Meet the Patels
Dec 26, 9 pm

Meet the Patels

  • BY Geeta Patel & Ravi Patel | IN Identity
    Premiered December 26, 2016

About the Film

Meet the Patels is a real-life romantic comedy about Ravi Patel, an Indian American actor/comedian who enters into a love triangle between the woman of his dreams — and his parents. Filmed by Ravi’s sister, Geeta, in what started as a family vacation video, this warmly humorous film filled with unique animation and a soulful soundtrack reveals how, for a Patel, love is truly a family affair. MORE

Fresh out of a breakup with the white girlfriend his parents didn't know existed and freaked out that he’s almost 30 and still single, Ravi goes on a family vacation to India, open minded about finding love in a traditional way — but there’s a catch: in his family, everyone has the last name Patel. Patels marry other Patels. It’s not incest — it just means they are from the same 50-square mile radius in India. As the marriages of his Patel family and friends all seem overwhelmingly happy, Ravi plunges into the foolproof Patel matchmaking system and embarks on a worldwide search for the perfect American Patel woman.

A well-oiled machine, the Patel network is instantly alerted to Ravi’s availability through his legendary matchmaker mother Champa and his jovial, advice-spouting father Vasant, both of whom expertly steer Ravi’s love life through a system that has brought happiness into the lives of all of Ravi’s cousins. Ravi and Geeta’s parents decided to marry within ten minutes of meeting, have been happy for 35 years and are impatiently awaiting weddings and babies. Over the course of a year, Ravi is sent on a whirlwind of dates across the U.S. and Canada via the “biodating” system (in which résumés are circulated within the Patel universe), a chain of weddings, online matrimonial websites, and even the Patel Matrimonial Convention. During the process, Ravi can’t seem to shake his documentarian sister who follows him around, inserting commentary at every turn. Meet the Patels explores the questions with which we all struggle: What makes a great, lasting marriage? What is love? How do we find it? And even then, how do we keep it?

The Filmmakers

Ravi V. Patel (Director/Writer/Editor/Subject) made his directorial debut with Meet the Patels, which led to a writing/directing deal for a feature film adaptation for Fox Searchlight. As an actor, he is most recognized for his work on Scrubs, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Transformers, Powder Blue, The New Normal, Master of None, and the Fox series Grandfathered starring John Stamos. Ravi also serves as co-CEO of This Bar Saves Lives, which he founded with actors Ryan Devlin, Todd Grinnell, Kristen Bell, Jimmy Kimmel, Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Kunal Nayyar, Alyssa Milano, Susan Sarandon, and many others. TBSL gives a life-saving meal packet to a child in need for every fruit and nut bar sold. Ravi also co-manages an investment group that focuses primarily on health, wellness, and social enterprises. Prior to joining the entertainment industry, Ravi was an investment banker and later founded the popular poker magazine All In. He graduated from The University of North Carolina with double majors in Economics and International Studies. In 2016, Ravi traveled as a guest of the U.S. State Department on a diplomatic film program to Egypt and Japan.

Geeta V. Patel (Director/Producer/Editor/Cinematographer) is known for her emotional, form-pushing, and nontraditional style that merges documentary and dramatic forms. Meet the Patels led to a writing/directing deal with Fox Searchlight for the feature film adaptation. She is also writer/director of the upcoming feature film Mouse, produced by Grant Hill (The Matrix, Tree of Life). Geeta made her directorial debut with the documentary war thriller, Project Kashmir, which led to directing fellowships at Sundance and Tribeca. She began her career as a writer’s assistant in TV and then served as associate screenwriter on feature films, including The Fast and the Furious and Blue Crush. A graduate in Comparative Area Studies from Duke University, Geeta was inspired to enter storytelling by Anthony Minghella, who she met while studying in Berlin. She has been a visiting artist in Belarus, Turkey, Egypt, Bosnia and Japan though the U.S. State Department. LESS

Film Credits

Directed by
Geeta V. Patel and Ravi V. Patel

Produced by
Janet Eckholm
Geeta V. Patel

Edited by
Billy McMillin
Matt Hamachek
Geeta V. Patel
Ravi V. Patel
Dhevi Natarajan

Trishya Screwvala

Associate Producer
Dhevi Natarajan

Music Supervisor
Brooke Wentz

Animation Character Design
Jim Richardson

Animation Studio
Powerhouse Animation Studios, Inc.

