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Program companion website: www.pbs.org/cosmopolitan
(San Francisco, CA) — Roshan Seth (Gandhi, Monsoon Wedding) and Carol Kane (Hester Street, Taxi) star in the delightful suburban romance COSMOPOLITAN, directed by the Nisha Ganatra (Chutney Popcorn, MTV's The Real World) and scripted by Sabrina Dhawan (Monsoon Wedding). Based on a short story by Akhil Sharma, which first appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, COSMOPOLITAN will air nationally on the acclaimed PBS series Independent Lens, hosted by Don Cheadle, on Tuesday, June 1st at 10 P.M. (check local listings).
The award-winning Roshan Seth stars as Gopal, a successful married suburbanite whose orderly life suddenly disintegrates when he loses his job, his wife announces that she's leaving him, and his only daughter takes off for Mongolia with her unacceptable German boyfriend, Hans. Alone for the first time in his life, Gopal rattles around his suburban house, forlorn and adrift. He soon turns to a love-life quiz in his daughter's Cosmo magazine (only to discover that he's a "ditchable dude”), and the glorious all-singing, all-dancing Bollywood films of his youth, for advice on navigating the next stage of his love life. Armed with the lowdown on "what women really want,” he embarks on romance with his divorced neighbor, Mrs. Shaw (Carol Kane.) A high school guidance counselor and obvious free spirit (if the occasional overnight guest pulling out of the driveway is any clue), it soon seems that the unconventional Mrs. Shaw may be just what Gopal is looking for. As their relationship deepens, Gopal is forced to confront and reconcile a very painful past with the realities and possibilities of the present. In the often poignant COSMOPOLITAN, Ganatra has created a truly unique romantic comedy about a man who turns to pop culture as his guide to love and happiness, only to discover that there's more to life, and love, than even Cosmo knows...
The program's interactive companion website www.pbs.org/cosmopolitan features detailed information about the film, including an interview with the filmmaker, cast and crew bios, as well as links and resources pertaining to the film's subject matter. The site also features a "talkback” section for viewers to share their ideas and opinions, preview clips of the film, and more.
Directed by NISHA GANATRA
Produced by BRIAN DEVINE, JASON ORANS and JEN SMALL
Based on the story by AKHIL SHARMA
Screenplay by SABRINA DHAWAN
Executive Producer THOMAS E. FANELLA
Director of Photography MATT CLARK
Production Designer ROLF GRIMSTED
Songs by CHRIS RAEL
Composer ANDREW LOCKINGTON
Editor JANE PIA ABRAMOWITZ
Costume Designer ROBIN I. SHANE COSMOPOLITAN
Gopal: ROSHAN SETH
Mrs. Shaw: CAROL KANE
Madhu: MADHUR JAFFREY
Geetu: PURVA BEDI
Harish: TAJ CROWN
Prema: YOLANDE BAVAN
Hans: STEPHEN BARKER TURNER
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
NISHA GANATRA's (Director) first feature film, Chutney Popcorn, received much acclaim, garnering Best Feature Film Awards at the Outfest Los Angeles and the San Francisco Film Festivals and Audience Awards at the Berlin International Film Festival, the Newport Film Festival, the Paris International Film Festival and the Madrid International Film Festival.
Director Nisha Ganatra was intrigued by Sharma's short story, on which COSMOPOLITAN is based. As she recalls, "I thought, this is a story we haven't seen. Indian-American filmmakers are making these stories that are very ‘me, me, me' and the thing that I loved about Cosmopolitan is that it's about our parents and loneliness, and that I found was very universal and exciting.”
Nisha recently completed the feature comedy Fast Food High for producer Susan Cavan (Stealing Harvard, Superstar, Brain Candy). Last year, Nisha directed The Real World New York for MTV and the Road Rules/Real World Challenge, which is currently airing. Nisha is in development for feature films with Jane Startz Productions (Ella Enchanted, Tuck Everlasting, The Baby Sitter's Club, The Mighty) and is about to start production on a new romantic comedy starring Heather Graham.
Junky Punky Girlz, the short Nisha directed while at NYU's Graduate Film School, won extraordinary recognition, garnering many awards including the Tisch Fellowship and the PBS Grand Prize for Most Outstanding Short Film of the year.
SABRINA DHAWAN (Screenwriter) wrote Monsoon Wedding for director Mira Nair while pursuing her graduate degree in film from Columbia University. Monsoon Wedding received the Golden Lion at Venice and was released internationally to great acclaim. She subsequently scripted Nair's contribution to the omnibus project 09'11'01 for Arte. Dhawan is currently writing a screenplay for Christine Vachon's Killer Films and is in development on a comedy series for HBO, with Brad Grey set to produce.
