Cast: Anna Khaja, Jake Choi, Ritesh Rajan, Sujata Day
Watch the film on SAT Oct 24 then catch the LIVE Q&A on SAT Oct 24 at 9PM (PT) with director Sujata Day!
(If you miss the 10/24 LIVE Q&A, a bonus recorded version will be available immediately after the feature is screened.)
* This is film is available to view only on SAT Oct 24, from 12:00am to 11:59pm (PT). San Diego and Imperial Counties only.
Official Selection, 2020 Bentonville Film Festival
Der·e·lic·tion (noun): the shameful failure to fulfill one’s duties or obligations. It could describe Monica Choudry, former Scripps National Spelling Bee champion. Unlike other past winners who have gone on to prestigious careers, Monica hasn’t strayed far in the 15 years since she nabbed first place with “opsimath.” Instead, she still lives with her mother, spending her days getting high on her way to tutor young Indian American spelling bee hopefuls and getting busted having sex in the driveway.
Ask Monica, though, and she would tell you a different story. To her, she’s a dutiful daughter, declining a dream research job in Cleveland to stay home to care for a sick mother. “You can’t keep taking care of everyone else,” her best friend tells her. It’s only when her brother, Ritesh, comes home with his own type of illness, that the possibilities of moving on and self-definition come into focus.
This rich family dramedy is also a radical act of self-definition by director-writer-producer-actress Sujata Day, a long-time collaborator of Insecure’s Issa Rae. As Monica, Day brings steadfast honesty and genuine comedic chops in depicting the friendly fire between siblings. And as director, she aims poignantly at millennial success and the family silences around mental illness. Proudly Indian American and proudly Greensburg, PA, Definition Please follows the heart from home to the world, and back again.