Growing up in the U.S., Indian Americans did not see many characters that spoke like them, looked like them, and had experiences that resonated with them on TV or in films.
Indian American filmmaker Prarthana Mohan is trying to change that now: by choosing a teenage Indian American girl as her film’s subject. The indie film is called “The MisEducation of Bindu.”
In the film, Indian American actress Megan Suri plays Bindu, a 14-year-old Indian American girl. Bindu, according to the film’s description, “is a girl caught, not only between girlhood and womanhood, but a girl with a foot in India’s traditional past and the promise of global future where she can blend in to be whomever she wants to be.”
Suri has made appearances on shows like “Modern Family,” “Future Man” and “The Brink.”
The shooting for the film, also starring David Arquette, Priyanka Bose, Kelly Ryan, Hannah Alline and Robert T. Bogue, has begun in Indianapolis.
“The MisEducation of Bindu” was the winner of Mark and Jay Duplass’ campaign to find America’s Next Generation of Indie Filmmakers. The Duplass brothers, according to Deadline, teamed with Seed&Spark, the film-focused crowdfunding site, to launch the initiative to fund the project.
The fundraiser on Seed&Spark raised $62,000.
“The MisEducation of Bindu,” the team explains on the crowdfunding site, was inspired by “A Girl’s Own Story” and “Welcome to the Dollhouse” because they each have a voice to show the “unflinching, brutal awkwardness of young women coping with sexuality,” and “Napoleon Dynamite” because of the film’s ability to “scrutinize the numerous bizarre facets of life — and laugh at the truth of it.”
With a flair for writing “strong and compelling” female characters, in the film, Mohan has baked in her own experiences of being a young girl growing up in a conservative family from India.
Born and raised in Chennai, Mohan completed her MFA in film production with an emphasis in directing at Chapman University in California. She was the recipient of the Leo Freedman Award for excellence in visual storytelling. Her thesis film, “Turn Around,” was showcased in the Cannes Short Film Corner and screened at multiple film festivals.