Indian Americans have been targets of hate crimes in the U.S. throughout history for being ‘different’ and since 9/11, most of them have often been mistaken as Muslims.
Thus, Indian American filmmaker Akshun Abhi is spreading the message with his upcoming film “Seven Rounds” which is based on the shooting of two Indian American engineers in Kansas last February that left one, Srinivas Kuchibotla dead, and the other injured.
According to multiple news reports, on Feb. 22, 2017, Kuchibotla and his colleague Alok Madasani were having a drink at a local bar in Olathe, Kansas when all of a sudden, a white man by the name of Adam Purinton thought they were of Middle Eastern decent and yelled out to them “get out of my country” while calling them ‘terrorists’ before he pulled out his gun and fired.
While Madasani was injured along with Ian Grillot, a white man who tried to save both the Garmin employees, Kuchibotla’s death shook the whole Indian American community nationwide.
It was this incident and his own experiences that gave Abhi the idea to make this film.
“People always thought I was of Middle Eastern decent and looked at me in a different perspective. Once they found out I was Indian though they would start treating me in a better way,” Abhi told News India Times.
So, he decided to write a story and got his friend, who is a scriptwriter, to write a script for the film.
They then started getting phone calls from international and local producers but decided to approach the process their own way and took the script to a Greek director who could also relate to such an event as he too was an immigrant.
Soon enough they teamed up with Three Flames Productions who roped in other experienced actors to make the film.
“Seven Rounds,” in which Abhi plays the main lead, will be premiereing at the Cannes Film Festival in France in May and will then be featured at four other film festivals.
Abhi is currently trying to get the film on platforms like Netflix however, he told News India times that he may make the film into a series of episodes for such platforms.
Abhi is an actor and dancer who received his Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology while studying in Germany, he is originally from New Delhi, India and plans to make more society-based films to raise awareness and spread messages in the U.S. and eventually in India.