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Get ready for the party

Benny Mathews is ready with "Where's the Party, Yaar", another look at Indians in America. RANA SIDDIQUI speaks to the debutant director to find that the spirit is already soaring.


BELIEVE IT or not the brand desi Americans, meaning Indians born and brought up in the

in the U.S. enjoys supremacy over those who have just entered the country with dreams in their eyes. Forget about recognition among the white folk, these freshers don't get friends even among Indians settled there since long. That `accent' factor works more emphatically than the complexion. And this very truth finds itself being portrayed in Where's the Party, Yaar! produced by Sunil and Sandhya Thakkar and directed by the young Benny Mathews. This is Benny's debut film. A music video maker and a painter who moved to the U.S. when he was eight, Benny had a problem. "A painter can't copy. It is not in his temperament, he has to create something original to satisfy his soul. So did I," Benny assures of his film that cost his producer 50,000 dollars, a literal chase for the distributors after it was completed in two years as also it turned him head over heels "in search of a suitable cast". He is bringing 30 prints to India and they released it in several theatres there and received "an expectedly nice response."

To make this film, Benny transgressed rules in two ways. Unlike the work operations in Hollywood, his script wasn't ready till the beginning of the shoot, and he chose "a controversial though original theme".

"People asked me why are you making a film with people with funny accent who wear fab clothes." Being an Indian fascinated with Indian films with lots of colours and specially "that retro style of 1970s that Zeenat Aman personified, I was adamant that I would make a film on this subject giving it a typical Bollywood `70s look and style," says Benny sitting pretty at Uppal's Orchid. Benny also painted each wall of the film, and used several paintings to give that look. But nobody likes a controversial subject that too seriously told, so he decided to deal with the issue of hostility of well-settled Americanised Indians or ACDCs towards Fresh of the Boats or FOBs as he calls them, through a whacky humour. "In my film, there is no comedy separately, situations are comic and I call it a `friendship comedy'.

And who will vouch if the story is actually genuine. Benny lets it loose, "my producer has suffered those bouts that FOBs do. He would not be allowed in parties thrown by well-settled Indian Americans. Now a veteran among the well-settled Indian Americans, he himself throws such parties and does not allow FOBs. Such situations still exist almost all over the US!"

And you would be wondering only because of accent freshers suffer hostility? No, it is also their white shoes and oiled hair that usually turns the ladies off and they walk away from such parties. No ladies, no party, hence the party host rather plays it safe now!

And so does Benny, playing safe with an original script and cast who too are American Indians and FOBs!

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