THE TIGER HUNTER — Lena Khan Interview

Lena Khan, San Francisco, CA 2/9/17

Lena Khan, San Francisco, CA 2/9/17

Lena Khan used her father’s immigrant experience as the starting point for her debut feature film, THE TIGER HUNTER, but quickly decided that there were so many other great stories that she had to somehow include them, too.  He was an engineer who immigrated from India who dared much and endured more in order to achieve the American Dream, all while never losing his sense of humor.  That’s reflected in his daughter’s debut feature film, THE TIGER HUNTER, a sweet and very funny story about xxxx, played by Danny Pudi, who leaves India for America in 1979 in order to make his fortune and thereby win the woman he loves.

I talked to Khan on February 9, and her father was the first thing I asked about. We moved on to her use of microwave ovens as a metaphor for the American Dream; her contrarian view of Indian-Pakistani relations; and the issues facing actors of color before moving on to how so many pop culture references in her film had become as timely as the immigration issue.

We finished up by talking about finding herself as the spokesperson for her community; her unconventional approach to financing worked; and a disturbing experience she had recently had in traffic concerning her hijab.

This is Andrea Chase and I’m talking with Lena Khan about THE TIGER HUNTER, a sweet, smart comedy about boundless optimism, true love, and discovering several versions of the American Dream. Danny Pudi stars as Sami Malik, an Indian who comes to 1979 America in order to put his engineering degree to work at a tech company. When things don’t go quite as planned, he falls in with a plucky band of overqualified Southeast Asian immigrants doing whatever it takes to stay afloat, and stay in the country, until they get their big break. The film co-stars Rizwan Manji, Jon Heder, Karen David, Kevin Pollak, Sam Page, Michael McMillian, and Iqbal Theba as the formidable potential father-in-law for whom Sami will go to any lengths to impress. The film co-stars Khan directed from a script she co-wrote with Sameer Asad Gardezi, based in part on her father’s experiences.

THE TIGER HUNTER is a sweet, smart comedy about boundless optimism, true love, and discovering several versions of the American Dream. Danny Pudi stars as Sami Malik, an Indian who comes to 1979 America in order to put his engineering degree to work at a tech company. When things don’t go quite as planned, he falls in with a plucky band of overqualified Southeast Asian immigrants doing whatever it takes to stay afloat, and stay in the country, until they get their big break. The film co-stars Rizwan Manji, Jon Heder, Karen David, Kevin Pollak, Sam Page, Michael McMillian, and Iqbal Theba as the formidable potential father-in-law for whom Sami will go to any lengths to impress. The film co-stars Khan directed from a script she co-wrote with Sameer Asad Gardezi, based in part on her father’s experiences.

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