Scarlett Johansson isn’t the only Strasberg alum with two features releasing this fall! It’s been an exciting month for LSTFI alumna Preeti Gupta who has two film projects making their NYC premiere. It all starts with a short film titled Proof, which will be featured as part of the New York City South Asian Film Festival. Then, it’s time for the holiday season with the feature film A New Christmas making its NYC debut at the South Asian International Film Festival.
As a kid, Preeti always wanted to be an actor. When the time came to make it a profession, she needed a technique to grasp onto and an acting school to provide just that. On a friend’s recommendation, Preeti moved from India to NYC to take classes in Lee Strasberg’s Method™.
Over six semesters, Preeti had a little taste of every class offered, before honing in on Method teacher Geoffrey Horne. “I always consult with Geoffrey whenever I have a role, his guidance is very precious to me.” During her time at The Institute, Preeti received the tools she needed, that allow her to go into any audition room and do what needs to be done.
“Strasberg is my home and I owe a lot to my time there.”Preeti Gupta
Proof will be screened in the Manhattan Shorts segment of the New York City South Asian Film Festival. The short follows Preeti’s character Iman, a Pakistani woman studying in New York City where she has fallen in love and gotten engaged. After a trip back home, Iman is caught up in immigration by an officer who is asking for “material proof that she is entering the marriage with a US citizen in good faith.” The film is a tale of love “caught between two worlds.” After the film, Preeti will join the director and the rest of the cast in a Q&A session.
The following week sees the NYC debut of A New Christmas, after its world premiere at the Heartland International Film Festival where it was picked up by Cinedigm. A New Christmas tells the story Kabir, a student in NYC who is searching for joy in the holiday season amid the anniversary of his mother’s death. Preeti plays Shivaani, Kabir’s wife who is trying to “find her own self in this whole situation while she tries to support her husband.” After its premiere on November 21st, the film will have a simultaneous theatrical and Video-on-Demand release on December 6th.
Both of Preeti’s projects follow protagonists from backgrounds underrepresented in mainstream film. To Preeti, stories like these lend a level of truth and power to films. “Art has deep meaning and when we give voice to characters who don’t have a voice in society, we can create change in the world,” she says, “It’s safe to be real and truthful. Truth works.”
“Proof” plays as part of the NYC South Asian Film Festival’s Manhattan Shorts program on November 16 at AMC 34th Street starting at 12:00 PM.
Tickets can be purchased at https://www.nycsaff.com/proof.
“A New Christmas” plays as part of the South Asian International Film Festival on November 21st at Village East Cinema at 7:00 PM.
Tickets can be purchased at https://saiff.org/2019/movies/a-new-christmas/.