Boasting a universally acclaimed cast with Rajkummar Rao (India’s official entry to Academy Awards 2018 Newton), Nargis Fakhri (Bollywood blockbuster Rockstar), Academy Award nominee Candy Clark (American Graffiti) and Golden Globe nominee Bo Derek (10), 5 Weddings opens in cinemas worldwide on 21st September 2018.
5 Weddings is a feature film with comedy, drama and romance that showcases the vibrant ceremonies at India’s weddings, with an important sub-plot that features Hijras, a sect of transgender dancers who have been an integral part of Indian wedding tradition for centuries.
Other featured Hollywood actors include Broadway star Anneliese van der Pol (Beauty and The Beast), Mariana Paola Vicente (The Lucky Man, Miss Universe 2010), Robert Palmer Watkins (General Hospital), Dawn Richard (Danity Kane) and Rupak Ginn (Royal Pains).
Also starring from India are Suvinder Vicky (Chauthi Koot – Un Certain Regard Cannes 2015), Shiwani Saini (Sarbjit), Saru Maini (Dangerous Husn) and Diljott (Teshan).
This exciting film marks the second Hollywood project for both Fakhri and Rao. Fakhri was earlier seen in the Melissa McCarthy starrer Spy and Rao will be seen in the Freida Pinto starrer Love Sonia.
In the vein of The 100 Foot Journey, Monsoon Wedding and Bride and Prejudice, this film is helmed by Namrata Singh Gujral (1 a Minute), an Indian American filmmaker with a penchant for cause projects.
The story of 5 Weddings follows an American journalist (Fakhri) who travels to “heartland India” to cover the five main ceremonies at Indian weddings, only to end up fascinated with the transgender dancers (Hijras) who typically dance at these colourful celebrations. Complications arise when she falls in love with her shadow cop (Rao) whose instructions are to keep her story censored.
Lead star Nargis Fakhri says, “I am extremely excited about this big leap from Bollywood to Hollywood. I feel very lucky to be able to work both. My entire life has been filled with coincidences. Bollywood was one and has been great but I think in my heart I also want to do projects at home (USA). I’ve been very lucky to be a part of Spy and now 5 Weddings. I feel really connected to the character of Shania as I feel there are a lot of similarities between Shania’s (lead character) and my life. I love how Shania is American but has a multi-ethnic heritage and is forced to connect back with her roots, which ultimately becomes life changing for her. My life has an almost identical story”.
Internationally recognized for her 1980 smash hit ‘10’ and other box office successes like ‘A Change of Seasons’, ‘Tommy Boy’ and ‘Malibu’s Most Wanted’,Golden Globe nominee Bo Derek says, “I am delighted to be a part of the strong scripted project”.
With box office hits that include top classics like ‘American Graffiti’ and ‘The Man Who Fell To Earth’ with David Bowie, Academy Award nominee Candy Clarksays, “What attracted me to the film was it’s cute and funny story, which reminded me of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. The romantic angle of the successful woman, out and about, who falls in love with a humble man of another country… that and so much more is what I love about 5 Weddings”.
Namrata Singh Gujral, who directed the film says, “We made this film on a rather modest budget but as a filmmaker I’ve never let budget or box office dictate my choices. I’ve always focused my films on subjects that drive social awareness with entertainment. With this film, I wanted to bring international attention to LGBTQ issues in India. While initially, I was mulling with the idea of a documentary, I felt a narrative piece would have a wider reach. Article 337 – in the largest democracy in the world – in 2018? Unbelievable! Life’s too short to judge others choices. Just make your choices count – I know that first hand from my medical journey. I was humbled when Nargis Fakhri, Rajkummar Rao, Bo Derek and Candy Clark came on board to support my faith and vision. I am so thankful to my cast and crew for helping me tell this story”.
Lead Rajkummar Rao commenting on his role says, “The production house from LA got in touch with me. I liked the script and the whole idea. Then I spoke to the director and I came on board”.
Gujral adds, “I’m happy to see how Raj’s path as an actor is so exciting right now. He is a bonafide star with all the love he’s garnered for Newton. With 5 Weddings, I am thrilled to present him in a totally different avatar. And what can I say about Nargis Fakhri? This is her best work to date. She will blow you away. I’m rooting for both Nargis and Raj to now translate their success to Hollywood”.
5 Weddings is expected to open theatrically on September 21st in several territories including the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Poland, Russia, India, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Malaysia and Singapore.
We certainly want to attend!