Nimitt Mankad of Inimitable Pictures announced today the acquisition of the company’s first U.S. production, the Indian culinary comedy TODAY’S SPECIAL, by distributor Reliance MediaWorks. The film’s star, Aasif Mandvi (The Daily Show, The Last Airbender) co-wrote the screenplay with Jonathan Bines (Late Night with Jimmy Kimmel). Reliance MediaWorks will release the film nationwide in the U.S. on October 8, 2010. Deal was negotiated by Mankad with Uday Kumar, Head of North America from Reliance MediaWorks.
TODAY’S SPECIAL was produced by Mankad’s Inimitable Pictures and Lillian LaSalle’s Sweet 180 (Loggerheads, Sweetland), who also manages Mandvi. The film was directed by Sundance alumni David Kaplan (Year of the Fish) and features performances from Aasif Mandvi, renowned Indian actress and best selling cookbook author Madhur Jaffrey, Indian film icon Naseeruddin Shah (Monsoon Wedding, League of Extraordinary Gentleman), Jess Weixler (Teeth), Harish Patel (Run Fat Boy Run), indie veteran Kevin Corrigan (Big Fan), and Dean Winters (30 Rock).
Said Mankad, “In this tough economic climate, Reliance MediaWorks is an amazing partner for TODAY’S SPECIAL. No one understands the growing interest in South Asian themed content better. They have built an amazing team and infrastructure that totally surprised Hollywood this year with the release of 3 Idiots. We could not have found a more supportive home!”
“TODAY’S SPECIAL is a heartwarming New York fable that will charm and delight audiences across North America . With our groundbreaking success of 3 Idiots and the enormous popularity of Indian food, we can reach a wide audience of movie fans, who are craving a great tandoori comedy,” said Kumar. “The New York setting, along with Aasif Mandvi and Naseeruddin Shah’s performances, make this the perfect film for us to reach out into the world of English language features.”
In the tradition of Big Night and Eat Drink Man Woman, TODAY’S SPECIAL is inspired by Mandvi’s Obie Award-winning play, “Sakina’s Restaurant.” Samir (Mandvi), a sous chef, dreams of taking over as head chef at an upscale Manhattan restaurant. But when his estranged father (Patel) survives a heart attack, Samir is forced to take over the family’s nearly bankrupt Tandoori restaurant in the “Little India” neighborhood of Jackson Heights , Queens . With the help of his mother (Jaffrey), his new love interest (Weixler), and a mysterious taxi driver he crosses paths with (Shah), he manages to discover his true passion for cooking, saving his family business and family along the way.
An audience favorite at film festivals, TODAY’S SPECIAL premiered last fall at the London Film Festival, was the Opening Night film at the San Francisco Asian American Film Festival, and won audience prizes at both the Palm Springs Intern ational Film Festival and Minnesota St. Paul Intern ational Film Festivals earlier this year.