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Pulp non-fiction at SDSU’s film studies

“It’s my dream to change lives through the power of story”

A film about ambition and music, and about the ways families show love.
A film about ambition and music, and about the ways families show love.

It was December of 2021, and Harsimran Sandhu was beginning to feel troubled by a sense of urgency. A business major at SDSU with a minor in critical film studies, he was halfway through his penultimate year of college and worried that was squandering an opportunity to realize his long-held dream of creating a movie.

“I knew this would be my one shot in college,” he tells me. “I didn’t have the liberty of being in the film major and making a new film every semester or something. Whatever I did, I needed to be proud of it.” He hadn’t done much so far, and he realized that he had resources available to him while in college that would not always be there. While he was still a student, he could borrow film equipment, collaborate with instructors and fellow students, and use locations around campus. His resolve grew: I don’t want to graduate without having done something. I’m going to make a movie.

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The script was the first step, and at first, it was slow going. For about six months, Sandhu toyed with various ideas, writing by night while taking a full load of classes, working a part-time job, and staying involved with the business fraternity. Draft after draft was discarded as he assembled the bones of his narrative. It would be the story of an Indian-American music student, working on an original composition that would hopefully grant her a prestigious fellowship and a place in a graduate program. It would also be a story about reconnecting through food, about the guilt and pressure weighing upon a first-generation college student from a hard-working immigrant family, about ambition and music, and about the ways that families show love. It would be called Pulp — like what you get when you squeeze an orange. An image of pressure, creativity, and sweetness.

A film about ambition and music, and about the ways families show love.

Sandhu says he sat on the script for a while after finishing, unsure of its merits. But eventually, he showed it to a friend, who was moved to tears by the story. The friend encouraged him to pursue the project, and encouraged him in just the way that mattered to him — by letting him know that it would have a positive effect on people. He says his original love for cinema came from the sense of connection he felt through the stories. He says that as a child, movies were how he felt less alone. That’s what he wanted to do.

“It’s my dream to change lives through the power of story,” Sandhu says in the one-minute grant application video that earned him $10,000 from Ascent Funding — money that allowed him to get Pulp made.

Now, Sandhu and his team are hoping to get the film into SDSU’s Emerging Filmmakers Festival and others, with maybe an official launch party at a local theater. But wherever Sandhu and Pulp go from here, he seized the moment and made his movie.

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A film about ambition and music, and about the ways families show love.
A film about ambition and music, and about the ways families show love.

It was December of 2021, and Harsimran Sandhu was beginning to feel troubled by a sense of urgency. A business major at SDSU with a minor in critical film studies, he was halfway through his penultimate year of college and worried that was squandering an opportunity to realize his long-held dream of creating a movie.

“I knew this would be my one shot in college,” he tells me. “I didn’t have the liberty of being in the film major and making a new film every semester or something. Whatever I did, I needed to be proud of it.” He hadn’t done much so far, and he realized that he had resources available to him while in college that would not always be there. While he was still a student, he could borrow film equipment, collaborate with instructors and fellow students, and use locations around campus. His resolve grew: I don’t want to graduate without having done something. I’m going to make a movie.

Sponsored
Sponsored

The script was the first step, and at first, it was slow going. For about six months, Sandhu toyed with various ideas, writing by night while taking a full load of classes, working a part-time job, and staying involved with the business fraternity. Draft after draft was discarded as he assembled the bones of his narrative. It would be the story of an Indian-American music student, working on an original composition that would hopefully grant her a prestigious fellowship and a place in a graduate program. It would also be a story about reconnecting through food, about the guilt and pressure weighing upon a first-generation college student from a hard-working immigrant family, about ambition and music, and about the ways that families show love. It would be called Pulp — like what you get when you squeeze an orange. An image of pressure, creativity, and sweetness.

A film about ambition and music, and about the ways families show love.

Sandhu says he sat on the script for a while after finishing, unsure of its merits. But eventually, he showed it to a friend, who was moved to tears by the story. The friend encouraged him to pursue the project, and encouraged him in just the way that mattered to him — by letting him know that it would have a positive effect on people. He says his original love for cinema came from the sense of connection he felt through the stories. He says that as a child, movies were how he felt less alone. That’s what he wanted to do.

“It’s my dream to change lives through the power of story,” Sandhu says in the one-minute grant application video that earned him $10,000 from Ascent Funding — money that allowed him to get Pulp made.

Now, Sandhu and his team are hoping to get the film into SDSU’s Emerging Filmmakers Festival and others, with maybe an official launch party at a local theater. But wherever Sandhu and Pulp go from here, he seized the moment and made his movie.

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The latest copy of the Reader

Please enjoy this clickable Reader flipbook. Linked text and ads are flash-highlighted in blue for your convenience. To enhance your viewing, please open full screen mode by clicking the icon on the far right of the black flipbook toolbar.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
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