Zarna goes head to head with other comedians on Kevin Hart’s Lyft Comics, streaming now on Peacock
Zarna Garg was recently announced as one of the Prize Winners of the #TY100 amongst 99 other amazing New York City SMBs.
From NewsWire on May 25th, 2021:
One hundred small business owners who represent the five boroughs of New York City and the diversity that makes NYC so special have been chosen as the winners of the I Love NYC SMB Campaign. Silver Lining Ltd., CCO issued an open call for businesses who stayed in New York through the pandemic and found ways to innovate and contributed to their communities. The #TY100 were selected from hundreds of submissions and went through a thorough vetting process. “This campaign is our love letter to New York City and the incredible people who live and work here,” said Carissa Reiniger, CEO of Silver Lining. “Each of the 100 winning business owners are people who have put their heart, soul, savings, blood, sweat, and tears into building businesses that benefit all of us. It’s time we thank them and show them some love.”
The full list of winning businesses is at www.ilovesmallbiz.nyc/ty100. There are 16 businesses from the Bronx, 23 from Brooklyn, 39 from Manhattan, 14 from Queens and eight from Staten Island.
Small businesses’ impact on the economy is big. The SBA shows that 99.8% of NYC businesses are small businesses. The Partnership for New York released data that says one-third of NYC small businesses will not survive the pandemic.
I Love NYC SMB is a rallying cry for New Yorkers to get behind these 100 small businesses so that they not just survive, but thrive. The ripple effect on job creation, community revitalization and economic recovery will be significant.
Each of the winning small businesses will receive a Thank You Prize, worth over $10,000 USD.
Flowcode is providing QR code services to the #TY100 and their Chief Revenue Officer, Jim Norton says, “We are excited to be a part of the I Love NYC SMB initiative and are proud to support the 100 winners with our next-generation QR technology, Flowcode. As we emerge from the pandemic, it’s more important than ever to support local businesses and provide them with the tools and technology to power contactless and instant connections.” Other business resources are being provided by Silver Lining, GoDaddy, The Modern Manager and more to be announced soon.
Every one of the #TY100 will receive a cash gift from ticket sales to a concert series produced in partnership with ARKAI‘s SupportNYC initiative. “Alongside small businesses, the heartbeat of NYC’s cultural arts sector has been decimated during the pandemic,” said Jonathan Miron & Philip Sheegog, Co-Founders of ARKAI. “This campaign will innovatively uplift both sectors by raising support for small business through the arts.”
As part of a 12-month marketing campaign, Re-Invention TV will produce a short video for each one of the #TY100 and share their stories of resilience, determination, and innovation.
Thanks to Broadway.com, each of the #TY100 will receive two tickets to a Broadway show. “Small businesses are the life-blood of New York City, so we are thrilled to thank the #TY100 small business owners with a night out on Broadway when our industry reopens this fall,” said John Gore, Owner and CEO of the John Gore Organization, Broadway.com’s parent company.
I Love NYC SMB is an initiative of Thank You Small Business, Silver Lining’s global movement to thank, celebrate, and support small businesses. Silver Lining is a New York City-based company with a mission to change the economy one small business at a time.
For more information, visit https://ilovesmallbiz.nyc/.
2021 NEWCOMER WINNER
Zarna Garg is one in a billion (literally)—an Indian immigrant, mom, and lawyer turned New York standup comedian with multiple sold-out comedy shows. With less than one year between her first open mic and her own headlining show SARI, NOT SORRY at the nation’s premier comedy club Carolines on Broadway, Zarna’s breathtaking ascent into standup comedy just goes to show how rare and necessary her voice is. Zarna is one of a handful of brown women comedians in the world, and quite possibly the only one who publicly takes on her mother-in-law.
Zarna is also a successful screenwriter: her debut screenplay REARRANGED won the Best Comedy Screenplay Award at the 2019 Austin Film Festival (placing #1 out of nearly 12,000 scripts), and was also a 2019 Academy Nicholl Fellowships Semi-Finalist. The script has been optioned by Marginal Mediaworks. She has a sitcom in development.
Unwilling to let the pandemic stop her, Zarna has taken TikTok by storm, racking up 30 million views and counting! Zarna also kept audiences laughing at home with her online comedy shows (profiled in the New York Times), interviews with the cast of Netflix’s summer smash “Indian Matchmaking” (recently covered by Screen Rant), and even impromptu sets outside major landmarks across New York City.
Zarna is a mom and lawyer turned award-winning screenwriter and stand-up comedian, highlighting the immigrant and American experience.
Comedian Zarna Garg today announced her return to the nation’s premier comedy club, Carolines on Broadway on June 13 for her show SARI, NOT SORRY.
