Get Ready to Meet the Family in The Disney Channel Original Movie ‘Spin’

Get ready to fall in love with the next best DJ in The Disney Channel’s Original Movie Spin.

Directed by Manjari Makijany, the film follows Indian American teen Rhea who lives a pretty normal life that revolves around her eclectic group of friends, Molly, Watson and Ginger, her after-school coding club, her family’s Indian restaurant, and her tight-knit, multi-generational family, which includes her father Arvind, younger brother Rohan and her grandmother Asha.

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Trailer for Disney Channel’s ‘Spin’ Drops the Beat

Credit where credit is due, Disney Channel has been making really good strides to tell multicultural and diverse stories for the past decade or so, arguably more than we see in most Hollywood films. Looking back at movies like Johnny Tsunami, or cartoons like American Dragon: Jake Long and Proud Family, and even more recent shows like Andi Mack, and you can’t help but give them props for casting POCs as leads and actually making those leads’ cultures central to the stories they’re trying to tell. And their upcoming movie, Spin is no exception.

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‘Never Have I Ever’ Season 2 Trailer Ups the Stakes

With the events from last season of Never Have I Ever, we last left Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) making out with Ben (Jaren Lewison) in the car post-scattering her dad’s ashes in the ocean. Paxton (Darren Barnet) was also trying to get ahold of Devi to tell her how he really felt about her. This season, we see Devi trying to figure out her feelings for the two.

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‘Never Have I Ever’ Season 2 Returns July 15; Trailer Drops Next Week!

Never Have I Ever has finally dropped the release date for the second season — July 15 on Netflix. Unfortunately, we will have to wait for the trailer to drop next week, but in anticipation for the trailer — the cast and creators of the series will be coming together on June 17 at 8pm PST/ 11pm EST to host a fan-focused trailer event.

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‘American Eid’ Director Aqsa Altaf on the Importance of Muslim Stories and Finding Her Voice

Disney’s Launchpad: Shorts Incubator — a filmmaking program dedicated to amplifying underrepresented voices — celebrates six directors in its inaugural year to create a story centered on the theme of ‘Discover.’

One of the voices came from Los Angeles-based filmmaker Aqsa Altaf who wanted to capture what it meant to be a Muslin American. Growing up in Kuwait by Pakistani and Sri Lankan parents in a Muslim home, Altaf realized there were not many stories surrounding Muslim stories, especially positive ones that celebrates the culture. Instead, Altaf only saw negative stereotypes of Muslims in the media. She wanted to change all of that and became fascinated with telling diverse stories that reflected on subject matters that are universal.

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NOC Interview: Kuhoo Verma and Victoria Moroles Discuss Hulu’s ‘Plan B’

Kuhoo Verma and Victoria Moroles star in the Hulu Original film, Plan B. The upcoming teen comedy was directed by Natalie Morales and written by Prathi Srinivasan and Joshua Levy. Plan B premieres on May 28!

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Hulu’s Teen Sex Comedy ‘Plan B’ Trailer Has Women of Color Leading the Charge

It’s about time we have a sex-fueled teen adventure comedy starring an Asian woman, particularly a South Asian woman. Most of the tween/teen shows have been surrounded by East or Southeast Asian leads and South Asians teens not getting their chance to be horny. Sure, we have Netflix’s Never Have I Ever, which is excellent, but that seems to be it. Also, depictions of South Asian teens have been stuck in a bubble where they are always the straight-laced high school girl who does want to get in trouble, but in the end, decides not to act on it.

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‘Mira, Royal Detective’ and Celebrating Diversity and Community in the Time of Social Distancing

This was supposed to be a different kind of article.

Two weeks ago, The Nerds of Color youth correspondents and their parental units were invited to attend the premiere screening party for Disney Jr.’s landmark new animated series, Mira Royal Detective (premiering on Disney Jr. today in the United States and India) and interview the cast of voice actors from the South Asian diaspora on the red (or rather blue) carpet at Disney’s Burbank studios. It was a celebration of diversity and community, of difference and commonality, full of music and laughter, of children of all colors and artists and craftspeople from all parts of Hollywood joining together to marvel that this milestone of representation was finally on-screen.

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Freida Pinto is Ready to be Queen in Disney Junior’s ‘Mira, Royal Detective’

It’s extremely hard to look directly into the eyes of Freida Pinto without blushing.

When I first entered the press room where Pinto was prepping for the premiere of Disney Junior’s latest animated series, Mira, Royal Detective, I couldn’t help but compliment her on her beauty, successful career, and her work for empowering women. Named by Vanity Fair as one of the most beautiful women in the world, Pinto humbly laughed off the compliments aimed at her and got serious when we began talking about her role as Disney royalty in the new series.

“I keep forgetting it’s a Disney Queen,” laughs Pinto. “It’s not just a Disney character.”

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Utkarsh Ambudkar Hopes Disney’s ‘Mira, Royal Detective’ Normalizes Brown People

It’s press day for Disney Junior’s upcoming animated series Mira, Royal Detective, the first animation based on the cultures and customs of India for children. Set in the fictional land of Jalpur, the series follows Mira (Leea Ladnier), a commoner who is appointed to the role of royal detective by the Queen (Freida Pinto). Mira solves mysteries with help from her friends, thus proving she is indeed one of the best detectives in the land. 

