About this project
WHY ARE WE MAKING THIS FILM?
There are so few films made that show the South Asian American experience in an authentic way. With your help, MISS INDIA AMERICA will become a film that captures a slice of that world in a similar fashion to the way BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM highlighted the South Asian experience in the UK. We are committed to telling these new South Asian American stories in a manner that is accessible, relatable and fun! In the end, if we don't tell these stories, then who will? But we can only do it with your help!
WHO ARE WE?
The team behind MISS INDIA AMERICA has been blazing new trails for years in the entertainment industry. Our director/co-writer Ravi Kapoor has directed a number of award winning shorts and was a series regular on the show CROSSING JORDAN, for which he also directed. Co-writer and creative producer Meera Simhan has guest-starred on dozen's of TV shows and films. Our producer Megha Kadakia produced the film RASPBERRY MAGIC, which recently landed on Starz/Encore and DVD. Our other producer Saurabh Kikani has worked behind the scenes at renowned production companies and recently produced the soon to be released feature comedy SALES AND MARKETING. You can check out their bios along with those of our growing list of very talented and committed collaborators below and their reasons for making this film!
WHAT IS MISS INDIA AMERICA?
MISS INDIA AMERICA is a smart, insightful, witty, feature length, South Asian American themed comedy, due to start shooting in the fall 2013 in Orange County, California. It will mark the feature film directing and writing debuts of Hollywood actors Ravi Kapoor and Meera Simhan.
WHAT'S THE STORY?
LILY PRASAD is a winner! She’s graduating from her Orange County high school at the top of her class, filled with big dreams of her future successes. But then her boyfriend leaves her for RESHMA MATHUR, the current Miss India America beauty queen. Determined not to be defeated in anything, Lily sets out to become the new MISS INDIA AMERICA! Along the way she will learn that you don’t always win when you win and sometimes there is more to gain when you lose.
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION FOR THE FILM?
MISS INDIA AMERICA was inspired by the groundbreaking one-woman show written and performed by Meera Simhan and produced by Megha Kadakia. It was an honest, unflinching portrait of what it is to be a young South Asian American girl growing into womanhood, presented in a sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking manner. The show refused to deliver a single stereotype, and presented a South Asian woman in all her beauty, and all her vulnerability. After the success of the show, Meera and Megha knew there was an opportunity to develop a great film. Meera teamed up with Ravi, and they co-wrote the film MISS INDIA AMERICA. Ravi Kapoor will direct the film.We have brought on producer and collaborator Saurabh Kikani to round out the core producers of a great and dynamic team.Your contribution and support will help our team do what they do best, which is tell a great, entertaining story!
WHAT ARE OUR PEERS SAYING ABOUT MISS INDIA AMERICA?
Executive Producer "NCIS"
- John Perry
Supervising Producer, Dr Phil Show. Executive Producer, The Wedding Pact
Meera Simhan and Ravi Kapoor have written a ridiculously funny story set against the bizarre backdrop of the Indian-American beauty pageant, one that also manages to astutely satire the high octane (and insane) pressures of modern American life. Miss India America is hilarious, richly observed, and completely original--with a vibrancy that demands it be taken off the page and made into a film. I can't wait to see it!
Miss India America is a terrific script written by Ravi Kapoor and Meera Simhan. It's a charming comedy that's not only funny but full of warmth and heart. The subject matter is fresh and gives a delightful glimpse into the quirky world of Indian-American beauty pageant's; a world I had no idea even existed. I've had the pleasure to collaborate with Ravi on several writing projects and I have to say his talent, as well as Meera's, are on full display in this wonderful piece of work. I look forward to seeing their vision fully realized.
- David Paul Francis
Story Editor "Hemlock Grove" Netflix Original Series
THE MISS INDIA AMERICA CAMPAIGN
The MISS INDIA AMERICA team aims to raise $100,000 or more over the next 5 weeks to help fund production of the film in September and October of 2013. Please visit our website at www.missindiaamericapictures.com to learn more about the film, the team, our community partners and join the conversation on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
WHY ARE WE DOING KICKSTARTER?