Zarna is a mom and lawyer turned award-winning screenwriter and stand-up comedian, highlighting the immigrant and American experience with her own signature style. Zarna connects on relatable topics like marriage, kids, and mother-in-laws, while bringing a refreshing, and often overlooked, perspective-observational with a bindi. Zarna has taken TikTok by storm, with her latest comedy videos gaining more than 30 million views and counting! She is one of a handful of female Indian comedians worldwide, and quite possibly the only one who publicly takes on her mother-in-law.
“I am thrilled to be back at Carolines,” says Zarna, “and I promise a special night of India in New York and a brand new set.”
Zarna was also delighted to receive the prestigious 2021 Ladies of Laughter Newcomer Award. “I never dreamed this was possible for me, and I’m so honored to have Ladies of Laughter’s meaningful support.”
For inquiries, contact Kelly Lafargue
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Austin, TX – May 5, 2020 – Austin Film Festival & Writers Conference (AFF), the premier film festival recognizing the writers’ contributions to film, television, theater, and new media, announced today their fifth annual “25 Screenwriters to Watch.” Since 1994, Austin Film Festival has sought to elevate the recognition and stature of screenwriters through a myriad of initiatives and programs, including its industry-renowned Writers Conference, a film festival perennially packed with the visionaries of tomorrow, and the largest screenplay competition in the world. Released today on the AFF website, this year’s “25 Screenwriters to Watch” list is an extension of its mission and includes a roster of promising and innovative voices, featuring writers from diverse backgrounds, mediums, and points in their careers.
Featured writers from last year’s list continue to find success in the industry. Television writer Davia Carter joined the writing room for the new CW series Katy Keene. Also featured last year, Tripper Clancy’s film Stuber, produced by Fox and starring Kumail Nanjiani, premiered in theaters last July, and Tripper is currently at work on the Kevin Hart led Quibi title Die Hart scheduled to release this year. Meanwhile, Jean Lee who’s been noted by Women In Film, the Blacklist, and Ryan Murphy’s HALF, among other prominent entities, is currently in post-production on a new documentary feature titled The Heart of Puerto Rico.
The 2020 Screenwriters to Watch include:
Indianna Bell: Bell’s short film Call Connect, won the Jury Prize for Best Narrative Short at the 2019 Austin Film Festival. Bell is also the author of Quirky Quentin, a children’s book that combines her love of writing and disability care work and advocacy.
Julie & Shawna Benson: The sister writing duo are currently developing a live-action television show with the Jim Henson Company and recently wrote for Nickelodeon’s Untitled Star Trek Animated series.
Zoe Cheng: Cheng won the 2019 Austin Film Festival’s inaugural HUMANITAS Originals Prize for her film When a Flower Falls. She also placed in the top 50 of the 2019 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting. Currently, she is one of the 2020 program writers for the Walt Disney Television Writing Program.
Jon Comulada: Comulada was awarded the inaugural Rooster Teeth Fellowship Award at the 2019 Austin Film Festival, where he was also a finalist in the Comedy Pilot category for The Daily Dowager. He is currently in post-production for a short film as well as working on a political comedy pilot and a sci-fi/thriller feature among other screenplays.
Christopher Corte: Corte has written for the stage, sketch comedy, and film and television all over the country. His film Service Animals won multiple awards at the 2019 Austin Film Festival, including the SciFi Award. He is currently working on two projects, both within the sci-fi genre.
Micah Cyrus: Cyrus has worked in a variety of roles in the film industry, ranging from Research Assistant and Writers’ Assistant positions to working in International Film Distribution for Lionsgate/Summit Entertainment and as Creative Content Coordinator in Digital Marketing for Relativity Media. He is currently a Staff Writer for Season 3 of the CW’s All American and is now working on a YA feature.
Jonathan Flicker: Flicker’s pilot Ghostrunner won the 2019 Austin Film Festival AMC Drama Teleplay Award and was a top-ten finalist in the Screencraft Pilot Launch Competition. He is currently working on a feature-length script entitled Credible Fear.
Zarna Garg & Greg Fortier: Garg and Fortier’s Rearranged won the Comedy Screenplay Award presented by Sony Pictures Animation at the 2019 Austin Film Festival and was a Semifinalist for the 2019 Academy Nicholl Fellowships. It has been optioned by Marginal Mediaworks.
Rupinder Gill: Gill is a writer/producer on the upcoming Peacock series Rutherford Falls and the NBC series Indebted. She previously worked on the Amy-Poehler-produced comedy I Feel Bad and the Eugene Levy/Catherine O’ Hara starrer Schitt’s Creek.
Giorgos Georgopoulos & Maria Fakinou: Georgopoulos and Fakinou’s film Not to be Unpleasant but we need to have a serious talk was praised for its excellent writing at the 2019 Austin Film Festival. Georgopoulos is currently developing a Greek fantasy series, and one of his scripts is in the pre-production process.
