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In-Depth Interview: Filmmakers Talk About H1-B Visas and the Immigrant Experience Today

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The new feature film For Here or To Go depicts the experiences of immigrants working in the US today, especially H1-B visa holders who are often treated like conscripts.  We talk with director Rucha Humnabadkar and writer-producer Rishi S. Bhilawadikar about the movie and Trump’s immigration moves.This entertaining film will educate and inform viewers about highly skilled guest workers and the restrictions of H1-B visas, and is even more impressive that Rucha is directing for the first time, and this is Rishi’s first screenplay.  The layered story, with a few surprises, centers on Vivek Pandit, a software engineer from India who’s working in Silicon Valley.

Pandit’s visa gives his sponsoring employer leverage, and Pandit is unable to take an offer from a startup that stirs his passions.  The storyline brings in other immigrant workers, speed dating, a controlling mother who FaceTimes her son constantly, and a Bollywood surprise along the way.

In our conversation, we talk about the issues raised by the movie.  Rucha is a recent US citizen, while Rishi holds an H1-B visa; because he’s from India, he must wait years for a green card, while a comparable person from South Africa, for example, can get a green card within a year.  They offer insights on the impact of Trump’s travel ban, immigrant fears heightened by the recent Kansas bar shooting, where 2 Indian men were shot and one killed, by an American who thought they were Iranians.

Get more info on the movie here.  Watch the trailer here.