About the Filmmaker

The Night Out



Aasif Mandvi (Ganesh):
Aasif Mandvi is the winner of the 1999 Obie Award for his one-man show, SAKINA'S RESTAURANT, which played at the American Place Theatre in New York. The show has also toured in London, Toronto, Chicago, Boston, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles. His other New York stage credits include DEATH DEFYING ACTS by Woody Allen, Elaine May and David Mamet, SUBURBIA by Eric Bogosian, and TRUDY BLUE by Marsha Norman. His film and television credits include UNDERMIND, ANALYZE THIS, THE SIEGE. RANDOM HEARTS, ABCD, AMERICAN CHAI, THE END OF THE DAY, THREE AM, DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE, EDDIE JAKES' WOMEN, PEROXIDE PASSION, LAW AND ORDER, WELCOME TO NY, NASH BRIDGES, MIAMI VICE, DEADLINE, NY UNDERCOVER and OZ. Mandvi is also a member of the New York based sketch comedy group THE ASSOCIATES. He currently is writing a screenplay inspired by his one man show. Mandvi currently can be seen in Trevor Nunn's Broadway production of OKLAHOMA.

Om Puri (Ramlogan):
Om Puri is one of India's most distinguished actors and a veteran of well over 100 films. He has been seen by international audiences in EAST IS EAST, THE JEWEL IN THE CROWN, SAM AND ME, CITY OF JOY, WOLF, THE FIRE WITHIN, IN CUSTODY, BROTHERS IN TROUBLE and THE GHOST AND THE DARKNESS. Puri's career is based in India's art cinema rather than in the commercial films that pour out of Bombay, He has worked in a wide range of roles with most of the country's great directors, including Satyajit Ray, Shyam Benegal and Mrinal Sen. Born in the Punjab in Northern India, Puri graduated from India's National School of Drama in New Delhi, before studying film acting for two years at the Film and Television Institute in India. He then moved to Bombay, where he formed his own theatre group, hi 2000, Om Puri was nominated for a BAFTA award (Best Actor) and a London Film Critics award (Best Actor) for EAST IS EAST. He has already received many awards, including the Padamshree - a national honor given by the President of India for outstanding contribution to Value Based Cinema; the Soviet Land Nehru Award for contributions towards outstanding work in cinema; the National award for Best actor in ARDHYA SATYA (Half Truth) directed by Govind Nihalani; the Best Actor award for ARDHYA SATYA at the International Film Festival in Czechoslovakia; the Best Supporting Actor award at the Popular Film Fair in India for his performance in AKROSH; and the National Award for Best Actor for his performance in AROHAN. Puri's most recent British films have been THE PAROLE OFFICER and HAPPY NOW.

Ayesha Dharker (Leela)
Ayesha Dharker has been involved in film from a very young age and has traveled to locations around the world. She appears in the upcoming STAR WARS EPISODE II, ATTACK OF THE CLONES, and was the winner of the "Best Artistic Contribution for an Actress" award at the Cairo Film Festival for her role of Malli in THE TERRORIST. Her film credits include: SPLIT WIDE OPEN, SAAZ, CITY OF JOY and MANDCA -UNE VIE PLUS TARD. She has also appeared in the short, INDIA BELONGS TO ME and in John Malkovich's short, BELLA FREUD FASHION. Dharker's television credits include Hallmark's ARABIAN NIGHTS, which filmed in Turkey, as well as MYSTERIES OF THE DARK JUNGLE, A MOUTHFUL OF SKY, MUMBAI MAIL, and the lead role in ZAMEEN ASMAN. Her theater work includes FINAL SOLUTIONS and she has recently completed a run in the West End as "Site" in THE RAMAYANA.

James Fox(Mr. Stewart)
James Fox is the son of the late Robin Fox, a distinguished theatrical agent who helped set up MCA for Jules Stein in London immediately after World War II. His mother, Angela, was an actress and his brothers Edward and Robert Fox are, respectively, distinguished actors and producers in the British theatre and film world. Fox entered acting as a child star in MRS. MINIVER'S STORY in 1950 and followed it up with THE MAGNET for Baling Studios in 1951. Fox was trained at Central School of Speech and Drama before having to do compulsory Military Service in 1951-61, after which he returned to acting and soon made his mark, starring in Joseph Losey's THE SERVANT (1963) opposite Dirk Bogarde, and opposite Mick Jagger in the classic PERFORMANCE, directed by Nicolas Roeg and Donald Cammell. Then followed some distinguished feature films in the 60's, including three in the USA; KING RAT (1965), THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE (1966), and THE CHASE (1966) which Fox completed prior to leaving the acting world for nine and a half years. Fox returned to acting in 1980 and has appeared in over thirty productions in film and television. His credits include Sir David Lean's A PASSAGE TO INDIA (1984) and Fred Schepisi's THE RUSSIA HOUSE (1989). Fox appeared in the BBC television film A QUESTION OF ATTRIBUTION directed by John Schlesinger, which won the 1992 BAFTA Award for Best Single Drama, PATRIOT GAMES directed by Phillip Noyce, THE REMAINS OF THE DAY directed by James Ivory, HEART OF DARKNESS directed by Nicolas Roeg, GULLIVER'S TRAVELS directed by Charles Sturridge, and NEVEREVER directed by Charles Finch. Recent films include Merchant Ivory's THE GOLDEN BOWL and Jonathan Glazer's SEXY BEAST.

