No lights, no camera, but lots of curry – Curry Munchers, that is.
Shooting for the movie Curry Munchers ended recently with an end-of-shoot party in Auckland, and the Mahayana Films venture is expected to be released in New Zealand in October.
Shot in New Delhi and Auckland, Curry Munchers is a light hearted look at an immigrant family settling into a new country – while at the same time dealing with the intense issue of a culture clash and beyond.
Curry Munchers has been directed by Cristobal Araus Lobos, an award winning director for Best Digital feature in 2001 for The Waiting Place.
Lobos, a Chilean New Zealander, said the movie’s strong story line had been most appealing to him.
“I’m an immigrant, and the film portrayed a sense of humour which is not uncommon to the South American situation, so I felt quite comfortable directing it,” Lobos told the Indian Weekender.
The lead is played by Auckland finance executive Anand Naidu, who heads a glittering local star cast including Leela Patel and Ben Mitchell (TK of Shortland Street), Raj Verma, Tarun Mohanbhai, Ajay Vashist and young Vidya Venugopalan.
Aucklander Alison Titulaer (Mary) plays the lead opposite Naidu. Titulaer is a trained actress who has featured in several episodes of Shortland Street, and had a lead role in the TV drama Dreams of Death.
Set in Auckland, Curry Munchers is about the experiences and aspirations of an NRI man, Siddarth (Sid), who wants to discover his happiness and in the process has to question his love for his family versus his own dreams – and also has to deal with the concept of displacement and with the culture shock of migration to a new country.
It’s being touted as a lighthearted comedy/drama (a la Bend It Like Beckham) that uses food, cultural masala and a fusion of New Zealand / Indian music and dance to deliver its message.
Sid takes up a part-time job in a local Indian restaurant (Khazana) without the knowledge of his parents, while still continuing his engineering studies as expected by his parents.
He finds himself being more passionate about making food than being an engineer, and spends more time in the restaurant with his new found friends, especially a local girl named Mary.
Mary and Sid connect despite cultural differences as they are both displaced individuals in conditions that are alien to them.
But, they find that life is not a bed of roses, and they have to overcome many obstacles that lead to self discovery.
Naidu, who also heads Mahayana Films, said Curry Munchers had a storyline which made it easy for people to connect to.
“It’s a story about everybody, about people, learning how to deal with situations in a different country – all carried out with a touch of humour.
“But it’s not just a comedy, there are a few dramatic situations which bring out the best is us all,” said Naidu.
“An empowering film, an underdog, no big budget but big on content.”
Naidu said they were still keen to attract investors to take the movie through its final stages and help make it a reality by the Diwali Festival in October when it will be launched at the “Yes India!” Festival in Wellington.