As an Indian American woman, the Hostess finds herself the target of expectations and misconceptions from both family and the customers she serves, Indians and Americans alike. Only when she finally tries to get away from everyone does she encounter someone who understands her, though barely speaking to her at all.

Hostess is a story about the feelings of alienation of the second-generation Indian American woman contrasted with the rare, golden event of simply connecting with someone.

Shilpa Sunthankar wrote, produced, directed and starred in this short film, completed in 2004. It successfully toured festivals in the U.S. and Canada, including the New York Indian Film Festival, the Portland International Film Festival, and the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival where it was recommended a “Must-See” by the festival programmers. At the Northwest Film & Video Festival, the film was awarded the Rumblefish Post Production Award; and at FILMI Toronto South Asian Film Festival, it was recognized by the Canadian Broadcast Corporation and licensed for Video-on-Demand.  TRT 18 mins.


The Hostess: Shilpa Sunthankar
Balloon Vendor: Shantu Shah
The Thug: Andrew Harris
The Englishman: Richard Topping
Also Featuring: Ritah Parrish, David Burnett, Judith M. Ford,  Trish Egan, Jim Becker, Matt Morris, Kristin Coleman, Garland Lyons, Siddhartha Chakravarti, Alan H. King, Jeanette Burkhardt

Director of Photography: Randall Timmerman
Editor: Jennifer Zea
Sound Mixer & Design: Jesse Nordhausen
Casting Director: Lana Veenker
Featuring music by Crystin Byrd and also Sreevidhya Chandramouli, 10th generation descendant of the Karaikudi Tradition