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Award-winning director of Outsourced to speak at URI Honors Colloquium on India

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862

KINGSTON, R.I. – September 14, 2009 – John Jeffcoat, the director of the movie, Outsourced, and partner of Shadowcatcher Entertainment in Seattle, will speak Tuesday, Sept. 22 as part of the University of Rhode Island Honors Colloquium, Demystifying India.

His talk, “Turbulent Romance: The Trials and Triumphs of Cultural Immersion,” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. in Room 271 of the Chafee Social Science Center, 10 Chafee Road, Kingston. His talk, like all Honors Colloquium speaking programs and cultural events are free.

URI Marketing Professor Ruby Roy Dholakia, one of the colloquium coordinators, said that Jeffcoat, as a Study Abroad student in Nepal, was struck by the cultural differences between the United States and South Asia.

“This motivated him to make the comedy film, Outsourced, to take a humorous but culturally sensitive look at the outsourcing of call center jobs to India,” Dholakia said. “Besides making films, Jeffcoat now also spends his time educating college students about cultural differences and cultural sensitivity, with a special focus on India."

Jeffcoat will discuss his experiences with cultural immersion starting with his study abroad days to the filming of Outsourced in India.

Since graduating from Denison University in 1994, Jeffcoat has worked in the film industry as a writer, director, producer, cinematographer, and editor. After years of working on commercials and industrials, he wrote Outsourced jointly with George Wing (50 First Dates), loosely based on Jeffcoat’s travels in Nepal and India. Jeffcoat went on to direct Outsourced, winning numerous awards, including the 2007 Golden Space Needle Award for Best Film at the Seattle International Film Festival, and the John Schlesinger Award for Outstanding First Feature at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

For the first time, the Honors Colloquium will offer the lectures to those who can’t get to the Kingston Campus through live streaming video and podcasts. You can access the podcasts and streaming video by going to http://www.uri.edu/hc/. As a public health precaution, the University is asking those with influenza-like symptoms on the day of the event not to attend and to watch the streaming live video.

University of Rhode Island faculty couple, Ruby Roy Dholakia and Nikhilesh Dholakia, and Engineering Professor Arun Shukla, who were born and raised in India, are the colloquium coordinators.

Major sponsors of the colloquium are: URI Honors Program; Office of the Provost; and the URI colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business Administration and Engineering.

Sponsors: URI College of Human Science and Services, College of the Environment and Life Sciences, Division of University Advancement, Office of the Vice President for Administration, Office of the Vice Provost for Information Technology Services, University College; URI Diversity Week-Multicultural Center, URI Women’s Studies Program, and The Anthony J. Risica Lecture Series on Innovation & Entrepreneurship.

Additional sponsors: The Mark and Donna Ross Honors Colloquium Humanities Endowment, Kabob N Curry and The Village Inn and Professor G.S. Verma and Mrs. R. Verma.

For further details about the colloquium, including an updated schedule and information on parking, go to www.uri.edu/hc or contact the URI Honors Center at 401-874-2381 or debg@uri.edu.