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Mira Nair's THE NAMESAKE - Opens March 9, 2007

Proudly Presents
MARCH 9, 2007

Release date: MARCH 9, 2007
Directed by: Mira Nair
Screenplay by: Sooni Taraporevala
Based on the novel by: Jhumpa Lahiri
Produced by: Lydia Dean Pilcher, Mira Nair
Executive Produced by: Yasushi Kotani, Taizo Son, Ronnie Screwvala
Cast: Kal Penn, Tabu, Irrfan Khan, Jacinda Barrett, Zuleikha Robinson, Brooke Smith, Sahira Nair, Glenne Headley

*** Official Selection – Toronto International Film Festival ***
*** Official Selection – Telluride Film Festival ***
*** Opening Night Film – IAAC Film Festival ***
*** Official Selection – London Film Festival ***

THE NAMESAKE is the story of the Ganguli family whose move from Calcutta to New York evokes a lifelong balancing act to meld to a new world without forgetting the old. Though parents Ashoke and Ashima (Irrfan Khan, Tabu) long for the family and culture that enveloped them in India, they take great pride in the opportunities their sacrifices have afforded their children. Paradoxically, their son Gogol (Kal Penn) is torn between finding his own unique identity without losing his heritage. Even Gogol's name represents the family's journey into the unknown.

Helmed by the Academy Award®-nominated Mira Nair, THE NAMESAKE is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri. The film's screen adaptation was penned by Sooni Taraporevala, with whom Nair previously collaborated on MISSISSIPPI MASALA and the Oscar®-nominated SALAAM BOMBAY!

Mira Nair's debut feature film, SALAAM BOMBAY! was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Foreign Language Film in 1988, and won the Camera D'Or and Prix du Publique at the Cannes Film Festival as well as 25 other international awards. MISSISSIPPI MASALA won three awards at the Venice Film Festival including Best Screenplay and The Audience Choice Award. MONSOON WEDDING won the Golden Lion at the 2001 Venice Film Festival, was nominated for a Golden Globe® for Best Foreign Language Film and opened worldwide to tremendous critical and commercial acclaim. Nair directed the HBO original film "Hysterical Blindness," which received great critical acclaim and garnered a Golden Globe for Uma Thurman and three Emmy Awards®. The film is produced by Lydia Dean Pilcher with whom Nair partnered on the "Hysterical Blindness" as well as 2004's VANITY FAIR, and Nair.

Kal Penn brings to the role of Gogol a deep understanding of the American-born Indian character. Penn's breakthrough role was the hit film HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE. Previously he appeared in AMERICAN DESI, NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VAN WILDER, MALIBU'S MOST WANTED, LOVE DON'T COST A THING, and SUPERMAN RETURNS. Irrfan Khan made his acting debut in SALAAM BOMBAY! He played the coveted role of Maqbool (Macbeth) in the film MAQBOOL, a Hindi interpretation of Macbeth set in the Bombay underworld, and appeared in THE WARRIOR, which won the BAFTA award for Best Film in 2003. Tabu first shot to fame after winning India's leading prize for best actress, the National Award, for her role in MAACHIS (1997), which was shortly followed by the Critics Award for VIRASAT (1998). She won the National Award again for the critically acclaimed CHANDNI BAR (2001).

Jacinda Barrett recently appeared in THE HUMAN STAIN opposite Nicole Kidman, Sir Anthony Hopkins and Ed Harris, as well as MR. RIPLEY'S RETURN, LADDER 49, and BRIDGET JONES: THE EDGE OF REASON. Zuleikha Robinson recently starred opposite Viggo Mortensen in HIDALGO and played Al Pacino's daughter in THE MERCHANT OF VENICE. Glenne Headley, who has twice been nominated for Emmy Awards, was most recently seen in CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE DRAMA QUEEN. Brooke Smith, whose breakthrough role was in THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, was most recently seen in Woody Allen's MELINDA AND MELINDA.

THE NAMESAKE was shot by Director of Photography Frederick Elmes, ASC (KINSEY, THE ICE STORM). Nair opted to collaborate again with her MONSOON WEDDING Production Designer Stephanie Carroll and Costume Designer Arjun Bhasin, as well as Editor Allyson Johnson, with whom she also worked on VANITY FAIR.

Official web site and trailer: http://www.foxsearchlight.com/site/thenamesake/

The next NY press screening is this Friday, December 8, at 1:30pm. Journalists interested in covering THE NAMESAKE and/or attending the screening should contact Gitesh Pandya at gpandya@boxofficeguru.com for further details. Additional press screenings in NY and other cities will follow in the months ahead.

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