Information Stills Behind the Scenes Festivals & Awards

the ballad of sandeep
Running Time: 29 minutes
Year Released: 2012


The Ballad of Sandeep is the tragicomic story of computer programmer Sandeep Majumda (played by Deep Roy): slave, clown, hero. You can source him out but you can't size him down.



Directed and Produced by DEREK FREY


The Ballad of Sandeep Theme Song by MATT AMADIO & DAVID AMADIO

Edited by DEREK FREY



The Ballad of Sandeep is a drama-comedy film with a sharp message about fairness. It represents the current economic hardship of American workers being less valued because of competitive advantages from other countries. Taking place in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania the film tells the story of middle- aged , Indian-born Sandeep Majumdar (played by Deep Roy) who suddenly loses his IT job because the company has outsourced his work to Bangalore , India. After a futile effort to find employment elsewhere, he manages to get back his job, only by pretending to work from Bangalore under the alias Sudesh Patel—with a significantly reduced salary and increased working hours. The writers, The Minor Prophets, have created a unique, humorous and poignant tale which is quite timely considering the world's economic climate.

Carrying on this social virtue, Derek Frey , the producer, direct or, cinematographer, and editor of The Ballad of Sandeep has brilliantly demonstrated his burning passion to make this film e ntertaining and interesting. His original and creative compositing of shots, combined with s mooth editing, allows the story to flow fluently. A s an American, Derek Frey has succeeded to make an Indian styled film.

The score to The Ballad of Sandeep is entertaining with the main theme song pleasantly jolting the audience with its world music style combined with a funny and light rhythm.

Deep Roy has successfully enlivened the character of Sandeep Majumdar , a neat and noble man who refuses let his predicament become the graveyard of his American dream.

Once again, a cultural approach towards humanity and betterment for life is created by this excellent short film . It is fit with our mission, and therefore, The Ballad of Sandeep is a finalist in our festival.

Irene Christina,
Festival Co-Director
International Film Festival for Peace, Inspiration and Equality

Director's Comments: The Ballad of Sandeep is the result of many talented people I've known through my life. It marks the third film I've collaborated with The Minor Prophets, Philadelphia's premiere Comedy Troupe. Two of the prophets were childhood friends from my hometown in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. We lost touch after high school but were reunited in 2005, which led to the creation of 4th and 99, a short film that was accepted into the 2007 Festival de Cannes. Deep Roy and I have been friends since working together on Planet of the Apes in 2001. We later worked together on Big Fish, Corpse Bride and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Over the years Deep and I spoke numerous times of creating a film with him specifically in mind. When I read the script for The Ballad of Sandeep I knew it was time to make it happen The Minor Prophets took upon themselves the task of writing a script which would revolve around Deep as a man rather than as a character hidden behind a mask.. The story touches upon many truths about Deep. His career is filled with so many memorable characters, however from behind the makeup and costumes we never get to see him as a true person. The story also touches upon the aftermath of difficult economic times in the United States. Many Americans have recently faced the harsh reality of having their jobs outsourced to countries such as India. The Prophets, having encountered this reality in their own jobs, turned this idea on its head. Behind the humor of The Ballad of Sandeep is a poignant tale.

Filming at multiple locations took place in and around Philadelphia, PA in August of 2010. The opportunity to return to my hometown to direct Deep Roy in this film was quite an amazing and surreal experience. Once production and editing was complete, maestros Mike Higham and Andy Richard delivered a truly diverse and original score for the film. The odd mix of Henry Mancini, Ravi Shankar and Aaron Copland served as their inspiration. I have previously worked with Mike and Andy on Sweeney Todd, Alice in Wonderland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. For all of us this project was deeply personal. For the Minor Prophets, the film served as a chance to step away from day jobs to show their true talent as writers and comedians. For Deep, a chance to show what he can do as a person rather than as someone defined by his height. For Mike and Andy, a chance to demonstrate their amazing skills as the true musicians and composers they are. And for me, a chance to come full circle, collaborating with creative and gifted friends to create something truly unique. The Ballad of Sandeep has surpassed my wildest expectations, and I'm so happy to have the opportunity to show it to audiences.