It can cost a lot of money to make a movie that we can all be proud of. If we can raise a chunk of our money on Kickstarter it does three things:
- First it goes a long way in hiring our cast and crew, feeding them and paying for locations, rental equipment, costumes, sets and insurance.
- Second it helps us build an audience, a community that wants to see it succeed.
- Third it encourages private equity investors to also get on board, since they see there is a market for our movie. And we know there is. You can help us prove it!
It’s a place where you can literally help “kick start” a new project that you are excited about. You do this by donating at any of the contribution levels you feel comfortable with. Every donation helps, big or small, that’s why it’s called “crowd”sourcing! And in return we’ll give you our heartfelt thanks, undying love and a gift to show our appreciation. The gift may be a PDF of the script, a limited design/edition t-shirt or a private screening at your home for your friends and family.
The contribution levels and the gifts are listed to the right hand side of this page. If you’d rather not claim a reward, you’re welcome just to donate, and you can increase your donation at any point during the campaign and claim a new gift.
Your donation amount will not be publicly displayed, and we receive your funds only if we meet our full $100,000 goal. You should know that if we don’t reach our contribution goal then we don’t get any of the money. Whatever you contributed, it all goes back to you. However, we would love to meet and exceed that goal and make MISS INDIA AMERICA a reality!
The more support we have, the higher our production value is.
WHY SHOULD YOU CONTRIBUTE?
Because you want to see more South Asian American themed movies. Because you want to see more movies with strong South Asian American women in them. Because you want to support South Asian American artists. Because you want to help us make a fun movie that could cross over like a BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM or MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING and you get to say “I helped make that happen!” Whatever the reason, we hope you’ll donate and help us make MISS INDIA AMERICA a winner!
HOW ELSE CAN I CONTRIBUTE?
You want people to know about this project. If you can send the website page, and/or the Kickstarter page to your networks, then our project gets the biggest seal of approval it needs. That is from you! We want this film to be a community-driven success from the ground floor of its making, through to its showing on big and small screens. Best of all, it will have been empowered by all of you.
Here are some ways you can spread the word:
-Twitter- you can tweet about us @MIA_Film and the project, link to the Kickstarter page with this shortened link - http://kck.st/169K143 and can use the Hashtags #MissIndiaAmerica, #OurStory, and #MIA_Film.
-Instagram – You can take pictures of your experience as a South Asian-American or someone who knows and appreciates that world. Even better, take part in the Miss India America #OurStory campaign! Record a short 15 to 30 second video of yourself talking about your experience as a South-Asian American, upload to Instagram, and use the Hashtag #OurStory to be heard.
WHAT'S THE BUDGET FOR THE FILM?
The entire budget to make MISS INDIA AMERICA will cost close to $400K. However, we are a creative team of entrepreneurial filmmakers that wants to tell a very powerful, engaging, necessary, and fun story with your help. To reduce the overall budget we have teamed up with incredible sponsors and community partners that have offered to offset production and post production costs by close to $125K. We are actively going to equity investors for the remainder and of course we are here on Kickstarter! Your help and support on this project is crucial to us making our film this fall. Once again, every contribution helps. Big or small!
•Total Film Budget: $400K
•Sponsors and Partners: $125K
•Equity Investors: $175K
OUR COMMUNITY PARTNERS
It definitely takes a village to make a film come together! A special thank you to our growing list of community partners who have helped make this campaign happen and who continue to be major supporters and partners of the feature film this fall. Without them, we would not be able to bring this vision to life.It is especially touching to us that the sponsors we have gathered so far come from the South Asian-American community. They are all pioneers in their own right, and their support has given us a link to our past, as well as a connection towards future success.
- Ziba Beauty
- Sumita Beauty
- Shakti Dance Company
- NDM Dance
- Shail K
- Officially Couture by Maneka
TO OUR SUPPORTERS
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for reading our kickstarter campaign and getting behind us. We cannot do this without you and we are forever grateful for your support, love and encouragement! This is a story that comes from us, and can be made only with the support of each of you.It will be a challenging journey, but with all of you at our side, it will be an amazing, gratifying and incredibly fun one to go on. Join us!
From the MISS INDIA AMERICA Team!
