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.