Filmmaker Spotlight: Ravi Kapoor

The X1 Asian American destination will feature “Miss India America,” co-written and directed by Ravi Kapoor. You can find the film in the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month mini-destination this May. We had the pleasure of asking Ravi about his inspirations and how his immigrant background impacts his work.

Ravi Kapoor (right) with DP Alan Caudillo (left). Photo: Ravi Kapoor

Tell us about your film featured on X1 this month!

Ravi Kapoor:Miss India America” is a coming of age comedy starring Tiya Sircar from “Alex, Inc.” and Hannah Simone from “New Girl.” It’s about an overachiever who enters a pageant because she wants to prove to herself that she can win at everything.

How did you get into filmmaking?

RK: I started on the acting route by writing and directing a few plays. I was an actor on a show called “Crossing Jordan” where I got to shadow a number of directors before directing an episode in the final season. I came away grateful for the experience and saw it as my film school education, but I wanted to figure out what my own cinematic voice was. So I wrote and directed a few shorts, a bunch of feature scripts and eventually wrote “Miss India America” with my wife Meera Simhan.

What are some films and/or filmmakers that have inspired you?

RK: I love some of the quirkier films and filmmakers. “Buffalo 66” by Vincent Gallo is definitely up there. Jeunet and Caro’s “Delicatessen” is awesome. Some of Wes Anderson’s films, particularly “Rushmore” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”

Hannah Simone and Tiya Sircar. Photo: Ravi Kapoor

Do you have a favorite Asian American film?

RK: I haven’t seen it for years but I remember really liking an Asian-Canadian film, “Masala” by Srinivas Krishna.

How does your Asian heritage influence your work?

RK: I’ve always been interested in mythological epics like “The Mahabharata” and “The Ramayana,” and I often look to what the modern interpretations of those stories would look like. Beyond that l think my immigrant heritage influences me more than my Asian heritage. I view things more from an outsider’s perspective.

What is your outlook on the state of Asian American cinema?

RK: It seems like the numbers still don’t add up. A lot of Asian American filmmakers make that first feature, which draws on that specific experience or lives in that setting of being Asian American, but the audience isn’t big enough to make it profitable enough for us to make that next one in a similar world. So we are forced into figuring out how we can make something that will appeal to a wider audience. It’s a shame because there are so many interesting stories to tell but not enough audience numbers to sustain them.

What’s next for you?

RK: Trying to find backers for the next feature. Any takers?

From left to right: Kunal Sharma, Tiya Sircar, Bernard White, Meera Simhan and Kevin Symons. Photo: Ravi Kapoor


Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, Ravi Kapoor! Watch “Miss India Americaon the X1 Asian American destination or with Xfinity Stream this May for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Just say “Asian American” into your Xfinity X1 Voice Remote!

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For more Filmmaker Spotlights or Asian American news and entertainment visit Xfinity Asian American.