Sunny Tripathy

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Suneet Sunny Tripathy
"Sunny T"
[[File:
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Born (1989-10-27) October 27, 1989 (age 30)
Brampton, Canada
Education University of California Los Angeles (BA)
Occupation Actor, Comedian, Writer, Producer, Philanthropist
Years active 2008—present
Height 6' (1.82 m)
Website
http://sunnytfilms.com

Sunny Tripathy (born October 27, 1989) is an Indian-American actor, comedian, writer, producer, philanthropist, Mr. India and a former model for Mountain Dew & Adidas Collegiate.

Personal life

Tripathy was born in Brampton, Canada to an Indian-American father and mother. His father, a computer Engineer, met his mother while in school in Orissa, India. Sunny was originally named Suneet Tripathy though his grandfather’s nickname of choice – Sunny went on to become his more common name. Today he is also referred to as stage name ‘Sunny T'.[1] His family moved to the United States when he was seven and they have since resided in California. His sister was born in Hayward, California and is eight years younger.

After being accepted into numerous prestigious engineering programs including UC Berkeley and UCSD, Sunny chose UCLA to secretly pursue the world of Film & Television. While in college, he applied for the UCLA undergraduate film program but was twice rejected.[2] After a series of conflicts with his parents based on his decision to switch out of engineering, Sunny worked to launch a Media Entrepreneurship program at UCLA while working unpaid internships including ones at Global Star Films, TAP Inc. and MGM T.[1][3][4] Eventually Sunny convinced his parents to not only support his decision to pursue film, but to often play lead roles in his various short films and television pilots.[4]

While in college he continued to play and perform the Indian drums known as Tabla, while teaching hip hop and bhangra to various dance clubs. Tripathy partook in UCLA’s Bollywood dance Team Nashaa his junior year, which took first place at the South Asian Showdown in Boston. Sunny then left the team in 2011 to focus on his educational and career-oriented endeavors.[1][3][4] His father, mother, and younger sister live East of San Francisco. Sunny currently resides in Los Angeles, California and is fluent in English, French, Hindi and Oriya.[5][6]

Career

At the age of 17, he won the 1st season of Last Teen Comic Standing and performed stand-up specials in Toronto, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.[1][4] His short films continued to rack awards, notably one from the California Senate, and by an early age was directing marketing commercials for companies such as bebe and Chevrolet. Tripathy also led marketing campaigns for emerging music artists, while still in college, and two of which went on to win Grammy’s for their work.[1][3][5]

Tripathy (#43) and Mindy Kaling (#3) named the Top 50 Coolest Indians in the World[7]

In 2012 his team was selected to lead and create the official commercial for the UCLA Fund, with one of their campaigns raising more than $50,000 in a matter of days.[8]

Leveraging his successes as a filmmaker and comedian, Sunny pursued his passion in writing, penning several feature-length and television scripts while studying at UCLA.[5][7] In 2011, Tripathy’s short film Naked Innocence, which was created from start to finish in 72 hours for Campus Movie Festival won several awards including Best Drama, AT&T Rethink Possible, People’s Choice, an Accolade Award of Merit and four nominations at the Action on Film International Festival including Best Drama and Best Music Video. The short was also honored at Warner Bros. in June 2011.[3] One of his films is based on Tripathy’s first book – God Loves Everyone, Except You – a comedic take on his adolescence in the vein of Sh*t my Dad Says by Justin Halpern. The book, which also incorporates his extended stand up, is supposedly so funny that those who read it are bound to “laugh until they shit.”[1]

In 2012, Tripathy was asked to compete in an international beauty pageant in which he won the titles of Mr. Photogenic and Mr. India. He has since been a model for several brands including Mountain Dew, Adidas Collegiate, UCLA, HFDC Bank, Dreams Collection and BearWear. He was also named India’s sex symbol by UrbanAsian in 2012 and again in 2014 by South Asia Magazine.[1][7][9] He later dismissed the title by saying “Me? A sex symbol? Wow, the market must be really down.”[1]