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Hard NOC Life: Sir Gawain and the Dark Knight

This week on Hard NOC Life, Dominic and Keith continue their discussion of Birds of Prey and share their thoughts on Robert Pattinson as Batman. Later, Friend of the NOC Preeti Chhibber returns to the show to talk about a couple of new Dev Patel movie trailers.

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Southern Fried Asian: Qasim Rashid

A few weeks ago, Keith had the pleasure of welcoming to Southern Fried Asian human rights lawyer, policy advocate, and candidate for State Senate in the 28th district of Virginia, Qasim Rashid. With less than two weeks to go until voters go to the polls in Virginia, Keith and Qasim talk about why he’s running and why it’s important to get involved in politics at every level of society.

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Chasing Dreams and Springsteen with ‘Blinded by the Light’ Star Viveik Kalra and Author Sarfraz Manzoor

Recently, The Nerds of Color was honored to be able to interview some of the cast and filmmakers of Blinded by the Light, an excellent movie about how music can inspire us to chase our dreams and overcome the hardships of growing up. To countdown to the movie’s release on August 16, we are releasing a series of interviews chronicling what the dedicated filmmakers behind the film had to say about culture, music, racism, and dreams. To conclude this series, we had the privilege of sitting down with the film’s star, Viveik Kalra (Javed in the film) and real-life inspiration and journalist, Sarfraz Manzoor, to discuss all things about the film and culture. Here’s what they had to say:

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Seeing the Light with ‘Blinded by the Light’ Director Gurinder Chadha

Recently, The Nerds of Color was honored to be able to interview some of the cast and the director of Blinded by the Light, an excellent movie about how music can inspire us to chase our dreams and overcome the hardships of growing up. To countdown to the movie’s release on August 16, we’ll be releasing a series of interviews throughout the week chronicling what the dedicated filmmakers behind the film had to say about culture, music, racism, and dreams. To continue this series, we had the privilege of sitting down with acclaimed director, Gurinder Chadha (Bend it Like Beckham) to discuss the film and the power of dreams. Here’s what she had to say:

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Taking on the “Badlands” with ‘Blinded by the Light’ Star Aaron Phagura

In a summer of legendary musician-inspired stories (e.g. Rocketman and Yesterday) Blinded by the Lightthe new film from Bend It Like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha, genuinely separates itself from the pack. This is a film that’s, not only about  legendary music (in this case Bruce Springsteen’s music), but also speaks directly about how the power of music can provide encouragement for chasing ones dreams and promote acceptance within conservative cultures. Recently, The Nerds of Color was honored to be able to interview some of the cast and the director of the film. Thus, to countdown to the movie’s release on August 16th, we’ll be releasing a series of interviews throughout the week chronicling what the dedicated filmmakers behind the film had to say about culture, music, racism, and dreams.

Among them, we were fortunate enough to speak with actor Aaron Phagura, who plays Roops in the film. In the film, Roops is a friend the film’s protagonist, Javed (Viveik Kalra), and introduces him to Springsteen’s music, inspiring Javed to seize his dreams of being a writer. Here’s what Phagura had to say about Springsteen, and his hopes for what audiences will take away from the film:

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East Coast NOCs: Win Tickets to the Red-Carpet World Premiere of ‘Blinded By The Light’

Attention East-Coast NOC’s! Want to go to the hometown of Bruce Springsteen to attend the World Premiere and After Party for an excellent movie??? If you said “hell yes,” this is for you!

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NOC Review: Oh, I Believe in ‘Yesterday’

The latest from the team that brought you Four Weddings and a FuneralBridget Jones’ Diary, and Love Actually hits theaters this Friday. Will audiences long for Yesterday the same way they swooned for those films? We’re here with the full review!

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Southern Fried Asian: Cheetie Kumar

Southern Fried Asian kicks off July with a month-long series of food-related episodes! Up first is rockstar chef Cheetie Kumar, the guitarist of indie band Birds of Avalon and the James Beard Award-nominated owner of Garland in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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Janina Gavankar: How a Nerd of Color Became the Face of Star Wars

Since the NOC launched in 2013, actress Janina Gavankar has been one of the community’s biggest celebrity boosters. Now, finally, Janina is able to join us on Hard NOC Life! In the intervening years, she has racked up the nerd bona fides by starring in Arrow, True Blood, and Sleepy Hollow. But now, she is part of the biggest nerd franchise of them all: as Iden Versio in the blockbuster game franchise Star Wars: Battlefront II.

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A Grrreat Time with The Tiger Hunter

I’ve been waiting for over a year to say this since I first saw it at the LA Asian Film Festival last May:

The Tiger Hunter is one of the most delightful comedies I’ve seen in quite some time. It’s also one of the best films about the Asian immigrant experience, one that doesn’t mock or ridicule the immigrants but rather honors them for the sacrifices they made to achieve the American dream. These are some mighty high praises and now expectations but I’ll go into detail why this charming indie film starring Danny Pudi and Karen David deserves your attention after a brief synopsis of what this film is all about:

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