Malayali filmmaker Jay Janardhan’s Australian comedy series ‘Howdy’ is all about multiculturalism


The pilot episode of ‘Howdy’, which features an Australian cast, releases on Zee5 on October 7

The life of an immigrant in Australia is something Thiruvananthapuram-born filmmaker Jay Janardhan knows by experience. Having landed in Brisbane in 2002 to study engineering, he has since made the Australian city his base. After working as an engineer there for a few years, he enrolled in the Queensland School of Film and Television to follow his passion. Now, Jay’s Australian comedy drama series Howdy, which revolves around the theme of multi-culturalism, is set to release on OTT platform Zee5 on October 7.

“Multiculturalism and racial diversity are much talked-about in Australia, even more so now. Often, they are quite sensitive topics too. Many migrants take their time to get used to the new life but it is also an exciting phase. Howdy attempts a droll take on this,” says Jay from Thiruvananthapuram.

The series features a cast based in Australia. “Howdy follows the goof-ups of a local millionaire, played by theatre actor Shaun King, who loses his fortune and is now down and out. He is forced to move in with three migrants and share their common residence. One of them is a Malayali, played by Thiruvananthapuram-born actor Naveen Simone who is settled in Brisbane. Another is a Chinese guy and the third, an Afghan. We get to see the vast cultural differences between the characters and how they cope with each other,” says Jay.

Jay Janardhan

The script of Howdy, which has eight episodes, is written by Australian author Dirk Flinthart. Jay says he went for comedy as he felt that it was a good medium to handle such a theme.

The shooting, done entirely in Brisbane, had been completed last year and Jay moved to Kerala to work on an independent Malayalam project. Then the pandemic struck and the post-production of Howdy was completed during the lockdown period. “That was challenging as the crew were based in different cities. I was in Thiruvananthapuram while my editor, Christy Sebastian (Stand-up, Mangalyam Thanthunanena) was in Mumbai,” says Jay.



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