NY Daily News: “Former U.S. Open ball boy makes great Bollywood lead in ‘When Harry Tries to Marry'”

Two years ago, Rahul Rai was working as a U.S. Open ball boy (three years running!) and dancing with the Bollywood Performance Arts school. Fate served him the opportunity of a lifetime, however, after director Nayan Padrai saw the troupe perform and cast the Pace student as the lead in his new movie “When Harry Tries to Marry.”

 “I don’t know what he {Director Nayan Padrai} saw … but the ball started to roll,” says Rahul Rai, 20, who had no acting experience beyond a couple of commercials he’d done as a kid. “I was just in the right place at the right time, and it changed my whole plan.”

Perhaps Padrai recognized the striking similarities between Rai and his character, Harry, a Indian-American college student scarred by his parents’ divorce who opts for an arranged marriage instead of dating in New York City.  Naturally, things get complicated when he starts falling for one of his longtime friends, and ­hilarity ensues.

“He’s very structured,” explains Rai. “He has this rule book in his mind that he always has to follow, and if anything deviates from that rule book, he freaks out.”

The Pace sophomore shares that methodical mentality. He’s majoring in math, with minors in acting and physics (“I’m a little crazy,” he admits) just in case the whole movie star dream falls through.

Click here to read more as to how Rai juggles his budding acting career and schoolwork …  and learn if he has found Ms. Right as yet.

EVENT ADVISORY, Wednesday, November 17 at 5:30 pm: PACE NYC CAMPUS – Students and Journalists Only – FILMMAKER NAYAN PADRAI

At the invitation of Dr. Pradeep Gopalakrishna, Professor and Undergraduate Program Chair of Marketing – Lubin School of Business, ALL Pace students are invited to hear Filmmaker Nayan Padrai speak on the challenges of marketing an indie movie.

In 2009, Padrai left all other creative and professional pursuits to focus on his dream to make films. “When Harry Tries to Marry” is Padrai’s feature film directional debut.

“When Harry Tries To Marry” is the story of Harry — or Harish, as his Indian parents named him — a modern guy about to graduate from college in New York City. In an effort to avoid being disappointed by love like his bitterly divorced parents, he decides to have an arranged marriage, despite everyone’s horrified objections. Just as Harry thinks he’s found the perfect Indian bride, though, he begins to wonder if his friendship with a lovely American student isn’t something more. But the wedding plans are underway and even Harry’s parents are getting into the swing of things. Can anyone protect themselves from a broken heart by leaving the romance out of marriage? And, when all is said and done, does Harry really want to?

JUST BACK FROM THE AUSTIN & MUMBAI FILM FESTIVALS WHERE HIS ROMANTIC COMEDY, “WHEN HARRY TRIES TO MARRY,” MADE ITS WORLD & INTERNATIONAL PREMIERES RESPECTIVELY … FILMMAKER, PRODUCER & DIRECTOR NAYAN PADRAI DISCUSSES “YOU’VE MADE A MOVIE , NOW GO MARKET IT, TOO.”

WHEN: Wednesday, November 17 at 5:30 pm

WHERE: Pace University, One Pace Plaza (east of City Hall), Lecture Hall South – 2nd Floor.

WHAT: “When Harry Tries to Marry” was shot on location at Pace’s NYC campus last fall and in Kutch, India. Starring Pace freshman Rahul Rai in the title role of Harry and featuring Assistant Professor Grant Kretchik, it was an Austin Film Festival Marquee Selection(World Premiere: October 22) … debuting alongside films starring Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, Hilary Swank, Liev Schreiber, James Franco, Val Kilmer, Natalie Portman and Adrien Brody. It also made its international premiere at The Mumbai Film Festival.

PROGRAM:

  • Introduction to Nayan Padrai and “When Harry Tries to Marry” (movie trailer).
  • Discussion:
    o How do we distribute the film
    o Positioning
    o Finding the target audience
    o Screens of all sizes: Big screen to IPAD – Industry Marketing Expectations
    o A new role – The Producer of Marketing and Distribution
    o Key art
    o Social media – followers and “likes” determine box office projections
    o Marketing Challenges
    o How do you shout, scream and yell – “Come see this movie!” (Marketing ideas solicited from the class)
    o Interactive brainstorming
  • Q&A

BIO/NAYAN PADRAI:

Nayan Padrai was educated and trained in screenwriting and filmmaking at the prestigious School of Visual Arts, NYC. In his early twenties, Nayan pursued acting and had the opportunity to train with some of the finest acting teachers in New York. The acting training is also what gave Nayan foundation to write characters and dialogue.

As a screenwriter, Nayan has won several awards and accolades. Nayan and his writing partners have written over a dozen screenplays as a team. Collaborative scripts have received awards at screen writing festivals and contests including, Creative Screenwriting magazine (Expo Contest), Sundance Independent Producer Conference, Austin Film Festival, Texas Film Institute, Empire Screenplay Competition, Open-Door Script Magazine Contest, Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences – Nicholl Fellowship, Breckenridge Screenplay Competition, Lone Star Screenplay Competition, Writer’s Network Competition, and Chesterfield Writer’s Film Project.

Nayan has recently written “Beneath a Marble Sky,” based on the acclaimed novel of the same name, which was to be produced by Humble Journey Films (Eriq LaSalle).

Nayan was the Co-Founder and President of one of the largest South Asian media, entertainment and marketing conglomerates in the US. While at the company, Nayan wrote, produced and/or directed over 300 hours of Indian television programming across genres, oversaw publication of several newspaper titles, the development of a radio station and television network, and founded an advertising agency which was one of the top 15 multi-cultural advertising agencies (ranked by Advertising Age).