Ravi Kapoor, Meera Simhan, Megha Kadakia, Saurabh Kikani, Alan Caudillo, Colin Augiar, Varun Viswanath, Jeremy Cleek, Anthony Stabley, Leanna Huebner and Rachel Paturi
Ravi Kapoor Co-Writer. Director. I would love to share MISS INDIA AMERICA, a unique and revealing comedy, because I think it will create a wonderful point of connection, which is for me is the whole point of telling any story. A connection between the film makers and the audience and a connection between different communities.
Meera Simhan Co-Writer. Creative Producer. MISS INDIA AMERICA to me is a very personal story. I grew up thinking it was all about winning and that coming in second was not enough. And like Lily, I've come to learn that life is bigger and more interesting than just first place. I am also excited to see more strong South Asian American women as leading characters in film.
Megha Kadakia Producer. MISS INDIA AMERICA is a remarkable script that allows, me the producer, to really take advantage of presenting a film that combines both South Asian elements with a very commercial, American sense of humor and style. And equally important, I'm thrilled to have the ability to reveal a new world and story experience of Indian American Beauty pageants to audiences worldwide.
Saurabh Kikani Producer. I come to MISS INDIA AMERICA from several different perspectives - as a producer, a son of South Asian immigrants, a fan of great comedy, and most importantly, as someone who genuinely respects great storytelling. With MISS INDIA AMERICA, the project hits all the buttons that mean something to me, and I could not be prouder to be a part of such a fun, smart, and all around great project!
Colin Aguiar Music Composer. I believe that we are living a moment akin to moments that precede the making of great films. Its amazing to think that those involved in THE BIG CHILL or FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH or CLERKS or RESERVOIR DOGS all lived through a similar eve of a beautiful film - a feeling that is accompanied by an unwavering faith in my director, the tastefulness of my writers, the determination of my producers and the steadfastness of a great crew and cast.
Alan Caudillo Cinematographer. DP. I am excited to be working again with my friend and amazing director Ravi Kapoor on MISS INDIA AMERICA. I saw this idea grow from Meera's One woman show into an incredible screenplay, and I am anxious to begin lensing what I know will be a fantastic movie.
Varun Viswanath Editor. I am drawn to stories where regular people are pushed outside their comfort zone, and how they learn and grow through that experience - which is why I am very excited to be working on MISS INDIA AMERICA. Lily finds herself in a situation that she had never planned for, and the roller-coaster of comedy and emotions that follows is both touching and witty - and the story transcends all social, racial and cultural boundaries.
Anthony Stabley Production Designer. I was drawn to MISS INDIA AMERICA because it's a well written story, it's funny and it has some valuable lessons to share. Life is not always about winning the prize, sometimes it's more important to enjoy the journey and be aware of the world and the people around you. I think audiences of every culture will appreciate this thematic element in the film.
Leanna Huebner Designer. Since being in LA, this is the first major project I've been asked to work on. Once I read the script, it was a no brainer, it was so alive and fun, as well as the people working on this project are total gems. I could not be happier to be a part of the MISS INDIA AMERICA team and cannot wait to make this film a hit!
Rachel Paturi Distribution and Marketing. Seeing BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM as a preteen was inspiring because that was the first time I saw 'me' on on a big screen. MISS INDIA AMERICA connects with me in the same vein. My hope is that another young South Asian woman will be able to identify and connect with the characters because I truly believe this is a great story worth telling.
Risks and challenges
One of the biggest challenges facing MISS INDIA AMERICA is the utilization of our social media campaign to bring a wide and diverse audience to the project. With your support of our Kickstarter campaign, we are not only raising money, but also raising awareness of the project, and building fun new ways to engage with the story beyond the film. We want you to be a part of this as much we are, but we can only do it with your help. Distributors and exhibitors look to see if a project has support beyond the filmmakers, and one of the metrics used is how much of the social media is being engaged around the film. If our social media campaign does not catch fire, we are still going to make an amazing film and get it out there through more traditional channels. We have a team in place that has swam those waters before and can do it again. However, we hope to utilize new tools and methods to get the message about the film out there, and we plan on making this story as fun outside of the film, as it is inside of the film.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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