Executive Producers
Geralyn White Dreyfous
Dan Cogan
Sally Jo Fifer
Lois Vossen
Vijay Vaidyanathan
Vasant K. Patel
Niraj Bhatia

Co-Executive Producers
Kevin and Donna Gruneich
Ryan Harrington
Beth Janson
Samata Narra
Dr. Nassir and Robin Marrouche
Jenny Raskin
Rick Rosenthal

Consulting Producers
Rishika Advani Tartaglia

Written by
Geeta V. Patel
Ravi V. Patel
Billy McMillin
Matthew Hamachek

Geeta V. Patel

Additional Cinematography
Ravi V. Patel
Joshua Greenbaum
Vasant K. Patel
Kate Logan
Whit Hansen

Post Production Manager
Kate Logan

Additional Editors
Doug Blush
Jeff Cowan
Jay Miracle
Adam Miller
Jessica Hernandez

Joshua Greenbaum
Jay Miracle
Sean Welch
Meredith Philpott
Caitlin Robertson

Story Consultant
Mark Monroe

Production Accountant
Sonja Roth

Project Manager
Abby Ispahani

Outreach Manager
Daniel E. Kaplan

Research Coordinator
Ashley Mills

Additional Assistant Editor
Whit Hansen

Animation Studio Executives
Frank Gabriel
Brad Graeber
Bruce Tinnin

Animation Supervising Director
Jason Williams

Chris Beaver
Ed Booth
Willis Bulliner
Adam Conarroe
Cindy Crowell
Samuel Deats
Louie Granda
Evgeny Lubaev
Stephanie McCrea
Aaron Romo
Patrick Stannard
Kellan Stover
Ronnie Williford

Additional Animator/Illustrator
Aaron Andersen

Additional Animation Design
Bloom Studios

Additional Storyboard Artist
Lenord Robinson

Animation Consultants
Dave Vamos
Carpenter Bros Creative
Ric Heitzman
David Beall

Titles and Motion Graphics
Bryant Little

Designer & Re-Recording Mixer
Joe Milner

Foley Mixer
Diego Suárez Staub
Kyle Billingsley

Foley Artist
Miguel Barbosa
Noel Vought

Music Consultants
Aditya Rao
Margaret Yen

Anurag Mehta
Snehal Patel
Vivek Shah

Digital Intermediate Colorist
Kevin O’Connor

DI Finishing Editors
Thom Whitehead
Deron Warner

DI Producer
Laura Geucherian

DI Titles Editor
Keith Mahoney

Legal Counsel
Shannon C. Hensley
Lisa A. Callif

Douglas Burack

Archival Footage and Stills Provided by
Chris Watson Studios

“Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham,” courtesy of Dharma Productions
Lan Chu
Mae Ryan, “Surfs Up Santa”
Pond5: alboardman; CircleTreeMultimedia; crackerclips; diversemedia; Excitator; keithkdg; Kirbyfilmstock; kt; MichaelVorobiev; MountAiryFilms; Ognjen1234; Olga_K; ONJ; retroklips; Spotmatik; TeamC; WellingtonShootr; WHstock
Pure Motion Films
Robles Video
Vista Vision Production Studios

Additional Footage and Music

"How to Avoid Huge Ships"
By John W. Trimmer
Cornell Maritime Press/Tidewater

Dil to Pagal Hai © Yash Raj Films International, LTD
“O Dholna” performed by Lata Mangeshkar and Udit Narayan

Dirty Dancing © Vestron Pictures, Great American Films Limited Partnership
“She’s Like the Wind” performed by Patrick Swayze featuring Wendy Fraser

Jerry Maguire © TriStar Pictures, Inc.

