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.

NEWS RELEASE: “WHEN HARRY TRIES TO MARRY” TO OPEN IN SELECTED THEATERS IN NEW YORK AND LOS ANGELES ON APRIL 22ND

“WHEN HARRY TRIES TO MARRY” is a cross-cultural romantic comedy about a guy who tries to take the risk and the romance out of marriage by going on the ultimate blind date. In the process, he learns a lot about love.

The film starts Pace Freshman Rahul Rai (pictured) in the title role as Harry Shankar. Later this month, WHEN HARRY TRIES TO MARRY will premiere at the 13th Annual London Asian Film Festival, where it has been nominated in the categories of “Best Crossover Film,” “Best New Talent” (Rahul Rai) and “Best Director” (Nayan Padrai).

Says Grant Kretchik, head of Pace’s BFA Acting Program who plays the role of Slick Rick and the Game Show Host in the movie, “Pace was wonderful about allowing the filmmakers to use the campus and classrooms for shooting. But in addition, our drama department got involved, and we ended up casting several other Pace students in supporting roles or as background actors.

“It’s not every day that a student of performing arts can walk onto campus and audition for a movie. Now, some of our students have a full-length feature film credit on their resumes before they’ve even graduated — I think that is extraordinary.”

For Immediate Release:

“WHEN HARRY TRIES TO MARRY” TO OPEN IN SELECTED THEATERS

IN NEW YORK AND LOS ANGELES ON APRIL 22ND 

 Romantic Comedy Stars Rahul Rai, Freishia Bomanbehram and Stefanie Estes

NEW  YORK (March 2, 2011) – WHEN HARRY TRIES TO MARRY, a new romantic comedy co-written and directed by Nayan Padrai, will open in selected movie theaters in New York and Los Angeles on April 22, 2011. The film was shot on location in lower Manhattan and Pace University in New York City and in India; it stars Rahul Rai, Freishia Bomanbehram and Stefanie Estes.  WHEN HARRY TRIES TO MARRY will be distributed domestically by 108 Pics with booking through Alerion Services, and will widen its release to additional cities on May 6.

A festival favorite, WHEN HARRY TRIES TO MARRY marks Nayan Padrai’s directorial debut.  It screened to audience acclaim at both the Mumbai & Austin Film Festivals in late 2010, and is an official selection at the London Asian Film Festival as a Closing Gala Screening on March 26, 2011. The original script was a featured project at the Sundance Institute Independent Producers’ Conference; a top-ten finalist of the Creative Screenwriting contest, a semi-finalist of the Writer’s Network (Fade-In) Contest, a member of the Winners’ Circle at the Texas Film Institute Screenplay Contest; a quarter-finalist at the Austin Film Festival; and a semi-finalist at the script Magazine, Radmin Company and Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival Open-Door Contests.  It was also included in the High-Value category in the Empire Screenplay Contest.

WHEN HARRY TRIES TO MARRY is a cross-cultural romantic comedy about a young  Indian-born bachelor who lives in New York City.  Harry’s handsome and charming, but he’s cynical about love.  He’s never really gotten over his parents’ divorce — they were a modern Indian couple who married for love and it didn’t last.  So to improve his odds of living “happily ever after,” Harry decides to have an arranged marriage, and asks his uncle back home in India to assist him in arranging the introduction to an appropriate Indian woman. To the dismay of his parents and friends, Harry finds the perfect girl and embarks on a long-distance courtship. But unexpectedly, Harry’s friendship with Theresa, a fun and sexy American student, becomes confusing, appealing — and maybe a little bit romantic. Once Harry, his friends and the entire wedding party converge in India, Harry’s plan to avoid romantic risk becomes a recipe for chaos. Can anyone protect themselves from a broken heart by leaving the passion out of marriage? And, when all is said and done, does Harry really want to?

The soundtrack of mainly original, new music from the US, UK, and India includes tracks from Sarah Sharp, Small*Star, Andrea Perry, The June Junes, Craig Marshall, Ter’ell Shahid, Rachel Loy, and from India’s superstar singers Shreya Goshal, Udit Narayan and Madhushree who are joined by Rishkesh Kamerkar.

Monte Ahuja & Raj Soinn Association with Ash Pamani, Present a 108 Production of a Nayan Padrai Film:  WHEN HARRY TRIES TO MARRY.  The film stars Rahul Rai, Stefanie Estes, Freishia Bomanbehram, Tony Mirrcandani, Zenobia Shroff, Osvaldo Hernandez Chavez, Caitlin Gold, Grant Kretchik, Kanti Pandya, Micky Makhija, Lauren Loguidice and Jagdish Patel. The score and music are by Siddharth Kasyap, featuring music by Sarah Sharp. The costume designers are Ciera Wells and Laviena Narwani; the art direction (India) is by Haseena Shaikh, Riyaz Shaikh and Nimish Kotwal ; and the production designer is Jade Gloria Healy.  The editor is Jennifer Lilly and the cinematographer is Nick Taylor.  Co-Executive producers are Kumar Shivaram, Kanti Gala, Paul & Leslie Miller, Dr. Devendra Shrivastava and Dr. Leon Shein.  Co-producers are Bhushan Thakkar and Ralph Stein. Executive producers are Monte Ahuja, Raj Soin, Ash Pamani, Ashok Vasvani, Madhukar Bhakta and Bill Britt. The film is written by Ralph Stein & Nayan Padrai.  The producer is Ritu Ahuja.  “When Harry Tries to Marry” is produced by Sheetal Vyas and Nayan Padrai, and directed by Nayan Padrai.

Cinemavault is handling foreign sales worldwide.

About 108 Pics and 108 Production:

108 Pics is a new distribution entity and a sister company to 108 Production, which is based in US and India.  The film was produced by 108 Production, which develops original content across film and television, and produces advertising spots for brands and agencies.  The firms have aligned a group of creative professionals across the spectrum of entertainment and media who share a love of story-telling and creative endeavors.

About Alerion Services

Alerion Services is a distribution, management and logistics company assisting directors, producers and film companies to reach their target markets.  Alerion Services maintains a respected and stable relationship with film distributors, exhibition companies and service providers throughout the United States and Canada, opening a vast network of exhibition options to its clients.  Unlike any other distribution option currently available, Alerion Services regularly handles a variety of specialty films for Independent Art Houses, Bollywood, Regional Language films and Hollywood releases.  With over 50 years of combined film management, distribution and exhibition experience, Alerion’s unique approach creates a fully transparent environment enabling client participation.

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PR contacts:

LA:

Stacy Ivers

310.779.2255

stacy@iverscommunications.com

NY:

Samuella Becker

212.346.1637

917.734.5172

sbecker2@pace.edu

For more information visit www.facebook.com/whenharrytriestomarry

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