Oscar-qualified ‘American Sikh’ wins accolades in NYC

New York: An animated short film shines the spotlight on inclusivity, kindness and acceptance through the real-life story of its protagonist — an American Sikh “superhero”.

Michelin-star chef and filmmaker Vikas Khanna and Oscar-winner Guneet Monga, who won the Oscar this year for ‘The Elephant Whisperers’, are the executive co-producers of the film.

The Oscar-qualified ‘American Sikh’, an animated short film directed by Ryan Westra with a run time of just under 10 minutes tells the real-life story of US-born Sikh Vishavjit Singh.

Vishavjit Singh is best known for his Captain America persona, which features a Sikh man with a turban and beard fighting racism, intolerance, and stereotypes of what an American should look like. “I always saw superheroes in Sikhs,” Khanna said as he hosted a special screening of the film.

American Sikh was created in partnership with Vishavjit Singh as the director/producer and Los Angeles-based director Ryan Westra with the goal of challenging stereotypes of what it means to be an American (and a superhero) and bringing more varied representation and perspectives into the culture.

It was animated by Studio Showoff, a Melbourne-based production house founded by Ivan Dixon and Sean Zwan that has produced work for Childish Gambino, HBO, and Cartoon Network. This film won four top film awards including Best Short Animation at the Sidewalk Film Festival in Birmingham, Alabama, Best Animation at the San Diego International Film Festival, Grand Jury Award for Best Short Documentary at Tasveer Film Festival in Seattle, and the Audience Choice Award at Tasveer Film Festival.

Image courtesy of BroadwayWorld

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