CAAMFest’s Centerpiece Presentation has a legacy of showcasing bold Asian American voices have a distinct vision. Recent Centerpieces include H.P. Mendoza’s BITTER MELON and Diane Paragas’s YELLOW ROSE and now we are excited to include the feature directorial debut from Sujata Day, DEFINITION PLEASE, loosely based on her upbringing in an Indian American household in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.
CAAMFest was first introduced the wildly talented Sujata Day when she directed and starred COWBOY AND INDIAN. In the film, she takes the audience on an intense ride as she goes from a harmless victim to a vicious femme fatale. A few years later, Day is back with an ambitious feature comedy-drama that promises to charm audiences. Monica, a former spelling bee champion, is at a crossroads. She is living at home and in the shadow of her childhood win while tutoring spelling bee hopefuls when she receives an offer for a dream job in Cleveland. Her plans are derailed when her estranged brother, Sonny, (Ritish Rajan) shows up unexpectedly to help take care of their ailing mother. Old wounds are reopened and tensions begin to mount. When everything comes to a head, both siblings must decide whether to let their past dictate their lives or find a way to reconcile.
Along with an impressive cast of talented actors, Day has created a wonderful film that is perfect for the moment. This delightful and inspirational film is a bright light during hard times and promises to inspire audiences. – Ashlyn Perri and Masashi Niwano
Program includes live Q&A with Director/Actress Sujata Day.
Director Biography: With her infectious personality and unique sense of humor, Pittsburgh native Sujata Day has established herself in Hollywood as a multi-hyphenate performer, creator, writer, and director. She honed her comedy skills at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and regularly performs in UCB’s hit Asian AF show. Sujata is known for her starring role as CeCe in Issa Rae’s The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. She’s recurred for three seasons on HBO’s Insecure. Previously, she’s worked on Netflix’s I Think You Should Leave With Tim Robinson, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Life in Pieces. Sujata is a Sundance Lab fellow, Sundance Film Festival influencer, and Sundance Collab advisor. She served as a feature film juror for the 2018 Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles. Her narrative short film, Cowboy and Indian, sold to NBCUniversal Content Studios for series development with Sujata writing, producing and starring. She is honored to be the 2019 HBO Visionaries Ambassador.