Jimi Mistry trained at the Birmingham School of Speech & Drama. He was part of EAST IS EAST since its first workshop. The play was so successful that it was developed into a film, which screened at the Cannes Film Festival to great critical acclaim (Mistry played the role of Tariq). EAST IS EAST won Best Film at the Evening Standard British Film Awards, was nominated for five BAFTA awards and received the BAFTA Award for Best British Film. He played the part of'Eddie' in David Kane's BORN ROMANTIC, in which he co-stars with Catherine McCormack, Jane Horrocks, Olivia Williams, Craig Ferguson, Adrian Lester and David Morrissey, and he can be seen in Don Boyd's MY KINGDOM, co-starring with Richard Harris. Mistry appeared in Kenneth Branagh's film of HAMLET as well as the low-budget British film ANXIETY directed by Alistair Ogilvy. His television credits include SILENT WITNESS directed by Alex Pilai; THIEFTAKERS directed by Doug McKinnon ; CITY CENTRAL directed by Martin Hutchings, THE BILL directed by Sarah Harding, and THE EASTENDERS

Sakina Jaffrey was born in Manhattan and raised in Greenwich Village in New York. As a child, she danced with the Jeffrey Ballet at City Center. While still in high school, she made her acting debut in Wallace Shawn's MARIE AND BRUCE at the New York Shakespeare Festival. Since then she has performed in theaters in New York City and regionally, including productions at the Classic Stage Company, Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Humana Festival at ATL and the George Street Playhouse. Favorite roles include Juliet in ROMEO AND JULIET at Williamstown, and Alice in ALICE IN WONDERLAND at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. Jaffrey's film credits include THE INDIAN IN THE CUPBOARD and DAYLIGHT, in addition to the independent films MASALA and CHUTNEY POPCORN. THE MYSTIC MASSEUR is Jaffrey's fourth film with Merchant Ivory, following COTTON MARY, THE PERFECT MURDER and SLAVES OF NEW YORK. She will be seen in Jonathan Demme's upcoming film, THE TRUTH ABOUT CHARLIE.

Zohra Segal, one of India's foremost actresses and dancers, was born in Saharanpur, U.P. India, and graduated from Queen Mary's College, Lahore in 1929. Extensively involved in dance, theatre, film, television as well as radio broadcasts and lecture tours, Segal's career reflects a longtime dedication to the arts. She carries a Diploma in Eurythmics from Mary Wigman's Dance School, Dresden, Germany and has a longstanding career in dance beginning in 1935-43 when she was a leading dancer of the Uday Shankar Ballet Company & Main Teacher at Almora Culture Centre. She has danced in all the Western capitols and traveled extensively from North Cape to Luxor on the Nile, from San Francisco to Penang in Malaysia and down to Java and Bali, also participating in several "All India" tours, performing over 1000 times. From 1943-1945, Segal was co-director of Zoresh Dance Institute, Lahore with her husband, Kameshwar Segal, and from 1945 to 1959 she was the leading actress and Dance director of the Prithvi Theatres, Bombay, touring in over 100 towns of India, holding 2000 performances. Segal has frequently appeared on both television and on the stage. Her television credits include LITTLE NAPOLEONS. FIRM FRIENDS, NEVER SAY DIE. JEWEL IN THE CROWN and KIPLING. Segal's theater work in the UK has included A YEARNING, DOWN EVERY STREET, A TOUCH OF BRIGHTNESS, THE PRIMARY ENGLISH CLASS, and OUR OWN PEOPLE. Her filmography is extensive, including LANDMARK, BHAJI ON THE BEACH, MASALA, THE HONORARY CONSUL, HAREM, CARAVAGGIO, MEANEATERS OF KUMAON and MANIKA MANDCA. THE MYSTIC MASSEUR is Segal's third Merchant Ivory film - she also appeared in THE COURTESANS OF BOMBAY and THE GURU.

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