Meet Hollywood actor and TV star Tiya Sircar. We caught up with her at this year’s Cinequest film festival in Silicon Valley. She was here for the world premiere of her new film “Miss India America.”

A couple of years ago Sircar spent time in Silicon Valley filming for “The Internship.” Naturally one of the first questions we asked was about her role as an Indian-American nerd at Google. What was it like to film inside Google headquarters or Googleplex as it is know?  Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughan play 30+ interns at Google this film.

What was it like to work for  “Miss India America,” where she plays the central character of Lily Prasad, an intense and driven young Indian American woman who has her entire life charted in her “Lily Plan.” Sircar shares she normally gets to play “ethnically ambiguous role,” and in general does not get to explore the familial dynamics of a South Asian community in her film or TV projects. So playing an Indian American was a change for her she says. “I kind of felt a kinship with Lily Prasad,” she adds.

We then switched gears to find out what changes she sees in Hollywood for South Asian actors?  For example, how has the emergence of Mindy Kaling changed the perception of South Asian actors in the entertainment industry? Kaling writes and stars in “The Mindy Project,” a very successful TV show. Sircar says she sees tangible changes and maybe it is because of “The Mindy Project.” Kaling is funny, smart and empowered and writes her own material. “She is the whole package,”” she says and that has opened up the possibility of playing a South Asian lead. Roles are specifically being written for Indian American and we are “right on the brink of pushing those barriers and hopefullyyou don’t have to ask this question in 5 or 10 years,” Sircar says.

“Bollywood or Bengali films?” was our final question. You will have to tune in to find the answer.

Sircar has acted in films like “The Internship” (2013) and  “Friends With Benefits” (2011) and on TV shows like  “Star War Rebles,” “Vampire Diaries,” “Witches of East End,” and “The Crazy One.”

Bollywood or Bengali films?


Meet Kosha Patel, Los Angeles-based actor and writer. Did I mention funny? Perhaps, you have seen her in “Shit White Girls Say…To Brown Girls.” She has acted in “Grey’s Anatomy,” “House of Lies,” and  “The Newroom

We caught up with Patel at this year’s Cinequest Film Festival in Silicon Valley during the world premiere of “Miss India America.”  She acts as the best friend of Lily Prasad (Tiya Sircar) the central character in the film. During our interview we had to ask her a couple of  desi question like: How did her parents react to her decision to become an actor? Does she want to act in Bollywood films?  Find out what she has to say on these important question and about her dad’s love for country music.

You can follow Kosha Patel on Twitter and YouTube.


The Kamla Show Highlights: San Jose Museum of Art, Tiya Sircar and Kosha Patel Postdate: Photography and Inherited History in India

Art and films – that is what we are talking about with our guests in our upcoming interviews. Sherill Ingalls of San Jose Museum of Art talks about their current exhibit “Postdate: Photography and Inherited History in India” that features 9 contemporary artists from India.

Actors Tiya Sircar and Kosha Patel talk about their new film “Miss India America,” and how they got started as actors. Both are based in Los Angeles now.

VIDEO: “Miss India America’s” Meera Simhan and Ravi Kapoor

Miss India America” had its world premiere at the recently concluded Cinequest film festival in Silicon Valley. This humorous film examines the notion of ambition and the lengths to which we go to achieve our dreams. The film and the cast members got standing ovation from the audience.

We spoke with Meera Simhan and Ravi Kapoor, the husband and wife team, who made “Miss India America.” We spoke about the film and had to ask a couple of  mandatory Bollywood questions. This is Kapoor’s directorial debut film. Kapoor and Simhan are that rare combination of of actor/producer/writer rolled into one.

Film Notes: Two Sides of the Desi Coin: “For Here or To Go?” And “Miss India America”

Miss India America

Miss India America

Two Indian-American films had their world premiere at Silicon Valley’s Cinequest Film Festival (Feb 24-Mar 8, 2015)  this weekend – “Miss India America,” and “For Here or To Go?” The films are made by Indian-American filmmakers from California. “Miss India America,” is set in Southern California, while “For Here or To Go?” is set in Silicon Valley and is about the techie community in the valley.

Both films got a standing ovation from the audience. It is apt that the films had their premiere at this festival since San Francisco bay area is home to over quarter million Indian-Americans. Interestingly, both films raised part of their funding through crowdsourcing platforms. “Miss India America,” used Kickstarter to crowdsource their fund, while  “For Here or To Go,” went the Indiegogo route.

For Here or To Go

For Here or To Go

The films show two sides of the desi coin. It is not often that  you get to see two different sides of the Indian-American community in the USA at a film festival. If “Miss India America,” spotlights the second generation Indian-Americans and how they assimilate and deal with their teenage angst then “For Here or To Go?” concentrates on the experience of new immigrants in America. The film shows the other side of the equation and what it takes to get that coveted green card, which puts you on a path to become an American citizen and owning that home with a white picket fence.  The path to realizing your American dream is fraught with all sorts of unexpected challenges is what the film hightlighs. Continue reading