Cleetche Vancouver filmmaker


Soloshye Pictures | 2019

Documentary | 105 minutes

◼︎ FEATURE – 1080p (Password)


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QUEEN OF THE BEACH - movie poster documovie by Cleetche



•  February, 2008. Chris travels to India and first meets Shilpa on March 7.

•  January, 2009. Chris returns to India, reconnects with Shilpa and continues filming.

•  April, 2010. Chris returns to India for a third round of filming. He loses contact with Shilpa shortly after returning to Canada.

• March 3, 2014. After several early rough-cuts and private screenings, he finishes the first Trailer.

• September, 2014. A polished Rough-Cut is completed with a running length of 105 minutes.

• March 14, 2015. Heeding the advice of two film distributors, Chris returns to India to find Shilpa and resolve the story.

• April 2, 2015. While in India, Chris launches a GoFundMe Campaign titled, "Fix the House, School the Girl!". The goal is reached by the end of the month.

• November, 2016. Starting from the ground up, a new Rough-Cut is produced incorporating 18 hours of new footage.

• September 11, 2017. After 3 more months of editing, the Rough-Cut is revised and polished.

• October, 2017. Chris releases a new Trailer.

• February, 2018. The Final-Cut is uploaded to Vimeo.

• March, 2018. The Trailer is revised with original score music by Sasikumar B.

• April, 2018. A 1-minute Teaser is added to the Press Kit.

• June 15, 2018. An Indiegogo campaign raises money to pay for the score.

• October, 2018. The film is scored! Yay.


"Come look my shop! Very cheap, okay!”

While on vacation in Goa, India, Canadian filmmaker Chris McDonell turns his camera on Shilpa Poojar, a 9-year-old beach hawker hustling tourists to buy clothes and jewelry from her seaside shop. Funny, charming and skilled beyond her years, she is a migrant worker from the unique Lamani tribe and the primary breadwinner for her family. Forging a connection in this chance encounter, Chris returns 3 times over the next 7 years to capture Shilpa’s story of sacrifice and survival and help her achieve her childhood dream of going to school – a relentless effort that will test them both along the way.

From child-labourer to teenage-entrepreneur to one of the “lucky” ones who learned how to read and write (in a culture that favours boys over girls), Shilpa is now an inspiration to many and has been lovingly nicknamed: “Queen of the Beach”.




Exectuive Producer





















Music Composer


Filming Locations





Matt Drake

Monique R. White

Andy Nathani


Shilpa Poojar

Seeta Kyber Nayka

Chris McDonell

Pooja Poojar

Kiran Poojar

Arjun Poojar

Somanath Poojar

Shantabhi Poojar

Laxmi Poojar

Ravi Lamani

Joanna Palliparambil

Sangeeta Gudimani

Kiran Kattimani

Dan Shing Lamani

Laxman M

Bhimshi Lamani


Sasikumar B.


India, Canada,


GoFundMe - Fix the house, save the girl! | by Christopher McDonell

"Fix the house, School the girl!"

Click the logo to learn about the crowd-funding campaign launched in Goa, India, during filming in 2015.

Click the logo to learn about the campaign to raise completion funds, from May 15 - June 15, 2018.