Meanwhile, his web-series “Keeping Up With the Guptas”,[10] which he created to bring his parents back together, went viral on the web and quickly became the interest of major Television networks for a potential sitcom series. New Indian Express referred to Keeping Up With The Guptas as a "sharp, witty take on a family of five."[11] A produced pilot of the show was announced to be in pre-production in 2013.[1][5] In 2012 Sunny wrote, directed, produced, and edited a short film called The Locket which was submitted to various festivals though did not win any awards. In the fall of 2012, Sunny produced a reality television pilot called The Grind featuring Sahil Punamia (Keeping Up With the Guptas), Michael Vayder, Shafic Tayara, pop-artist Vinita and Ron Artest (MettaWorld Peace) from the Los Angeles Lakers.[11]

In 2011, Sunny was also contracted to pen a feature film script based on the world’s largest story franchise – The Mahabharata. Though the project is kept still in development, Sunny has been meeting with various Academy Award Winners who are rumored to be linked to the film.[1][5][12]

In December 2012, Tripathy was named among the Top 50 Coolest Indians In The World sharing the list with Mindy Kaling, Priyanka Chopra, and other influentials. In 2013, he was a winner of CAPE’s TV Pitch Contest at CBS at which he presented a revamped pilot for Keeping Up With the Guptas. His creativity then caught the attention of the administration at UCLA, which hired him and his team to lead The UCLA Fund’s marketing campaigns.[13]

Tripathy was an honored speaker for TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) organization, (a group with an estimated wealth creation of $200 billion)[9] and was recognized as the chief guest at The Bhubaneswar Golf Club on January 8, 2013.[9][10]

In July 2014 and at the age of 24, Tripathy sold his first pilot script and reached a development deal with 20th Century Fox Television,[14][15] the television studio behind Modern Family and How I Met Your Mother. The project is currently underway with the executive credited with helming FOX’s New Girl.[2]

Charity Work

Sunny is highly operative within several charitable organizations and claims that his father’s early poverty in India was a driving factor for his interest in philanthropy.

Sunny Tripathy on his Take 5 mission in India

Tripathy actively raises money and publicity efforts for world hunger efforts, with his most notable contributions being to the UN World Food Programme and The Hunger Project. He also led a campaign in college known as, Take 5, which raised money for hungry children with the emphasis of the feasibility of $5 donations. One video in particular raised over $7,000 for 3rd world poverty in less than 20 minutes.[1][4][13]

File:Sunny Tripathy gives numerous gifts to the UCLA Children's Hospital.jpg
Tripathy donates 100 gifts to the UCLA Children's Hospital[16]

In 2005 Sunny was the victim of a hate crime on the day of his prom, where he was attacked by neo-Nazi gang members outside of Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton, California. The attack on the 16-year-old, which was thought to be racially inclined, took place in broad daylight and left the Foothill High School student in the hospital with limited ability to walk.[6] Ironically, he was wearing a “Foothill High School – Multicultural Unity” T-shirt on the day of the crime, which was later photographed having been drenched in his own blood. Sunny spent six months recovering from a shattered clavicle, a damaged back, broken nose, a fractured arm and multiple bruises and cuts. After being released from the hospital, Sunny was met at home by an overwhelming 300 friends and well-wishers bearing flowers and gifts.[6]

Sunny has since been active in cultural awareness and peace-keeping missions both within the United States and abroad.[1][13] Tripathy, a vegetarian from the age of 13, has also delivered speeches and campaigns to end animal cruelty and factory farming. His work as a 15 year-old has been featured on websites such as All Creatures and PETA and their biography’s of him conclude that he lost a drastic amount of unhealthy weight after becoming vegetarian.[17]

Sunny’s film projects also resonate themes of social justice issues. His project, Naked Innocence, was in response to several teen bullying and suicide cases in 2010. The Locket was in tribute to the victims of the 2011 terrorist attack in Oslo, Norway.[1][13] Sunny is further linked with other non-profit organizations including Every Fifteen Minutes, Oriya Society of Americas, SEEDS, and the Sheila Kar Heart Foundation.[14] He is also an active donor and ambassador for the UCLA Ronald Reagan Children's Hospital. In November, 2013 he hosted a birthday event to raise money and toys for the hospitals pediatric patients.[15][16][18]

Filmography

Year Film Role Company Notes
2009 Dance Flick Club Victim Paramount Pictures
2010 Naked Innocence Writer / Director SunnyTFilms
2010 Keeping Up With The Guptas Writer / Director SunnyTFilms
2011 The Locket Writer / Director SunnyTFilms
2011 Troublemaker Sameer Shetani Films
2012 Sunset Strip Marketing Agent SpeakEasy Films
2014 The Grind Producer / Lead SunnyTFilms
2014 5 Notes Writer / Director Visceral Media Filming
2014 Rajas of Rodeo Lead Lionsgate In Development
2015 Untitled Sunny Tripathy Project Writer / Supervising Producer 20th Century Fox Television In Development
TBD Mahabharat Writer / Executive Producer TBA In Development