GIGANTIC PICTURES (Producers) is the New York-based, independent production company run by Brian Devine, Jason Orans and Jennifer Small. In addition to COSMOPOLITAN, Gigantic Pictures recently produced The Suitor for PBS, a narrative film based on a story by the Dominican-American author Julia Alvarez. Additional productions include an adaptation of Bernard Malamud's The First Seven Years starring Israel Horovitz and Carol Kane, which was broadcast nationally on PBS; The Third Date, starring Sandra Bernhard, Xander Berkeley, and Sarah Clark, which premiered at the 2003 Tribeca Film Festival and played the 2003 London Film Festival; Drena De Niro's documentary Girls and Dolls, which premiered on WNET; and Israel Horovitz's autobiographical documentary about 9/11, Three Weeks After Paradise, which premiered on Bravo on 9/11/02. Gigantic is currently in post-production on Satellite, a feature film by the writer/director Jeff Winner (You Are Here).
CHRIS RAEL (Songs) is the founder and leader of the legendary New York band Church of Betty, and is the founder and manager of the independent label Fang Records. His many artistic collaborations include work with such artists as Najma Akhtar, Samir Chatterjee, David Byrne, Curt Smith, Elliot Sharp, Penny Arcade and Steve Gorn.
ABOUT THE CAST
ROSHAN SETH (Gopal)
Roshan Seth was born in New Delhi but has been working primarily in the west since the 1960's. He received a Genie Award for his starring role in Such a Long Journey. His many major film appearances include Monsoon Wedding, Gandhi (as Nehru, a performance which earned him a BAFTA Award nomination), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, London Kills Me, Mississippi Masala, My Beautiful Laundrette, The Buddha of Suburbia and A Passage to India. He frequently appears on stage in London, New York, and India. Variety called Mr. Seth one of "India's most distinguished actors working in the west.”
CAROL KANE (Mrs. Shaw)
Carol Kane received an Academy Award nomination for her role in Hester Street. She has appeared in over forty films, including Annie Hall, Carnal Knowledge, Dog Day Afternoon, The Last Detail, The Princess Bride, Scrooged, and Addams Family Values. Recently, Ms. Kane appeared in Cindy Sherman's Office Killer, Love in the Time of Money and Disney's Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen. Her many television roles include the unforgettable "Simcha” on the long-running show Taxi, for which she won two Emmy Awards. She also appears frequently on stage in New York and Los Angeles.
MADHUR JAFFREY (Madhu)
In addition to her work on stage and screen, Madhur Jaffrey is the world's preeminent Indian cookbook author. Jaffrey's film credits include Merchant/Ivory's Cotton Mary, Six Degrees of Separation, Vanya on 42nd Street and Nisha Ganatra's Chutney Popcorn.
About INDEPENDENT LENS
Independent Lens is a weekly series airing Tuesday nights at 10 P.M. on PBS. The acclaimed anthology series features documentaries and a limited number of fiction films united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement and unflinching visions of their independent producers. Independent Lens features unforgettable stories about a unique individual, community or moment in history, which prompted Nancy Franklin in The New Yorker to write "Watching Independent Lens...is like going into an independent bookstore-you don't always find what you were looking for but you often find something you didn't even know you wanted.” Presented by ITVS, the series is supported by interactive companion websites, and national publicity and community outreach campaigns. Further information about the series is available at www.pbs.org/independent lens. Independent Lens is jointly curated by ITVS and PBS, and is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding provided by PBS and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Independent Television Service (ITVS) funds and presents award-winning documentaries and dramas on public television, innovative new media projects on the Web and the weekly series Independent Lens on Tuesday nights at 10 P.M. on PBS. ITVS is a miracle of public policy created by media activists, citizens and politicians seeking to foster plurality and diversity in public television. ITVS was established by a historic mandate of Congress to champion independently produced programs that take creative risks, spark public dialogue and serve underserved audiences. Since its inception in 1991, ITVS programs have revitalized the relationship between the public and public television, bringing TV audiences face-to-face with the lives and concerns of their fellow Americans. More information about ITVS can be obtained by visiting www.itvs.org. ITVS is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American People.
Since 1980, the National Asian American Telecommunications Association (NAATA) has been at the forefront of bringing Asian Pacific American media to the American public. The organization was formed to challenge the historical exclusion of Asian Pacific Americans from the media field and to counteract the distorted portrayals of Asians by mainstream press. NAATA's mission is to present stories that convey the richness and diversity of the Asian Pacific American experience. In addition to national public television broadcasts, NAATA fulfills its mission through educational distribution, presenting the annual San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, and assistance and funding for media artists.
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