Immigrant narratives typically follow a familiar arc as new arrivals struggle with assimilation before eventually achieving a balance between their cultural traditions and the often unruly diversity of American society. Although Lena Khan’s warmhearted period tribute to a generation of South Asian immigrants who sacrificed successful careers and endured separation from their families to resettle in the U.S. doesn’t depart significantly from that template, The Tiger Hunter consistently resonates with genuine affection and abundant authenticity.
The Tiger Hunter is a coming of age tale of sorts, when a young Indian boy travels to America to take up a job at an engineering firm, in hopes to live up to his deceased fathers expectations. The young boy by the name of Sami Malik who is played by Communities Dani Pudi sets out on a journey to the United States as an immigrant in the late 1970’s. When he arrives to the perspective job offer with the engineering firm he finds the position had been filled, and if he wanted to keep his work visa he would need to start out as a draftsman in the basement and work his way up to engineer. That alone would deter most people from wanting to stay in a foreign country but not Sami, because Sami is motivated by love. He is trying to prove to his lifelong crush and her father that he is worthy of her hand in marriage. When things don’t quiet goes as planned Sami fonds himself teaming up with a rag-tag group of misfit immigrants all living in a house to try and prove to the girls father he is something more then he is. This movie is a heartwarming tale of a young immigrant trying to make it in America and when a young man is motivated by love there is not much he will stop at to get what he wants. This movie is more of a comedy than a love story it is more of a love motivated comedy.
Director Lena Khan executed this film flawlessly in her restricted 7 day shoot which involved two days in India and five in California. This was Khans first film after graduating from film school at UCLA. She is in the works of another comedic film and just had a pilot TV show green lit and is waiting on another. The shooting process of the film was not short of some mishaps of its own. When they were shooting in India the locally hired sound technicians held all of the audio disks ransom for more money, forcing Khan to pay more money then she had to get the crucial sound data. That didn’t stop her just as in her movie Sami was not deterred from getting the love of his life and filling the shoes of his India renowned father “The Tiger Hunter”
The film can been screened online at thetigerhunter.com visit their site for more screening info and other world debuts.