Desi Jamura Videshi Khel

Wellington’s Indian community – and all who enjoy a good laugh – are in for a treat when the first-ever locally-made Kiwi Indian comedy series Desi Jamura Videshi Khel begins screening on Triangle Television Wellington next month.

The migrant tale, produced in New Zealand by Dr Rachel Singh of Dreamz Productions, will be in Hindi, with English subtitles. It tells the story of an Indian immigrant student, Akshat, whose life is full of challenges and quirky twists. Akshat quickly learns that the way he deals with the predicaments thrown his way can influence the direction his life takes.

Mandeep Singh was spotted for the lead role of Akshat while dancing at a wedding. He has made the unusual transition from flipping burgers to becoming the first Indo-Fijian actor to take the lead in a New Zealand television series.

Once he had mastered the challenge of switching dialects from Fiji Hindi to global Hindi, says Mandeep, he was able to transform into the persona of his screen character.

Desi Jamura Videshi Khel, roughly translated as ‘Caught in a Foreign Web’, begins on Triangle Television Wellington on March 1, at 8pm and screens for 13 weeks. The show proved hugely popular with Triangle Television Auckland’s Indian viewers when it screened last year, quickly establishing itself as compulsive viewing.

Preparation for filming took about six months. Then, with a tight plan in place and a cast of 11 actors, the Dreamz team launched into filming the first series of 13 half-hour episodes in just seven days.

“We filmed on two locations a day, and did lots of night scenes – so we worked for about 18 hours each day,” says Dr Singh. “We gave the timing to the cast in advance so they could be available.”

The entire cast and crew – about 20 strong – are from the New Zealand Indian community. Some were born here, others are immigrants from various Indian provinces or from Fiji. Scriptwriter Rima Malik developed a story outline created by Dr Singh.

Dr Singh says the Dreamz team, which shares common ancestry and a common vision, decided to join together to combine their creativity. She says every person in the Dreamz team, both on screen and off, has his or her own migrant tale to tell.

“Right thing at the right time with the right people at the right moment,” says Dr Singh of the Desi Jamura Videshi Khel journey.

A second series is already in the pipeline, and will air on Triangle Television Auckland and Wellington next autumn.

Triangle Television Wellington begins screening the New Zealand-made comedy DESI JAMURA VIDESHI KHEL in the new year. Filmed in Hindi with English subtitles, this series tells the story of an Indian immigrant student, Akshat, whose life is full of challenges and quirky twists.

DESI JAMURA VIDESHI KHEL, roughly translated as ‘Caught in a Foreign Web’, will be screened weekly for 13 weeks. The show proved hugely popular with Triangle Television Auckland’s Indian viewers when it screened last year, quickly establishing itself as compulsive viewing.

The series is produced by Dr Rachel Singh of Dreamz Productions, and stars Mandeep Singh in the lead role of Akshat. Talent-spotted while dancing at a wedding, Mandeep has made the unusual transition from flipping burgers to becoming the first Indo-Fijian actor to take the lead in a New Zealand television series.

The show’s entire cast and crew are from the New Zealand Indian community. Some were born here; others are immigrants from India and Fiji.

Production of the next series is due to start in autumn next year and will air on Triangle Television Auckland and Wellington.