Houstonians Relish A Curry on an American Plate


By Vanshika Vipin Varma

HOUSTON: Movie screening can be a mix of fun and learning experience, especially when it is about a bitter-sweet tale, directed by an award winning filmmaker, and stars talented and passionate actors. The University of Houston Theatre was abuzz on March 5, with a special screening of A Curry on an American Plate. A Lake Camp Productions and Next Actor Studio film, this movie will be screened at different film festivals before an official release.


A Curry on an American Plate, is a story of a dying Indian restaurant, whose owner and his staff get an ultimatum to buy the property in 30 days or shut down the premises. This heart-wrenching tale, directed by the award winning film maker San Banarje, stars Rick Fox, Charlie O’Connell, Disney Spain’s Andrea Guasch and Houston-based actors of Indian descent Bud Patel, Meera Nandlal, Christian Bhalla and Prateek Karkal in lead roles. While the film was originally conceived by San in 2007, it could not see the light of the day until 2015 till he met Houston theatre actor and emcee Bud Patel. Bud, a passionate actor, expressed his desire to begin this film’s journey and that led to the project being kicked off with Bud playing the key role of the protagonist and the executive producer of this movie, along with San and Trisha Ray. The subject of this movie features around the Indian community in USA, something that is unconventional to mainstream Hollywood cinema. The movie is offbeat to Bollywood cinema as well. So what is the tale about?


At the screening

At the screening

K.G Patel (Bud), the owner of this Indian restaurant is in a crisis at personal and financial level. His restaurant has not been profitable and with his inability to pay child support on time and several collection agencies chasing him, it only adds up to his burdensome and grueling life. His financial distress is even worsened when he gets the news that his landlord wants him out because of his inability to pay the rent. A reorientation plan to add live performance fails miserably, backfiring just like a couple of other similar plans planned prior. A Curry on an American Plate is a bitter-sweet saga which everyone can relate to. The zest and energy of Patel and his staff are notable and they keep you glued to your seats as you watch them save their failing restaurant. Rick Fox who plays the role of a writer, is in the city for his cancer treatment. He visits their restaurant everyday to write his book and soon gathers that they are in a financial distress. When his book becomes a hit he contributes money to Patel and the team and this helps them save their restaurant.




Stills from the movie: A Curry on an American Plate

A Curry on an American Plate has all the masala of a Bollywood movie. It has comedy, drama and emotions, and is easy to relate to. The delightful performances grip you and keep you entertained throughout. San Banarje, a multi-talented personality with several accolades to his career, wears with conviction the hats of a director, producer, cinematographer and actor. When we spoke to San, he had an interesting piece to reveal, “I had a lot of fun while making A Curry on an American Plate and there were many plots that I couldn’t film due to time constraint. So I am now writing a sequel which I will be casting soon”. He has written the screenplay of this movie along with Trisha Ray, and is also the director of cinematography. San began his career as an actor, playing along with Lou Diamond Phillips in Sony Pictures’ Striking Range, and later went on to direct his own short feature films. His executive producer partners are Trisha Ray and Bud Patel. Trisha also couples as his co-writer, casting director, co-executive producer and producer of this movie. Trisha said, “San had the original idea for A Curry on an American Plate in 2007 and we had a great laugh when he had told me the storyline but that year we were busy with his film Money that was shot in France and my film Federal Case that was shot in Mexico, and we didn’t know any Indian actors, so we didn’t pursue it. I’m glad we waited, because making it at this present time allowed us to rewrite the screenplay as a satire instead of another humorous comedy”. Trisha and San together had founded the very first actor’s studio in Houston called Next Actor Studio. The concept of this studio is brilliant; it is a hub where actors, directors, screenwriters and editors gather to brainstorm and create. Their production company Lake Camp Productions/Next Actor Films is a SAG signatory company that creates independent films, music videos, commercials, and corporate videos. Kavish Kruti Production is also a production company involved alongside.

Most of you will be surprised to note that the protagonist of this movie, Bud (Bhadresh) Patel, is actually a Microbiologist by profession. That never deterred him from his passion for acting, and one can notice his obsession for acting in his work and his talks. “I am really passionate about acting and about life, I observe people a lot and pick peculiarity from each person and use those nuances in my acting”, Bud stated. Growing up in Mumbai, India, during his school and college days he was exposed to several stage dramas in English, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi and Bengali. He has been fortunate to have worked with many renowned directors in Houston and Canada. He is also currently casted as a Pharmacist in Houston’s Crime TV Series Dream$ville.

Apart from strengths in business, international trade, entertainment, culture, media, fashion, science, sports, technology, education, medicine, research, the large metropolis of Houston is a hub for talented artists. Houston is favored and fortunate to have such amazing talents who have created a niche for themselves in this space. A Curry on an American Plate is a must watch film that keeps you engaged in the ground realities of the Indian- American life. It is so different than the conventional comedy, tearjerker, musical or a classic, and lets you adore, relish and totally appreciate it.

Visit the film’s IMDb or www.lakecampproductions.com for more information.