It was fitting to director Arpita Kumar to see fireworks blasting off mere yards from the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on Friday night. Kumar is in town with her short film My Dear Americans, in which an immigrant moves to the U.S. and embraces all things American, but since she shot the film in California, she wasn’t able to use the type of fireworks any more exciting than sparklers. At least with the film’s arrival in Sarasota, there would be some rockets red glare.Kumar’s story of Indian immigrants making their way in the United States is a fitting one. She herself came to the U.S. about 10 years ago to study film at Cal Arts.
The movie follows a Sikh couple who have different approaches to assimilating to their new home. “The husband is enthusiastic about everything American. He is hosting barbeques on the Fourth of July,” she says. “But the wife is more suspicious. She is traumatized by a trip to Costco because everything is so massive.”
The couple encounter doses of bigotry as well, but Kumar promises the reactions by the main character will surprise audiences. She won’t reveal the twist ending, but says it has helped garner the short some positive reactions in smaller festivals leading up to its screening in Sarasota.
Kumar is in Sarasota with Vineet Khosta, her husband and a producer on the film. The pair know the opportunities that exist in the United States; Khosta was part of the Siri team before the technology was acquired by Apple. Now they hope Sarasota greets their film with some welcoming spirit.
My Dear Americans screens Wednesday, April 9, at 12:30pm at the Regal Hollywood 20.<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/73404080″>Trailer for My Dear Americans</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user703955″>Arpita Kumar</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>