Cris Graves: An Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, Graves has worked across multiple platforms and has had her work screened at various festivals, including Cannes, Oaxaca, and Hamilton. Her feature film script Alone Girl, which made it onto The Bitch List 2020, was selected as a semi-finalist in three categories at the Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition. She plans to direct Alone Girl and is also working on developing a podcast entitled Blissful Spinster.
Josh Hallman & Kai Hasson: Hallman and Hasson’s film Robu was a festival favorite short at the 2019 Austin Film Festival. Hasson plans to write a feature-length project based on Robu while Hallman is currently working on a contained action film.
Jeremy Laval: Laval’s film Noise won the Audience Award for Dark Matters Feature at the 2019 Austin Film Festival. In addition to filmmaking, Laval co-founded the production company Frontline Cinema. He is currently working on developing another feature as well as a series.
Hannah Leder & Alexandra Kotcheff: Leder and Kotcheff met at the age of eight and had made their first film by age 12. Their film The Planters, which they wrote, directed, starred in, and single-handedly crewed, won both an Audience Award and Jury Award at the 2019 Austin Film Festival. They are currently working on another feature-length dark comedy, Peachville.
David Midell: Midell’s debut feature NightLights was released in 2014, made its network television premiere on the Lifetime Movie Network in 2015. His follow-up film The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain won both an Audience and a Jury Award at the 2019 Austin Film Festival.
Par Parekh: Parekh’s film The Happy was a festival favorite at the 2019 Austin Film Festival. His previous work includes promotional videos for such musical talents as Beyoncé, Celine Dion, Shuggie Otis, and Willie Nelson. Currently, his feature documentary debut Sister Una Lived A Good Death is in post-production.
David Pantano: Pantano’s screenplay Backfired was a Screencraft and Austin Film Festival Semifinalist. It is slated to be released as a comic book by Source Point Press this June.
Larry Postel: An Austin Film Festival Finalist from 1995, screenwriter, and full-time freelance advertising copywriter, Postel wrote many screenplays and had numerous sales and options over the years, but nothing was produced… until 2019! In 2019, three of his original spec screenplays were produced. The Main Event was released by Netflix this April; Flip Turn is in post-production; and High Holiday is completed and out to distributors.
Chris Retts: Rhetts is a multiple-produced screenwriter, including feature-length projects produced by MarVista Entertainment for the Lifetime Movie Network. His film Wade in the Water, set to be distributed later this year, won multiple awards in the festival circuit, and its script was a Semifinalist for the Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting. He currently has several scripts in development including a TV pilot and his follow-up to Wade in the Water.
Caitlin Scherer: Scherer’s screenplays have placed in numerous contests, including as a Top 5 Finalist at the 2019 Austin Film Festival for Fitter Families. She was the recipient of the inaugural Rooster Teeth Development Fellowship and is currently in the writing process for a new dark comedy horror script about climate change.
Kelly Strathmore: Strathmore’s screenplay East Palo Alto was a finalist in the 2019 Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition. She has been the recipient of multiple awards and grants, including the 2020 CineStory Foundation TV Fellowship. She is currently working on writing an action comedy/dramedy.
Yi Tang: First-time filmmaker Yi Tang’s short Black Goat won the Jury Award for Narrative Student Short at the 2019 Austin Film Festival. She is currently working on her thesis short film, Blooming Flowers and Full Moon, as well as beginning work on her first feature-length project.
Christina Tucker: Tucker’s film From the Wilderness was a Finalist at the 2019 Austin Film Festival. Her previous writer/director credits include The Ghost and the Writer and Chores. She is currently a New York-based freelancer in film, television, and commercial production.
Patrick Wimp: Wimp’s digital series Brothers from the Suburbs won both the Jury and Audience Award for Produced Digital Series at the 2019 Austin Film Festival. It was recently licensed to the newly launched short-form mobile streaming platform Ficto.
Gareth Wronski: Wronski’s first book, Holly Farb and the Princess of the Galaxy, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2017 and was nominated for the Silver Birch Award. Additionally, he is a PAGE Awards winner, Screencraft Comedy finalist, Tracking Board Launch Pad Top 10 finalist, and Final Draft Big Break Top 3 finalist. He is currently working on a post-apocalyptic rom-com.
More information on these writers can be found at www.austinfilmfestival.com/sw2w
ABOUT AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL:
Austin Film Festival (AFF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the art, craft and business of writers and filmmakers and recognizing their contributions to film, television, and new media. AFF champions the work of aspiring and established writers and filmmakers by providing unique cultural events and services, enhancing public awareness and participation, and encouraging dynamic and long-lasting community partnerships. This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department and the Texas Commission on the Arts. www.austinfilmfestival.com
EXCLUSIVE: Marginal Mediaworks CEO and founder Sanjay Sharma is collaborating with Attic Light Films’ Milan Chakraborty (executive producer of the comedy Plus One) to produce the coming-of-age romantic comedy Rearranged from screenwriter Zarna Garg.
