American Chai

Release Date: April 5, 2002
Limited release


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People want to fit in with their friends, but sometimes the traditions of family can be very strong. This film tells the tale of just such a situation.

This film is the story of a first-generation Indian-American named Sureel (Aalok Mehta). He has always wanted to be a musician and he’s almost done with his college degree in music. However, he is devoted to his family and has been telling his father that he’s been studying pre-med biology. And that’s not the only lie he’s been telling.

He has an American girlfriend named Jen (Jamie Hurley) he has been hiding from his parents. But since his parents didn’t know about any girl, they’ve been working on an arranged marriage for Sureel with a nice Indian girl named Maya (Sheetal Sheth). This causes him to be pulled away even more from the life of music that he wants. Can Sureel resolve this conflict with his parents, his culture, and himself?

This film has been a big hit on the film festival circuit. It has won numerous awards, including Audience Awards at the 2001 Slamdance International Film Festival and the 2001 Gen Art Film Festival. This is an interesting look at the struggle of people caught between modern life and family/cultural traditions. (Marty Doskins/BOP)

Vital statistics for American Chai
Main Cast Aalok Mehta, Sheetal Sheth, Aasif Mandvi
Supporting Cast Josh Ackerman, Ajay Naidu, Paresh Rawal, Bharti Desai
Director Anurag Mehta
Screenwriter Anurag Mehta
Distributor Independent release
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating R
Running Time 92 minutes
Screen Count 5
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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