In 2009, Nayan left all other creative and professional pursuits to focus on his dream to make films. “When Harry Tries to Marry” is Nayan’s feature film directional debut.

Media RSVP: Samuella Becker, sbecker2@pace.edu; 212-346-1637 or 917-734-5172

NEWS RELEASE: Austin Film Festival Lights Marquee for Oct. 22 World Premiere of “When Harry Tries to Marry,” Feature-Length Independent Movie Shot on Pace’s NYC Campus and Starring Freshman Rahul Rai

“When Harry Tries To Marry,” a cross-cultural romantic comedy directed by Nayan Padrai in his filmmaking debut, will make its world premiere as a Marquee Screening at the Austin Film Festival on Friday, October 22 at 9 p.m. The movie stars Pace freshman Rahul Rai. Grant Kretchik, head of Pace’s BFA Acting Program, co-stars, with round-the-clock support provided by dozens of Pace performing arts students who worked as extras (some upgraded to small speaking parts) and interns during the six days of on-campus filming in October 2009.

– Grant Kretchik, head of Pace’s BFA Acting Program, co-stars, with round-the-clock support provided by dozens of Pace performing arts students who worked as extras (some upgraded to small speaking parts) and interns during the six days of on-campus filming in October 2009 –

NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 30, 2010 — “When Harry Tries To Marry,” a cross-cultural romantic comedy directed by Nayan Padrai in his filmmaking debut, will make its world premiere as a Marquee Screening at the Austin Film Festival on Friday, October 22 at 9 p.m.

The screening will be held at the Rollins Theater in Austin, Texas, and will be followed by a Q&A with title star, Rahul Rai, a freshman at Pace University’s New York City campus where the movie was partially filmed, and Padrai, who also produces and co-wrote the film. Other members of the cast participating in the talkback include producer Sheetal Vyas, co-producer Bhushan Thakkar, co-writer and co-producer Ralph Stein and actor Grant Kretchik, an assistant professor at Pace who was instrumental in bringing the filmmaker and the university together and appears throughout the movie in multiple roles.

“When Harry Tries To Marry” is the story of Harry — or Harish, as his Indian parents named him — a modern guy about to graduate from college in New York City. In an effort to avoid being disappointed by love like his bitterly divorced parents, he decides to have an arranged marriage, despite everyone’s horrified objections. Just as Harry thinks he’s found the perfect Indian bride, though, he begins to wonder if his friendship with a lovely American student isn’t something more. But the wedding plans are underway and even Harry’s parents are getting into the swing of things. Can anyone protect themselves from a broken heart by leaving the romance out of marriage? And, when all is said and done, does Harry really want to?

Director of photography Nick Taylor, cast members Stefanie Estes, Caitlin Gold, Osvaldo Hernandez Chavez, Tony Mirrcandani and Kanti Pandya, and musicians from the sound track including Sarah Sharp, Ter’ell Shahid, the June Junes (formerly Max & Sam), Andrea Perry, Craig Marshall and Rachel Loy, along with composer Siddharth Kasyap from Mumbai, India, will also attend the screening, as well as executive producers Lisa Madison and Kanti Gala of Britt Worldwide.

“We are thrilled to be making our world premiere at the Austin Film Festival, where Ralph and I met and where our script was given so much encouragement and was named a quarter-finalist in the screenplay competition,” said Padrai. “We have so many creative connections with the community of film-lovers there, and we are proud to present our movie in this outstanding setting.”

Tickets and more information about the festival can be found on the AFF site: http://www.austinfilmfestival.com/new/aff_2010_marquee_screenings. More information about the film is available at http://www.facebook.com/whenharrytriestomarry

“When Harry Tries To Marry” is directed by Nayan Padrai from an original script by Ralph Stein & Padrai. Padrai, Sheetal Vyas and Ritu Ahuja produce under Padrai’s 108 Production banner. Stein and Bhushan Thakkar co-produce. The film was shot by Nick Taylor; Jade Gloria Healy served as production designer; Ciera Wells was costume designer; Sarah Sharp was music supervisor and Siddharth Kashyap was the composer and music producer. Rahul Rai and Stefanie Estes star, along with Freishia Bomanbehram. Osvaldo Hernandez Chavez, Tony Mirrcandani, Zenobia Shroff, Kanti Pandya, Micky Makhija, Grant Kretchik, Lauren LoGuidice and Jagdish Patel play supporting roles. The film was shot on location in New York and Kutch, India.

Pace’s Lower Manhattan campus at One Pace Plaza (directly across from City Hall) served as a key setting of the film with scenes shot in the university’s courtyard, student union, Schimmel Theater, faculty dining room, cafeteria, a lecture hall and Lienhard School of Nursing.

“We needed an attractive New York City campus in a vibrant neighborhood with a strong performing arts program from which we could draw support,” said Padrai. “The Pace community was encouraging and accommodating beyond our expectations.”

The film’s New York City premiere is anticipated to be Valentine’s Day, 2011.

Professional education at Pace University
Since 1906, Pace University has offered professional education that combines liberal arts with practical experience and the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York. It enrolls more than 13,500 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Dyson College of Arts and Sciences (which includes The Actors Studio Drama School’s MFA, the Acting BFA, Musical Theater BFA and Theater Arts BA programs), Lienhard School of Nursing, Lubin School of Business, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. www.pace.edu

For more information:

Samuella Becker
Media Relations, Pace University
(212) 346-1637 or (917) 734-5172
Sbecker2@pace.edu

Sheetal Vyas
Producer, When Harry Tries To Marry
(917) 302-4964
sheetal@108production.com