Garg’s screenplay for Rearranged was an Academy Nicholl Semi-Finalist and won the Best Comedy Prize at the Austin Film Festival, where she landed a first-look deal with AT&T’s Rooster Teeth. The script was optioned under a competitive process.
Rearranged follows a tenacious teen girl who was raised in the patriarchy of wealthy India in the 90s. She defies an arranged marriage and leaves her family and its fortunes behind, in pursuit of a life and love of her own in America. The script is loosely based on the real life of Garg, an immigrant who moved to America rather than be forced into an arranged marriage by her strict, self-made industrialist father in India. The real-life story is a happy ending with Garg connecting with an ambitious Indian college student named Shalabh Garg in the early days of AOL. Fast forward 22 years later and the two are still married and have three kids.
“This is an authentic, hilarious, and epic love story,” said Sharma. “Zarna’s real story and her script are a window into what South Asian folks call ‘love marriages’ as well as the unfiltered truth behind the ‘business’ of so-called arranged marriages. Zarna has a magical ability to mix familial pressure, emotional pain, and cathartic comedic release into a universally resonant love story. In a time when Hollywood storytelling continues to veer towards ‘the establishment,’ we are excited to share a story of brown love that breathes fresh life into the romantic comedy genre. Anyone who has stood up to a headstrong parent, or discovered the love of their life on the other end of the internet, can relate to Rearranged.”
“Sanjay and Milan‘s mission of bringing unique voices onto the screen is inspiring, courageous, and real,” said Garg, who will also serve as an Executive Producer. “Together, we make the ultimate dream team to bring this project to life. Not only do we share a cultural context, but we also know how to ensure the authenticity of the material for the Indian audience and the diaspora, and as importantly, how to translate that experience – the struggle of it and the comedy in it – to mainstream audiences in the US and globally.”
Launched in 2018, Marginal Mediaworks looks to build a slate of films, scripted and unscripted series and other forms of media and narratives from diverse storytellers. They premiered their first feature The Obituary of Tunde Johnson at the Toronto International Film Festival. Marginal has also set the horror Whitney with Tyler Perry at Paramount based on a treatment written by Sharma.
Garg currently works as a writer and stand-up comedian. She is headlining her first show, My American Dream at Caroline’s on Broadway in New York.
She’s female, South Asian, and a mom of three. Zarna Garg is an award-winning screenwriter and stand-up comedian and is going against the odds as she challenges stereotypes as a fresh new face and voice on the comedy circuit. Her new monthly show at Caroline’s on Broadway called “My American Dream” debuted on February 19, 2020. The next show date is April 8, 2020.
Zarna’s debut show was sold out, with over 300 attendees. Zarna transformed Caroline’s into a festive Indian space with candles, garlands, and idols reminiscent of a wedding in Jaipur. Regina Decicco hosted, with guest spots by Mark Normand, Gibran Saleem, Alex Carabano, and Brian Scott McFadden. Zarna headlined. The audience responses were ecstatic. “She’s just hilarious,” raved one spectator. “I’ve never seen anything like this show.”
“Getting to perform at Caroline’s absolutely meant everything to me,” shares Zarna. “The team at Caroline’s understood my vision immediately and saw value in it. They understood that this modern immigrant perspective and this aspect of storytelling has not yet been explored in comedy, even though it affects a big demographic, especially in New York City. A club with the stature of Caroline’s has the potential to get my voice out onto the world stage and at the same time, they could reach another community through me.”
“My show highlights a true journey of how a person becomes American, and their hilarious attempts at integrating within the social structure,” adds Zarna.“I take everyday experiences that are relatable to millions of people and make light of them, from a perspective that is familiar to some and fresh to others.”
Zarna has produced and performed in multiple sold-out comedy shows in top comedy clubs across NYC including the groundbreaking HinJews shows. She has been hailed by CNBC as “the zany, outspoken voice of the Indian American woman.” Her comedy uniquely combines the immigrant and American experience. She is one of a handful of female Indian comedians, and possibly the only one who publicly takes on her mother-in-law. Zarna has received numerous community accolades for pioneering one-of-a-kind works as an Indian mom of three and former lawyer turned comedian.
Zarna’s comedy screenplay REARRANGED won the Best Comedy Screenplay Award (placing #1 out of 11,000 scripts) at the Austin Film Festival. It was also a 2019 Academy Nicholl Fellowships Semi-Finalist. REARRANGED was recently optioned by Marginal Mediaworks under the aegis of CEO and founder Sanjay Sharma.
The next installment of “My American Dream” will be April 8, 2020 at Caroline’s on Broadway (1626 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.) For more information and tickets, click here.