Immigration – anticipation, fear and pain of leaving one’s homeland for life a new country — is the central theme of the three intertwined stories in the indie dramedy, Promise Land, the first feature of Kevin Dalvi of Nequa Studios.
The 90-minute feature will premiere at an April 20 screening at the AMC River East theatre, starting with a promised glamorous Red Carpet premiere and followed by an entertainment-filled after-party at the NV Penthouse Lounge night club.
A month later, Promise Land will begin self-distribution via AMC theatres in 20 major US cities via AMC theatres.
Dalvi, who was born in India and raised in Michigan, is a senior manager in a Chicago financial services company, which he joined seven years ago after graduating Western Michigan University, with a degree in business and computer science.
His interest in film began at college, he says, when he worked in the school’s media studio on a variety of different productions.
Promise Land focuses on true stories Dalvi collected from six Chicagoans who are natives of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. “Their stories,” he says, “present an alternative view of immigration issues faced by millions of people today.”
This is not a political film, he says. He believes the experiences of the main characters will have a universal resonance. “I didn’t want to present a one-sided point-of-view about immigration and point out the flaws in the system. Rather, I wanted a balanced perspective and let the viewer decide what’s right and what’s wrong with the system.”
Dalvi had many roles in the film’s production, starting with raising the $50,000 budget from private sources, “colleagues and friends, who believe in it,” he says. By using businesslike shooting schedules with talent and working out deferred payments, the budget was stretched to cover the basic costs.
Dalvi coproduced with Faris Khan, originally from Pakistan and a cultural anthropologist, and they co-wrote the screenplay with Etta Worthington of Fernwork Productions. He edited with DP Roman Chrzanowski of Romax Production Co.
Ten local 10 actors have leading roles and another 15 are in supporting roles. The film was first shot in and around Chicago in October, 2010. After the film was completed last December, Dalvi took it to L.A. and New York for feedback, and since he kept a second schedule open, new scenes and other changes were made last month.
After the April 20 premiere, Promise Land will be self-distributed, funded by supporters, in 20 cities through AMC theatres, starting with Philadelphia May 10, and moving into media mecca New York, where the filmmakers hope to attract additional investors and a national distribution, and then it heads south.
Tickets to the April 20 gala opening are $25 for the entire evening, $15 for the movie and $20 for the screening and after party. You can purchase tickets here.