(From FilmMaker: The Magazine of Independent FIlm)

Nisha Ganatra (Chutney Popcorn) is headed back to screens with Cosmopolitan, a comedy about a first-generation Indian-American’s fumbling attempts to date a neighbor after his wife leaves him.

"Gopal has been married his whole life and has no idea how to start a relationship," says Ganatra. "The film is about loneliness and the boundaries he’ll cross to avoid it – boundaries he would never ordinarily cross."

The film stars Carol Kane and Monsoon Wedding’s Roshan Seth as the mismatched couple, and Ganatra says she hopes the film touches a nerve. "Fiction has moved to a place film hasn’t," she says. "There’s a whole wave of second generation Indian films about growing up Indian-American but nobody’s told the story of what it was like here for our parents."


Roshan Seth in Cosmopolitan.

Cosmopolitan is based on a short story by novelist Akhil Sharma. "It’s a little jewel," says producer Jen Small. "The rights to short stories are more accessible financially for small companies, and you can add where a novel demands cutting."

Small and partners Jason Orans and Brian Devine found Cosmopolitan in the 1998 Best American Short Stories collection and signed Sabrina Dhawan (Monsoon Wedding) to adapt it for newcomer Gigantic Pictures. Gigantic worked the adrift-in-America angle to get partial financing from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Diversity Initiative and the National Asian-American Television Association.

Most of the 24P HD Cosmopolitan was shot this past January in New Jersey, but the film’s one Bollywood dance number was lensed in New York’s Jackson Heights, where colorful Indian-American signage helped make a readymade outdoor set. "It kept getting pushed on the schedule because of weather, and we finally did it on the coldest day of the year with the poor actors in saris," laughs Ganatra.

Contact: Jen Small (producer) at


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