Harry Dehal

Kismat

Screenplay. 98 pages. 2020.

With agricultural roots in India, this story draws on the background of my parents and grandparents and the path they took working the fields when they first immigrated to California's Central Valley.

I also want to shine a light on Sikhism — while it is the fifth largest religion in the world, it has not garnered much public awareness in western media or film. I hope to show the strengths of the religion, as well as certain prejudices that the diaspora has failed to shed in its assimilation to the New World (racism, the caste system, gender inequality).

I'm hoping to portray a message that resonates with viewers of all backgrounds, especially those who may not be aware of the immigrant and cultural experiences of Indian Americans and Sikhs.

While my family's story may seem foreign and look and sound different compared to other American (or Asian American) immigrant stories, the narratives boil down to a common language shared by all — of love and heartache, birth and death, and of overcoming adversity and adopting a new motherland — America is defined by the richness (and struggles) of its immigrant experience.

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