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A Desi Touch to American Classic: Indian American filmmaker Sujata Day to Write Fresh Adaptation of “American Pie’

A Desi Touch to American Classic: Indian American filmmaker Sujata Day to Write Fresh Adaptation of “American Pie’

  • The story is based on her original pitch to be produced by Universal 1440 Entertainment.

Indian American actor and filmmaker Sujata Day will be writing a fresh new adaptation of the long-running sex comedy franchise “American Pie.” Day is set to develop and write a new installment for Universal 1440 Entertainment, a production arm of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group. “Plot details have yet to be revealed,” The Hollywood Reporter says, “but the story is based on her original pitch and is being described as a fresh take.”

Written by Adam Herz and directed by Paul Weitz in 1999, the original “American Pie” grossed more than $235 million worldwide. It spawned three sequels with the core cast, as well as a spinoff franchise American Pie Presents (five films so far) from Universal’s home entertainment division.

Day’s directorial debut “Definition Please,” was recently acquired by filmmaker Ava DuVernay’s Array and is currently streaming on Netflix. The film, also written by and starring Day, follows Monica Chowdhary (Day), a National Spelling Bee champ who hasn’t really accomplished much in life as she deals with a sick mom and mentally ill brother. Together they redefine themselves as they walk the line between their American and Indian cultures. The film stars Ritesh Rajan, Jake Choi, Anna Khaja, Parvesh Cheena, Sonal Shah, Tim Chiou, Kunal Dudheker, Meera Simhan and Maya Kapoor.

The film won the grand jury award for best narrative feature at San Francisco CAAM Fest, best feature at the Indian Film Festival of Cincinnati, outstanding directorial debut at the South Asian Film Festival of America and a special jury award for Fresh Narrative Voice at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, as well as the best narrative feature at the Next Generation Indie Film Awards.

Although it is not autobiographical, Day told American Kahani in an earlier interview that her directorial debut is “loosely based on her relationship with her family and friends, and growing up Indian American in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.”

In 2017, Day wrote, produced, directed and starred in “Cowboy and Indian,” which is currently being developed as a television series.

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She has an impressive acting portfolio as well. She is known for her role as CeCe in Issa Rae’s “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” which was adapted into “Insecure” for HBO. She was a guest star on Netflix’s “I Think You Should Leave” with Tim Robinson. She also appeared in “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “Life in Pieces.”

Day, who also previously directed the LeVar Burton-narrated YouTube series “This Is My Story,” has served as a Sundance Lab fellow, Sundance Film Festival influencer and HBO Visionaries ambassador. She was the inaugural recipient of Women’s Voices Now’s inaugural Women Making Waves award and was profiled on NBCUniversal News Group’s Inspiring America series for exploring race and mental illness in “Definition Please.” Additionally, she was a narrative features juror for the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles in 2018 and made the 2018 list for NBC Asian America Presents: A to Z.

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