Kiwi Indian comedy series to screen on Triangle TV
First ever Kiwi Indian comedy series to screen on Triangle Television
The 60,000 or so members of Auckland’s Indian community – and all who enjoy a good laugh - , are in for a treat when the first-ever locally-made Kiwi Indian comedy series Desi Jamura Videshi Khel debuts on Triangle Television next month.
The migrant tale, produced by Dr Rachel Singh of Dreamz Productions, will be in Hindi, with English subtitles. It tells the story of an Indian immigrant student, Akshat, whose life is full of challenges and quirky twists. Akshat quickly learns that the way he deals with the predicaments thrown his way can influence the direction his life takes.
Mandeep Singh was spotted for the lead role of Akshat while dancing at a wedding. He has made the unusual transition from flipping burgers to becoming the first Indo-Fijian actor to take the lead in a New Zealand television series.
Once he had mastered the challenge of switching dialects from Fiji Hindi to global Hindi, says Mandeep, he was able to transform into the persona of his screen character.
Desi Jamura Videshi Khel, roughly translated as ‘Caught in a Foreign Web’, begins on Triangle on Thursday, March 10 at 8.30pm and will screen for 13 weeks.
Preparation for filming took about six months beginning in March last year. Then, with a tight plan in place and a cast of 11 actors, the Dreamz team launched into filming the first series of 13 half-hour episodes in just seven days.
“We filmed on two locations a day, and did lots of night scenes - so we worked for about 18 hours each day,” says Dr Singh. “We gave the timing to the cast in advance so they could be available.”
Many of the locations used in the series are within a 10-kilometre radius of Dr Singh’s Epsom home.
The entire cast and crew – about 20 strong - are from the New Zealand Indian community. Some were born here, others are immigrants from various Indian provinces or from Fiji. Scriptwriter Rima Malik developed a story outline created by Dr Singh.
Dr Singh says the Dreamz team, which shares common ancestry and now a common vision, decided to join together to combine their creativity. She says every person in the Dreamz team, both on screen and off, has his or her own migrant tale to tell.
“Right thing at the right time with the right people at the right moment,” says Dr Singh of the Desi Jamura Videshi Khel journey.
A script for a second series is currently being finalised.
Triangle Television is Auckland’s only regional, non-commercial television station and has operated as a public broadcaster to Greater Auckland since August 1, 1998. The channel screens a mix of regional-access television with international news and information programmes. It is non-profit making and operates with no funding from NZ on Air. Triangle broadcasts 24 hours daily from UHF channel 41 and, in Remuera and surrounding suburbs, from UHF channel 52.