Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla
|Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla|
Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla
|Ethnicity||East-African of Indian ethnicity|
Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla (Punjabi: غالب شیراز دھلا (Shahmukhi), ग़ालिब शिराज़ धल्ला (Devanagari)) born in Mombasa, Kenya, is a Los Angeles-based writer. He is most famous for his novel Ode to Lata published in 2002, that was adapted to a film in 2008 under the title The Ode. He has also published the novel The Two Krishnas in 2011, which was released as The Exiles in India.
At 13 years old, the aspiring young novelist published his first article on infertility in a national magazine VIVA. Since then he's written for various publications including Instinct, Genre, Angeleno, Detour and Details and is the Editor of the upscale lifestyle E-zine IndulgeMagazine.com
An excerpt from Ode to Lata was featured in the award-winning anthology Contours of the Heart: South Asians Map North America (Rutgers), which went on to win the 18th Annual American Book Award. The Los Angeles Times Book Review hailed Dhalla's debut as "an achievement" (Sunday, 24 March 2002) and Christopher Rice called it "a rare, great novel" (book jacket). Ode to Lata created milestones as the first South Asian gay novel ever to be reviewed by The Los Angeles Times and to be excerpted by Genre Magazine. It was also the first account of the South Asian gay experience from an author from the African continent. The cultural and academic impact of Dhalla's debut novel was further recognised when it was presented at the Between The Lines Festival at MIT (Boston) in 2004, and added to college syllabuses around the country like California State University.
Ode to Lata was adapted for a motion picture, The Ode starring Sachin Bhatt, Wilson Cruz, and Sakina Jaffrey. Dhalla wrote, co-directed and produced the film. The Ode premiered at the Outfest Film Festival on 17 July 2008 to a sold-out audience. It was called "a beautiful portrait of the American experience for many first and second-generation Indian-Americans" (CineQueer, 18 July 2008) and a film with performances that are "memorable" and filled with "cinematic intensity" (Planet Homo, 19 July 2008). The UCLA Asia Institute praised it as a film that inspired "after-film contemplation" and boasting performances that are "noteworthy" (Asia Pacific Arts, 8 August 2008).
Dhalla's follow-up novel, The Two Krishnas (Magnus Books, September 2011) draws from romantic Sufi poetry and archetypal Hindu mythology. It paints a picture of infidelity and political upheaval across three continents; exploring how, with a new world come new freedoms, and with them, the choices that could change everything we know about those we thought we knew—including ourselves.
In January 2011, Dhalla wrote, directed and produced the film Embrace starring Rebecca Hazlewood, Ajay Mehta and Randy Ryan. Embrace is the first dramatisation of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks on record.
In popular culture
- East Indian in heritage and a passionate activist, Dhalla co-founded the South Asian program for the Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention Team (APAIT) which provides prevention, health and social services, community leadership and advocacy to over 10,000 individuals in Southern California. He was also one of the founding members of SATRANG, a support group for LGBT South Asians in Los Angeles.
- In June 2007, Dhalla was listed as one of the Top 21 Tastemakers and "Most Important Movers and Shakers" in America by Genre Magazine.
- In August 2007, Dhalla was listed as one of the "Top 25 People Who Make Us Melt – Angelenos Who Redefine What's Hot" by Frontiers Magazine.
- In March 2008, Dhalla was included in Anokhi Magazine's "Sexy & Successful 2008" roster.
- Dhalla joined the prestigious Humanitas Prize organisation in 2009 as a Reader for excellence in TV and Film scripts for the 35th Humanitas Prize. *On 29 August 2009 Dhalla was showcased at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York with the headlining event, An Evening with Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla where he had the opportunity to map the journey of his semi-autobiographical novel, Ode to Lata to screen and celebrate his body of work. The event was thrown by Engendered, an arts and human rights organisation aimed at creating awareness around gender and sexuality.
- In April 2011, Dhalla was invited to be the subject and guest of the prestigious Master's Tea at Yale University.
- Ode to Lata – Novel (Really Great Books, 2002)
- The Two Krishnas – Novel (Magnus Books, 9/11) Published as The Exiles (HarperCollins India 2011)
- Short stories
- A – short story, Love, West Hollywood anthology (2008)
- Films (screenwriter)
- The Ode – Screenplay (2007)
- Embrace – Writer/Director/Producer (Post-Production)
- Abandon – Original Screenplay (Development)
- Films (producer)
- The Ode – Associate Producer (2007)
Notes and references
- Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla Official website
- Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla Facebook
- Embrace on Facebook
- Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla at the Internet Movie Database
- The Ode at the Internet Movie Database
- Embrace at the Internet Movie Database