Dandekar makes a sandwich
Dandekar Makes a Sandwich is a short film prequel to a feature script I wrote called, Days with Dandekar, which won a Tribeca All Access grant in 2011. The story is about RK Dandekar, a lonely suburban man who is ousted from his job, and is disconnected from his wife. Then his Volvo gets stolen, and he goes on an epic search to find it. In the process, he makes connections with an cast of unlikely strangers. The story was inspired by my father, and started with a visit to the bank in my hometown, Raleigh, NC. They all knew my dad by name, and could tell stories about how he came in, every single day for coffee and to "check his accounts." It was apparent that my dad was making the rounds because he also knew the local mechanic, a few grocery store clerks, and had even been offered the position of "sampler" at the local Harris Teeter multiple times. We found my dad's daily wanderings to be bizarre, even sad, but ultimately, we had to find the humor in them. My sister and I wished he would "make the most of his retirement" by taking Spanish classes, traveling the globe, and reading good literature. My dad made it very clear: he had immigrated to the US, worked hard, provided for us, and this is now what he wanted to do. So the idea of Days with Dandekar, then Dandekar Makes a Sandwich was born. I wanted to tell the story of a retiree who seems to have everything except one thing: a sense of connection with others. I love the idea of strangers meeting one another for strange reasons and finding this unusual sense of connectivity. My goal is to explore loneliness and each of our desires to find others.
WRITER/DIRECTOR: LEENA PENDHARKAR
Directed the feature film, Raspberry Magic, with Bella Thorne and Alison Brie, which played in over 30 festivals, won the Audience Award at the Philly Asian American Film festival, and was distributed digitally via Hulu, Amazon, iTunes, and most recently on television via the Starz/DirectTV Network. She has also directed several web series, including So Natural and Overly Attached Andy, and numerous short films like, The Perfect Boyfriend, that have played on Funny or Die, FailBlog, Comediva, The Blush and many film festivals across the country. She and Jane were named “Women to Watch” in web series by TV Comedy Is Dead. Her script for Days with Dandekar was selected for the FIND Screenwriter’s Lab and won a Tribeca All Access Grant. She is also a Visiting Assistant Professor at LMU where she teaches film production. She holds a Master's in Journalism with a focus on Documentary Filmmaking from UC-Berkeley.