A note from Rashmi Rustagi, Writer/Executive Producer
Born and raised amidst the vibrant tapestry of Lucknow, India, I have brought stories to life since a young age, starting with radio plays and theater. Over the years, this passion has led me to the silver screen, where I continue to breathe life into characters on film and television. You may have seen me in movies such as The Avengers, India Sweets and Spices, and TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Atypical, and Never Have I Ever, to name a few.
I have written and produced several short films with a focus on narratives that advocate social change. I aspire to inspire and move audiences to participate in shaping a better world.
My short film, Unborn, a poignant exploration of female feticide within Indian American communities, is streaming on Amazon Prime.
My personal journey led me from the vibrant streets of India to the diverse landscape of the United States, initiated by an arranged marriage at the age of twenty-one. Having lived here most of my adult life, pursuing acting, raising kids, and straddling American and Indian cultures, I deeply understand the longings, pulls, and contradictions of both cultures and the challenge of assimilation.
This understanding serves as a foundation for Designed By Preeti, a feature film offering a distinctive perspective on women coping with the intersection of two cultures. The story addresses several pertinent issues, including the often-taboo subject of domestic violence and the complexities of interracial romance.
What sets this story apart is its characters—everyday Indian women spanning three generations. Through their lives, the film paints a vivid portrait of a community that is at once modern yet steeped in tradition, humorous yet profound, romantic, independent yet tethered by cultural norms.
My co-writer and I have tried to make it as authentic and rich as possible to make a fresh and thought-provoking film about the Indian diaspora – a tale that celebrates its beauty, resilience, courage, heartaches, insecurities, and moments of sheer folly. While some of it is painful, it is a subject matter that disproportionately affects women, often leaving them to bear the weight of their burdens in silence.
In Designed By Preeti, we endeavor to give voice to the voiceless, to shed light on the shadows, and, ultimately, to inspire change. This film is not just a story but a journey of empathy, empowerment, and transformation.