Surina Jindal and Melanie Chandra of ‘Surina & Mel’ fame star in Comedy Central’s upcoming holiday film that has a largely South Asian-American cast including Kal Penn, Richa Moorjani and Aparna Nancherla
The past five years has seen a surge in Indian diaspora films and series, such as The Mindy Project, Never Have I Ever and Definition Please. Now mainstream U.S. network Comedy Central has tapped Sameer Gardezi, Surina Jindal and Melanie Chandra for a holiday film that represents the festive season conundrum most South Asian global communities experience.
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Hot Mess Holiday, which will premiere on December 11 with the India date to be confirmed, chronicles the tale of a finance executive who is dumped by her cheating fiancé during the Deepavali holidays, and her best friend is determined to help her have a wild holiday, chaotically coming into possession of a multi-million dollar diamond along the way.
The film stars comedy duo Jindal and Chandra of critically-acclaimed series Surina & Mel, and is written by Gardezi. Hot Mess Holiday was announced on October 29, as part of Comedy Central holiday season films that will premiere in December, much to the excitement of the Indian diaspora film community in Hollywood.
Gardezi expressed his excitement through an Instagram post, “It’s happening! An all South Asian-American led Christmas, Diwali, caper, buddy movie is premiering on Comedy Central. We just decided to do all the genres at once. This has been an amazing journey and so grateful for our team… So many fun surprises in this.”
Jindal said, “We finally get to speak about what we’ve been feverishly up to!! A dream come true. I love you [Melanie] and team so much! I’m overcome with emotion…”
Meanwhile, Chandra explained her hope for representation, “To all the brown girls out there who never got to see themselves reflected on screen, this one’s for you! It took a lot of patience and perseverance to get here, but it’s finally happening! Thank you to all the die-hard Surina & Mel fans for your encouragement over the years and for the incredible cast, crew, executives, and producers that helped make this a reality. This is really something special and we can’t wait to share it with you!”
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The film is directed by Jaffar Mahmood who has served as a director for episodes of Young Sheldon, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Brooklyn Nine Nine and Modern Family.
Hot Mess Holiday also stars Kal Penn, Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Chris Parnell (Saturday Night Live), Punam Patel, Richa Moorjani (Never Have I Ever), Nik Dodani (Atypical, Dear Evan Hansen), Kunal Dudheker, Chris Geere, Aparna Nancherla (Bojack Horseman), Ravi Patel, Lilly Singh, Desmond Chiam and Ritesh Rajan (Definition Please).
Mahmood, Van Toffler, Floris Bauer, Sameer Gardezi, Surina Jindal, Melanie Chandra, Penn, Justin Rosenblatt, Andrew Lutin, Janée Dabney, David Gale and Barry Barclay serve as executive producers while production houses MTV Entertainment Studios, Gunpowder and Sky are on board.