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Harish Saluja is a filmmaker and artist residing in Pittsburgh, United States. He is the founder and executive director of the Silk Screen Asian Arts and Cultural Organization and the host of the Music from India radio program. He is working on his next[when?] feature film and creating art for upcoming[when?] gallery shows.
Saluja was raised in India’s northwest state of Punjab. Growing up, he had a passion for art. His mother, a singer, exposed him to classical Indian music. He was fascinated by film, especially the work of the filmmaker of Satyajit Ray.
Moving to Bombay and studying film was Saluja’s dream as a boy, but instead he settled for the secure path of engineering. He graduated with a degree from IIT, Kharagpur and spent the following four years working as an engineer in a mining company.
In 1971, Saluja moved to the United States. Saluja went to Pittsburgh, well known for its steel industry. He was told that this was a place where an engineering degree would be appreciated. He was hired at a publishing company – of which he eventually became co-owner.
Work in film
Saluja began working in film as associate producer on Tony Buba’s No Pets (1994) and then as the executive producer of Dog Eat Dog. He also acted in commercials and in the Disney film Money for Nothing starring John Cusack.
In 1995, he established New Ray Films. Its first film was The Journey (1997) which he wrote, directed and produced, as well as acting in a small role. The film is a comedy drama chronicling the cultural and generational shock of a retired Indian headmaster who comes to the U.S. to visit his physician son and American daughter-in-law. The film starred Roshan Seth and Saeed Jaffrey, who were appearing together for the first time after Gandhi (1982) and My Beautiful Laundrette (1985).
The Journey was premiered at the Seattle Film Festival in 1997 and was screened in over 20 festivals nationwide.
In addition to making films, Saluja has also shared his knowledge by teaching courses through the Honors College at the University of Pittsburgh.
Currently,[when?] Saluja is working on two films.
In addition to his work in film, Saluja has produced many works of abstract art that combine vivid colors and musical patterns. He has created series based on ragas and on jazz. Harry Schwalb of ARTnews described Saluja's style, writing: "Saluja sees the music's endless patterns – which evolve simultaneously in repetitively strummed layers of tone and rhythm – as like colored threads, woven by the performer into a musical carpet." Saluja’s work has been showcased at galleries in USA and Europe.
Saluja co-hosts the weekly radio program Music From India which is broadcast every Sunday night on the NPR affiliate, WESA, 90.5 FM. The program has been made since 1972 and is one of WDUQ's longest-running programs. It is the longest-running Indian music program in the US and among the longest in the world.
- WDUQ's Biography of Harish Saluja
- Silk Screen: Asian Arts Organization
- Filmmaker Completes His "Journey," Niki Kapsambelis
- Harish Saluja on NYTimes.com
- "Cultural Awareness: An Important Story," Kelli McElhinny, Pop City feature
- The "Journey" Is Complete, Harry Kloman
- Pittsburgh Post Gazette Newsmakers: "Harish Saluja / Local film producer a believer in the arts," 29 Sept. 2003
- indieWIRE: Harish Saluja's "Journey"--A Lesson in Selling, The Hard Hard Way