Traditional Gujarati Folk Songs

Freesound Sound by Marvman

“Oh Mere Sona Re,” performed by Mohammad Rafi and Asha Bhosle
Teesri Manzil © Nasir Hussain Films


"Mera Joota Hai Japani"
Written by Shailendra, Shankar Jaikishan

Written by Mathangi Arulpragasam, Bappi Lahiri, Anjaan, David James Andrew Taylor
Performed by M.I.A.
Courtesy of Interscope Records under license from Universal Music Enterprises
Courtesy of XL Recordings by arrangement with Beggars Group Media Limited

Written by George Handy
Performed by Zoot Sims
Courtesy of Geffen Records under license from Universal Music Enterprises

"High Society"
Written and Performed by Norman Harris
Courtesy of Manhattan Production Music

"Nach Mundiyan"
Written by Sam Hasmukh (5RB)
Performed by 5RB
Courtesy of Moviebox Megastores International Ltd o/b/o Kamlee Records Limited

"Dear Santa"
Written by H. Wikstrom, S. Martin
Courtesy of Killer Tracks

"Workaday World"
Written by Jack Beaver
Courtesy of APM Music

"My Guru"
Composed, Arranged, Conducted by Kalyanji, Anandji
Produced by Dan the Automator

"El Amanecido"
Written by Emilio Teubal
Performed by Emilio Teubal and La Balteuband
Courtesy of Not Yet Records

"Cymbal Beat Variations"
Written and Performed by Sacha Kloostra

"Jingle Bells"
Performed by Sammy Davis Jr.

"Spirit in the Sky"
Written and Performed by Norman Greenbaum
Courtesy of Transtone Productions

Written by Jerry Lordan
Performed by Incredible Bongo Band
Courtesy of Mr Bongo Records

"You Sexy Thing"
Written by Errol Brown
Performed by Hot Chocolate
Courtesy of Parlophone Records Ltd.
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film and TV Licensing

"Ina Mina Dika"
Written by C. Ramchandra
Performed by Asha Bhosle
Courtesy of Silva Screen Music America o/b/o Saregama India Ltd.

Written by Nadeem Saifi, Shravan Rathod
Performed by The Bollywood Brass Band
Courtesy of Sterns Music

Written by B. Kaempfert, M. Gabler
Courtesy of Bright Ideas Production

"Besame Mucho"
Written by Consuelo Velazquez
Performed by Pearl Django
Courtesy of Modern Hot Records

"Sheila Ki Jawani"
Written by Vishal Dadlani, Shekhar Ravjiani
Performed by Sunidhi Chauhan, Vishal Dadlani
From the film “Tees Maar Khan”
Courtesy of Super Cassettes Industries Limited

"Stand by Me"
Written by Ben E. King, Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller

"The Blues"
Written by Ib Glindemann
Courtesy of APM

"Eye of the Storm"
Written by KC Booker and D’Andre Johnson
Performed by The High Decibels
Courtesy of Riptide Music Inc.

"Strictly Cha-Cha"
Written by Paul Reeves
Courtesy of APM Music

"High Roller Mambo"
Written by John Rowcroft
Courtesy of APM Music

"Cutting Ice to Snow"
Written by Casper Clausen, Mads Brauer, Thomas Husmer
Performed by Efterklang
Courtesy of The Leaf Label Ltd

"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
Written by Hugh Martin, Ralph Blane
Performed by Diana Krall
Courtesy of The Verve Music Group under license from Universal Music Enterprises

Written by B. Kaempfert, M. Gabler
Performed by Nat King Cole
Courtesy of Capital Records under license from Universal Music Enterprises

"Love Is Love"
Written by Mazzi Behi
Performed by Soul Purpose
Courtesy of Soul Purpose

Funding Provided By
Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Chaitanya Sareen
Shaheen Gandhi
Dr. Bapuji Narra
Chicken & Egg Pictures
Whitewater Films
Mike Levinthal
Hartley Film Foundation
Tribeca Film Institute
Yogen and Peggy Dalal
Trevin Chow
Michael Steiner and Elizabeth King
Robin and Liselotte Vince
Influence Film Foundation
And others. A complete list available from PBS.

Meet the Patels is a co-production of Four in a Billion Pictures LLC, Impact Partners and the Independent Television Service (ITVS), in association with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

This film was produced by Four in a Billion Pictures LLC which is solely responsible for its content.

© 2014 Four in a Billion Pictures, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Discuss this film in the comments below.


  • Los Angeles Film Festival
    Audience Award
  • Traverse City Film Festival
    Best Documentary + Founders Grand Prize
Please review our comment guidelines.