OCFS Honors Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon for The Big Sick

Following an invite-only screening of their unusual rom-com The Big Sick, the Orange County Film Society on Thursday night bestowed a special Best Original Screenplay award to nerd royalty, Kumail Nanjiani and his wife Emily V. Gordon.

You may have seen Nanjiani and Gordon on Comedy Central’s The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail, although, in the case of the husband (and based on viewership) you are more likely to have caught him on Silicon Valley, Newsreaders or Franklin & Bash.

Nanjiani is definitely on screen for most of The Big Sick, and in a sense so is Gordon, who is portrayed by actress Zoe Kazan in the story Nanjiani and executive producer Gordon co-wrote about their courtship. The Pakistan-born Nanjiani fell in love with Gordon when she was a graduate student, but when she was hospitalized with a mysterious illness he was forced to face her parents, setting in motion a major culture clash.

Those mingling on the red carpet in front of the Lido Theatre in Newport Beach could hear the loud laughter coming from the seats inside as The Big Sick was screened for Orange County Film Society members. That was followed by an audience Q&A with Nanjiani and Gordon moderated by Variety editor Jenelle Riley.

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