P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans

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Jaspreet Kaur, 2023

MFA, University of Southern California

Jaspreet Kaur is an immigrant from India

Fellowship awarded to support work towards an MFA in Writing for Screen and Television at University of Southern California

Born in Punjab, India, Jaspreet Kaur immigrated to Los Angeles with her parents and older sister in 2000. After 9/11, she witnessed the xenophobia against Sikhs and Muslims that raged across the United States. As a response, in high school, Jaspreet began creating films that challenged the stereotypical depiction of underrepresented people in mainstream media. Her film work envisions film as a transformative tool for creating community led change and healing.

In high school, Jaspreet founded the L.A. Film Summit: Shaping the Future that brought together 75 high school students to create short films on seven different social issues like women’s rights, poverty, and discrimination.

At Harvard College, Jaspreet double majored in folklore and mythology and theater, dance, and media where she learned how to incorporate oral storytelling and ethnography into her artistic practice. She graduated magna cum laude as the only Sikh student and one of six DACAmented students in the Harvard College class of 2021.

Jaspreet founded Brown Girl Joy Productions, a production and consulting agency, alongside Amritpal Kaur and Amandeep Kaur to create intersectional, innovative, and transformative media centering underserved communities. She produced an LGBTQ+ short film Zindagi Dobara which won the Tasveer Film Fund Grant, funded by Netflix and will screen at festivals like Outfest Fusion, Tasveer Film Festival, and Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. Through the 2022 Made in Her Image x A24 Beyond the Screen program, Jaspreet gained insight about the business behind filmmaking. As a Artist Disruptors Fellow with the Center for Cultural Power, she wrote an original, LGBTQ+, South Asian drama television pilot. 

Along with filmmaking, Jaspreet values creating opportunities to make filmmaking an accessible and sustainable career for BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and undocumented folks through mentorship and inclusive hiring practices. She recently developed and hosted the Tasveer Filmmaker Spotlight Series interviewing award-winning South Asian filmmakers about their social impact and artistic journey.

Education
  • MFA Writing for Screen and Television | University of Southern California 2024
  • BA Folklore and Mythology, Theater, Dance, and Media | Harvard University
Awards
  • Center for Cultural Power Artist Disruptors Fellow
  • Norman Topping Fellow
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