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Geeta in Paradise
Geeta in Paradise
Geeta in Paradise
Geeta in Paradise

Friday, May 6, 2011, Tribeca Theater 1, Midnight,
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Geeta in Paradise
Directed by Benny Mathews,
USA, 2009, 100 Minutes, English, New York Premiere
Cast- Parul Bhatia, Purab Kohli, Ishaan Akhtar and Zeenat Aman

Geeta in Paradise is a comic meditation about Bollywood and the effect Indian cinema has on one particularly lonely and bored Waxahachie housewife name Geeta. When her muse (and fantasy lover), Karan Mohair – the hottest and most successful Indian Director in creation – comes to town, Geeta feels it is their destiny to be together. But, because of Karan’s rather snobby attitude towards his admirers, Geeta is forced to kidnap the unsuspecting and super-cute visionary just to get his attention. She decides to hold him prisoner in her garage until he realizes how much he loves and needs her. Karan, obviously, is not thrilled with the sudden (slightly Bollywood) turn of events. Strapped to a lawnmower and forced to pee into a bottle, Karan is determined to prevent Geeta from getting into his head –in spite of how passionate she feels about his movies.

Geeta is a feverish celebration of 80’s camp-nostalgia, the elegant film oeuvre of the beautiful Salma Agaha, bad taste, demented song and dance numbers, and the desire within regular people to have their own faces on movie posters. Geeta’s cast of bizarre dreamers, caught up in their own delirious desire for self-fulfillment, despite the hefty cost, will make audiences laugh uncontrollably, cry buckets, and afraid to go to their homes without a police escort. In the end, the viewers are left shocked and wondering; are some wishes are better left un-granted?

The whacked out film is from the imaginative mind of director Benny Mathews, the creator of Where’s the Party Yaar? Santeria, and a host of award winning music videos for internationally infamous hip hop artists. Benny Mathews was born in Bombay, India and moved to the US as a child. He grew up in a racially mixed suburb of Houston, Texas. As one of only a handful of South East Asians in Willowridge High, Benny tried his best to assimilate with the Anglos, Black and Hispanics who looked upon him and his culture as a National Geographic special that somehow escaped from the TV set. And, as if that wasn’t enough alienation for a sensitive sixteen year old, Benny was also coming to terms with a severe case of Cinemania – a practice described as “the love that dare not speak its name.” Hooked on movies and finding his way in Ronald Reagan’s America, Benny became the  quintessential filmmaker. Given the ridgid dictates of sitting through three movies at once, one would assume Benny to be a maudlin and tragic literary figure, prone to excruciating bouts of self-pity and remorse. To the contrary, Benny is a hopeless romantic with a sharp eye for the absurd.  His engaging voice and his unique experiences will resonate with anybody who has ever felt alone in a crowd, or overwhelmed by the mischievous forces of Fate. He has directed two movies produced in the Houston area – Dude, Where’s the Party and Santeria, distributed by Lionsgate Films. He has also written, produced, and directed numerous music videos for rap artists such as Scarface, The Getto Boys, Trey Sonz,  Bun B, Li’l Flip and many others. Geeta in Paradise is his fourth film.

With: The Way It’s Played
Directed by Shripriya Mahesh
USA, 2011, 7 minutes, World Premiere

The card game is the highlight of the week for Georgia, Marilyn, Norma and Ruth. More than a social gathering, it's an exclusive refuge where they are on top of their game. The Way It's Played explores what happens when a highly-functional member of the group starts to falter

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