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December 2, 2021

Kal Penn to Star In Stampede
Ventures’ Biopic On
NBA Hall of Famer, Nav Bhatia

LOS ANGELES – Kal Penn has been tapped to star in the upcoming biopic Superfan. Penn will portray Nav Bhatia, a decades long Toronto Raptors Superfan who was the first fan to be honored into the Naismith Basketball Hall Of Fame, his gallery with his Turban now amongst some if the biggest names in the NBA. From receiving a Toronto Raptors players championship ring to leading the Championship parade Nav has used the game of basketball to bring people together.

Greg Silverman and Jon Berg of Stampede Ventures, who won the competitive bid for the life rights to Bhatia’s story, will produce the film in tandem with Penn, Dan Spilo of Industry Entertainment, and Rinku Ghei of Yellow Mango Films who will serve as executive producer.

Bhatia has an inspiring life story, coming to the US as a penniless Sikh immigrant, who worked tirelessly at basic jobs to survive initially. He navigated a tough journey through racism and bigotry to eventually become a car salesman in Toronto, and since, becoming the most prolific car salesman and dealership owner in all of Canada. Over the years, basketball became a friend and passion for Bhatia, who has never missed a home game since the Raptors inception in 1995. Mr. Bhatia shares his passion every season, through philanthropy and education, enabling underprivileged kids from across Canada the opportunity to attend Raptors games through these efforts. He also funds and organizes the Baisakhi halftime show once a year in April on the Raptor’s hardcourt, giving many Canadians an opportunity to celebrate Sikh New Year together. (CBC is premiering a documentary on Bhatia’s life (Superfan) in December.)

“I’ve been researching and following Nav’s incredible story ever since I saw him at a Raptor’s game the year we started filming Designated Survivor in Toronto. The crowd loves him – to see what a source of pride he is for Canadians – and all basketball fans, really – makes me smile. His story is one of unity, which I’m especially excited and proud to bring to life” said Penn.

Added Berg and Spilo: “Nav has trusted us with his story — one that empowers others to believe in themselves, and to follow their dreams even when the road ahead is challenging. It’s an honor to share his passion and journey on a global scale.”

“I’m speechless. To have the opportunity to continue to tell my story with such esteemed producers is a dream. Then to find out Kal Penn has been brought on to play me is even more surreal. This is not something I can even dream of. He is one of my favorite actors and to know he also loves basketball is an added bonus. I’ll be teaching him all my tricks of the trade when distracting opposing players!” said Nav.

Writers and directors are currently being hired for the biopic, which producers plan to be a heartening story infused with Bhatia’s personal mantras and the perspective which he credits for his success: love, compassion, tolerance, and patience.

Stampede Ventures, an independent entertainment media company, was founded in 2018 by Greg Silverman following his near two-decade term at Warner Bros. Studios, which saw him rise to President of Creative Development and Worldwide Production. The company’s lead investor and co-chairman is Gideon Yu, former CFO of Facebook and YouTube, and co-owner of the San Francisco 49ers.

Recent credits from Stampede Ventures include Pink Skies Ahead which premiered this May after its sale to MTV Studios, and the live-action comedy special Mo Willems & the Storytime All-Stars Present: Don’t Let The Pigeon Do Storytime! on HBOMax which just received two Daytime Emmy noms.

Stampede’s currently in production on the animated feature Prince of Port au Prince from Wyclef Jean at Netflix, just announced production start for a Mo Willems' CGI animated rock opera, Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Underground Rock Experience which will hit HBOMax in 2022, and launched HappyNest, an animated production company alongside UTA that will focus on kids & family content.

December 3, 2021

Superfan: The Nav Bhatia Story

Produced by Good Karma Studios & Yellow Mango Films

A CBC Doc Origninal

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