Awards and Nominations

Award Event Year Result
PCAC Young Artists Award PCAC
2007
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Best Teen Comedian Last Teen Comic Standing
2008
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Best Drama Campus Movie Festival UCLA
2010
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AT&T Rethink Possible Award Campus Movie Festival UCLA
2010
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People's Choice Award Campus Movie Festival UCLA
2010
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Best Commercial MoFilm Chevy Volt Competition
2011
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Best Drama Action on Film Festival
2011
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Best Music Video Action on Film Festival
2011
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Award of Merit Accolade Festival
2011
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Mr. Photogenic Mr. / Miss India America
2012
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Mr. India Global Mr. / Miss India America
2012
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References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 "It's Always Sunny T in California" - Urban Asian - http://urbanasian.com/whats-happenin/2012/10/its-always-sunny-t-in-california-a-mysterious-man-on-a-mysterious-mission/
  2. 2.0 2.1 “USA-based Odisha Boy Sunny Tripathy signs TV Deal with 20th Century Fox for a comedy TV series – Orissa Diary – http://www.orissadiary.com/CurrentNews.asp?id=51265
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Sunny Tripathy" - India West - http://www.indiawest.com/entertainment/global/mr-india-sunny-tripathy-hosts-charity-event/article_3864f1e2-c52d-5f0e-980b-3339bf314caa.html
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 “Behind-the-scenes with young, handsome, and talented Sunny Tripathy!” - Urban Asian - http://urbanasian.com/interviews/2011/08/sunnytripathy/
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 “US-based Odia Director plans Mahabharata for Big Screen” - The Times of India [1]
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 “Teen Attacked At Stoneridge Mall” – Pleasanton Weekly - http://www.pleasantonweekly.com/story.php?story_id=561
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 “Top 50 Coolest Desis of 2012” - DesiClub - http://www.desiclub.com/community/culture/culture_article.cfm?id=1071
  8. “UCLA Fund Winners” - http://www.uclafund.ucla.edu/bruinvideocontest/2012winners.aspx
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 “The Indus Entreprenneurs” – TIE – https://www.tie.org/about-tie-global
  10. 10.0 10.1 “Foothill grad hopes to make it big with TV pilot - Pleasanton Weekly - http://www.pleasantonweekly.com/news/2010/09/23/foothill-grad-hopes-to-make-it-big-with-tv-pilot Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "nine" defined multiple times with different content
  11. 11.0 11.1 “Telling tales on screen & pages - New Indian Express - http://www.newindianexpress.com/magazine/article1520199.ece Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "seven" defined multiple times with different content
  12. “US-based Odia director plans Mahabharata for big screen” - Times of India - http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhubaneswar/US-based-Odia-director-plans-Mahabharata-for-big-screen/articleshow/17970952.cms
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 “Up Close With The ScriptWorm” – Sunday Post – http://www.orissapost.com/up-close-with-the-scriptworm/
  14. 14.0 14.1 “‘Keeping Up With the Guptas’ creator makes deal with 20th Century Fox” – Daily Bruin – http://dailybruin.com/2014/06/30/keeping-up-with-the-guptas-creator-makes-deal-with-20th-century-fox/ Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "twelve" defined multiple times with different content
  15. 15.0 15.1 “‘Keeping Up with the Guptas’ May Come to FOX” – India West – http://www.indiawest.com/entertainment/global/keeping-up-with-the-guptas-may-come-to-fox/article_8b25420e-0dd9-11e4-bf1d-001a4bcf887a.html/ Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "fifteen" defined multiple times with different content
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Keeping Up With The Guptas" creator hosts birthday charity! - Urban Asian - http://urbanasian.com/events-gigs/2013/11/keeping-up-with-the-guptas-creator-hosts-birthday-charity/
  17. “Sunny Tripathy” - All Creatures - http://www.all-creatures.org/lt/sunny.html
  18. "Mr. India Sunny Tripathy Hosts Charity Event" - India West - http://www.indiawest.com/news/14860-mr-india-sunny-tripathy-hosts-charity-event.html

Further reading