Production Notes Production Timeline - The Ballad of Sandeep The Minor Prophets conceived of the story in late 2009. Director/Producer Derek Frey pitched the story to Deep Roy in Los Angeles in February of 2010. Deep agreed to it immediately. The final script was completed in April of 2010. Preproduction began in May of 2010. Filming took place in and around Philadelphia, PA in August of 2010. Editing in London ran up until late 2010 with scoring taking place in the UK at Air Lyndhurst Studios in February of 2011. A special advanced work print screening was arranged for Deep Roy in Malibu, California in March of 2011. The Ballad of Sandeep premiered at the historic Trocadero Theater in Philadelphia, PA on April 15th 2011




When someone who is 4ft 4 inches tall walks into a room you would think that his height would be the first thing you’d notice. With Deep Roy, it wasn’t. The first thing I noticed was his presence. I was at the premiere for The Ballad of Sandeep and in walked a confident but modest, friendly and funny man who people were flocking towards. His height was simply another characteristic. I’d seen him play parts in films such as Planet of the Apes, Star Trek, and every single Oompa-Loompa in Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory –all of which were in elaborate costumes. Today we were seeing him not only out of costume but also as the star. The film is a short one, but funny and enjoyable with epic music and an endearing main character. It has a David and Goliath-esque story underlying it which makes you not only root for Deep’s character but also, perhaps, identify with him. Who is this man who has managed to overcome prejudices and establish himself within a famously judgmental industry? What is it about him that draws people to him? Deep Roy leaves his indelible mark on The Ballad of Sandeep and I wanted to know more…

You have acted in many films set in fantasy worlds. If you could live in any of them which would it be?

I’m happy with reality but if I had to choose a fantasy life I would want to be a King. I did a movie called Roots of Evil which is Tim Burton’s favorite movie, where I played a mafia boss, I had power, not that I’m power hungry, but I had power because I was the brains, and I also had muscle power, because I’d just flick my fingers, and say “go and give them hell”. I wouldn’t do it myself, I’d just have my goonies do it for me. That’s a fantasy that’s my fantasy. Another fantasy is to live in a chocolate factory, yes live in a chocolate factory and eat chocolate. Because I love chocolate.

You often wear very elaborate costumes. When you watch a film back do you prefer seeing yourself dressed up as a fantasy creature or as a human?

The thing is, whether I am in a suit or without a suit, I don’t like looking at myself because I’m very critical of my performance. I’m a very shy guy and very critical of myself- and I say “you could’ve done better, you could’ve done much, much better”, and people say to me “no you are too hard on yourself”. Many people have told me that, but that’s my nature. I don’t like looking at myself even at the theatre.

When acting, which do you prefer?

You have to work doubly hard, when you’re in a costume, because you’ve got to work doubly hard so that it at least feels like what you’re trying to portray in the costume , the emotions, come through on the outside. Through the costume. As for my preference, work is work, that’s how I look at it, it doesn’t matter to me. Probably without costume, but writers have a tendency to write for an average guy, not to say that I’m not an average guy, I mean that writers don’t write glossy parts for me. You see even though I’m 4ft 4 I also think that height has never bothered me, I never look at that, in my mind I’m 6ft 4, but writers have a tendency to write for an ordinary guy. I’m having to overcome that, that’s why I’ve developed all these scripts and screenplays through my production company Teeney Weeney Productions inc. Even though I haven’t produced anything, it’s my ambition. But it’s tough, it’s new to me, although I do know what the mechanics are. Then again money is very hard to come by because of the economic situation, but I’m still very positive and very optimistic, that things will happen in the future.

Tim Burton has been quoted saying that you’re “the hardest working man in show-business”. Would you say you’re especially driven? Where does this drive come from?

I have always been like that, I don’t have to prove anything to anybody but I have to do it for myself. And then the drive comes because I’m very passionate about the business, and what I want to do. I’ve had a tremendous career so far, I have, but I’d like to do even more. One is never satisfied. One has to keep going on and on and on. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a very content person and I think that if it’s meant to be, its meant to be. I try but I’m not perfect but I learn every day. My dad used to say to me “never say you made a mistake, that was a learning experience”, and another thing my dad taught me was “be nice you’ve got nothing to lose”. That’s the way I was brought up.

Have you always wanted to be an actor?

My family, my dad, wanted me to be an accountant. See I was born in Nairobi, Kenya, my parents were from India. And I grew up, the whole 4ft 4 inches of it in Nairobi. And my dad sent me to London for further education; he wanted me to be an accountant so that I could look after his business in Kenya. I went into accountancy, I was pushed into it. My mind was there but my heart wasn’t there. You have to be in sync with your mind and heart if you want to achieve anything. I found it boring, so I gave up and I said I wanted to be a comedian. My family was so upset- especially my dad. I went to drama school for 6 months, I quit that, that upset my dad even further, and I went to a writer who wrote me 20 minutes of stand up – that’s how I started in the business, and the rest is history. I’m glad I did The Ballad of Sandeep because in some way it portrays who I am in real life: I’m driven and I never give up. Retirement is not in my vocabulary.