October 22, 2008

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98 minutes

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format: digibeta

Kissing Cousins (2008)

October 22, 2008 at 7:00 pm in 26-100

Kissing Cousins will be preceded by the short film, Call Center. We will be joined by Kissing Cousins Producer and Call Center Actor, Writer, and Producer Manish Goyal (MIT '96).

Kissing Cousins is sponsored by the Boston Asian American Film Festival. Admission is FREE to MIT ID holders, $10 for the general public, and $8 for AARW members and Co-Presenting Organizations. Doors will open at 6:30.

Amir, 29, is a heartbreaker. Literally. As a “relationship termination specialist,” providing “dumping services” for disgruntled daters, Amir spends his days delivering bad news to unsuspecting lovers across Los Angeles and retrieving his clients’ belongings (underwear, CDs, photos, etc). Though Amir claims he is “just the messenger,” the job has made him hard-hearted and, as a result, he is the last bachelor in his group of friends. This becomes crystal clear on his 30th birthday, when his friend Tucker tells Amir that he has been replaced as Best Man at his upcoming wedding because the happy couple wants someone with “better relationship karma.”

When Amir returns to his family’s Bay Area home for Thanksgiving, he is reunited with Zara, his charming and beautiful cousin from Britain who he has not seen in twenty years. The two cousins do not get along right away as Zara is still upset that Amir kissed her during a “play wedding” when they were children. With the prompting of Amir’s parents, Zara hitches a ride with Amir back to LA, only planning to stay a few days. Along the way, Amir tells her about his friends and their “bachelorism” and she is sympathetic. When she meets them, she surprises everyone, including Amir, by introducing herself as his “girlfriend.” Before long the scam is in full swing as Amir and Zara go on “couples outings” with his friends. She even shows him how to be more sympathetic to his “breakup victims.” Over time, Amir starts to soften from Zara’s influence and perhaps even begins to develop... feelings?

An undercurrent of sexual tension develops between them as the charade comes dangerously close to going too far. Will his friends find out the truth? Will Amir fall for his own cousin?! Or will he become one of his own “victims?”

Find out in KISSING COUSINS! Starring Samrat Chakrabarti, Rebecca Hazlewood, Gerry Bednob, Zack Ward, Jaleel White and David Alan Grier. []

Witty, sassy and even a bit naughty, Kissing Cousins revels in its subversive depiction of romance gone awry.
      -- Vinay Patel, Read this review.

Manish Goyal is Producer of the independent feature film Kissing Cousins. He made his debut as actor/producer in 2005's worldwide web phenomenon Call Center, which he conceived prior to moving to Los Angeles and brought to fruition by writing and producing in collaboration with Amyn Kaderali and Sunil Malhotra.

After Call Center, which achieved over 4 million viewers worldwide, Manish produced the short-film comedy Hooked which featured an all-star cast including Zach Braff, Rebecca Romijn, Fred Savage, Jeff Garlin and David Alan Grier.

Manish is an MIT graduate who worked in enterprise software with a strong record in sales and business development. Prior to his career in Hollywood, he was founder and VP of Isovia, a Boston-based mobile software company (now part of Motorola). Manish holds Bachelors & Masters degrees in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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