Harjus Singh is determined to make American Sikhs more prominent in Hollywood
Harjus Singh is a graduate student at Chapman University who has an admirable calling: to help his fellow Sikhs gain more acceptance in American culture.
Harjus Singh hopes to grant more Sikhs roles in the films he plans on directing and producing in the future. All of his hopes stem from the desire to do something that will have a lasting impact on his culture. With a recent appearance in the Rose Parade, Singh believes that he is on a path that will allow him to fulfill his goals.
From Doctor To Director
Harjus Singh was not always going to be a director. Prior to enrolling at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, he was poised to become a neuro-oncologist. He put this career to the side when he realized that he had a unique opportunity to give American Sikhs more positive exposure as a director. He realized that there were plenty of other students who could step into his place as a doctor, but that he had a unique desire and gift for directing.
Now, Harjus Singh wants to cast Sikh actors in his films, telling stories that are both for the Sikhs but not necessarily about their religion. More than anything, he says that he just wants others to look at Sikhs as people, not just at their turbans and beards.
The 2015 Rose Parade
In Pasadena, Singh had the opportunity to appear in the Rose Parade with the first-ever float dedicated to Sikh Americans. His goal was to raise awareness about Sikhs living in America. Parading in front of some of the most prestigious people in New York City, Singh certainly achieved national recognition. This comes as a sharp contrast to his youth, when he felt as though he was completely unable to fit in with those around him. He believes that part of this feeling of isolation could be explained by the fact that he could not lose himself in television like others could. After all, there were no people on television or in films that could relate to him as a Sikh.
Now, Harjus Singh is looking to change that. With his newfound direction to make sikhs relevant in the United States, it appears as though he is off to a good start. With his thesis project underway, Singh looks to explore how Sikhs have been relevant throughout American history, and many people are looking forward to his films and hoping for his success.