Series Pilot of LAJJAWATI: A LOVE STORY FROM INDIA (BLOSSOMING OF LOVE); story by Sumathy Ramakrishnan a.k.a. Sumathy Ram, Screenplay by Sumathy Ram, and Charles Leopardo.

SUMATHY RAM’s directorial debut “VISHWA THULASI”, a classic Indian feature film, was preceded by her studies of English Literature, poetry writing, and musical lyrics. With the leading Indian cast of MAMMOOTY and NANDITA DAS, Sumathy’s first film won the Tamil Nadu State award for Second-Best Film of 2004, and for Best Choreography. Also, in Sumathy’s home base of Houston Texas, “VISHWA THULASI” won the Gold Remi Award for Best Musical Composition, and the Gold Special Jury Award for First Feature at the 38th World Fest-Houston International Film Festival. Currently in progress, Sumathy’s second feature, titled “LAJJAWATI”, is a classic story of love and destiny set in pre-independence 1940’s India. It combines the exotic beauty of “Memoirs of a Geisha” with the historical scope of “Gandhi”, and a forbidden romantic love in the mode of “The Bridges of Madison County”. Sumathy is also in the process of adapting her multi-award- winning original screenplay for “LAJJAWATI” into a Television Limited Series, which she is co-writing with her creative partner, American writer, and artist Charles Leopardo.

CHARLES LEOPARDO has extensive experience in the fields of publishing, advertising, film production, and screenwriting. A holder of bachelor’s and master’s degrees, he was originally trained as a fine artist but became increasingly drawn to dramatic writing. For the production of SunMoonStars Film Studio's Epic film project, LAJJAWATI, Charles co-wrote the award-winning screenplay with the author of LAJJAWATI, Writer-Director Sumathy Ram. He also has contributed to the project with storyboard creation and promotional design. Charles lives in California, USA.

Sumathy’s goal is to create LAJJAWATI: A LOVE STORY FROM INDIA as a masterpiece in the genre of EPIC-ROMANCE, an Indian-themed English Television Limited Series, an enchanting and timeless work of art of entertainment intended for a Global Audience.

“LAJJAWATI: A LOVE STORY FROM INDIA” Written by Sumathy Ram and Charles Leopardo (US)

(Genre: Epic-Romance)


During the lead-up to Indian independence, a young Muslim journalist from the North discovers a tragic secret surrounding his birth and embarks on a journey to the South to search for his true identity. But his mission leads him to his true love instead, and their forbidden love destroys the tranquility of a Hindu village very much like the place of his birth.

LAJJAWATI, a story of desire and destiny from the land of unity in diversity, is dedicated to the tragic victims of religious riots, and to the victorious survivors with their secret past.


The title LAJJAWATI refers to the touch-me-not Mimosa plant, so-called because its leaves fold up when touched. The lead character, LALITHA, an orthodox Brahmin lady, tends to react with mutism in response to trauma, and this tendency to close up after receiving a shock is what earns her the nickname LAJJAWATI.

Written in the genre of Epic-Romance, LAJJAWATI is an authentic South Indian narrative replete with regional colors and customs yet written in proper English with the international film and entertainment market in view.

Set during the waning days of British colonial rule, LAJJAWATI is the story of the forbidden love of Lalitha, an orthodox Brahmin woman, wife of a Sanskrit Pandit, and Jaleel, a Muslim journalist and Independence activist. Their fateful encounter shatters the timeless tranquillity of her rural village and leads to unforeseen consequences that are both tragic and transcendent.

The original, unproduced feature screenplay for LAJJAWATI, which served as the basis for this pilot and the entire limited series, has received multiple first place awards from film festivals and screenplay contests, including the coveted Grand Remi award for best screenplay at the 2019 World Fest Houston International Film Festival, the Best Overall Feature Screenplay at the Las Vegas International Film & Screen-writing Festival 2020, the 2021 Annual Grand Jury Prize “COURONNE D’OR for best screenplay at the Queen Palm International Film Festival, and the Best Original Screenplay Award and Best Humanitarian Award for feature screenplay at the Angel Film Awards Monaco International Film Festival.

The Limited Series, LAJJAWATI: A LOVE STORY FROM INDIA an Indian epic- styled classic drama of love and glory, is a collaboration of East and West. Its central theme is transcendence, revealing the new possibilities of unity in diversity of India, and the world at large.