Lena Khan’s feature directorial debut has secured distribution. Deadline reports that Shout! Factory has acquired all of the North American rights to “The Tiger Hunter,” a timely comedy about a young immigrant’s life in the U.S.
Set in the 1970s, “The Tiger Hunter” follows Sami Malik (Danny Pudi, “Community”), a young Indian man who travels to to the U.S. with the hopes of becoming an an engineer, a job that will help him live up to the legacy of his father, who is a legendary tiger hunter, and impress his childhood crush. “When Sami’s job falls through, he takes a low-end job and joins with a gang of oddball friends in hopes of convincing his childhood sweetheart that he’s far more successful than he truly is … or perhaps ever could be,” the project’s logline reads.
The supporting cast includes Karen David (“Once Upon a Time”) Rizwan Manji (“The Wolf of Wall Street”), and Jon Heder (“Napoleon Dynamite”).
Khan co-wrote the script with Sameer Gardezi (“Mr. Sunshine,” “Aliens in America”). The film was produced by Khan, Megha Kadakia, and Nazia Khan.
“The Tiger Hunter” was partly “inspired both by my grandfather, who was a larger than life tiger hunter in India, and also from growing up hearing so much about what it was like for so many young immigrants like my father to come to America in the 1970s,” Khan has explained in an interview. “My dad, for example, once told me how he stole a stool sample from some Europeans in order to get an expedited Visa to America! And from there, I interviewed dozens of immigrants who came at the same time, and they had tons of heartfelt and hilarious stories that worked with the narrative I wanted to tell.” Since launching her career in the film industry, her goal has been “to make entertainment that calls attention to some of the more salient and overlooked social issues of our society.
Khan has previously directed three shorts: “A Land Called Paradise,” “The Sleeper Cell,” and “Circumstance.”
Lena Khan’s “The Tiger Hunter” Picked Up by Shout! Factory was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.