Tarsem Singh

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Tarsem Singh
Singh at WonderCon 2011
Tarsem Singh Dhandwar

(1961-05-26) 26 May 1961 (age 62)
Other namesTarsem
  • Film director
  • producer
  • screenwriter
Years active1990–present

Tarsem Singh Dhandwar (born 26 May 1961), known professionally as Tarsem, is an Indian director who has worked on films, music videos, and commercials. He directed The Cell (2000), The Fall (2006, also screenwriter and producer), Immortals (2011), Mirror Mirror (2012), and Self/less (2015).

Early life[edit]

Tarsem was born in Jalandhar, Punjab to a Punjabi Sikh family. His father was an aircraft engineer.[1] He attended Bishop Cotton School in Shimla, Hans Raj College in Delhi, and is a graduate of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.[2]


Tarsem began his career by directing music videos, including those of "Hold On" by En Vogue, "Sweet Lullaby" by Deep Forest and R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion", the latter of which won Best Music Video, Short Form at the 1992 Grammy Awards. He has directed commercials for brands such as Nike and Coca-Cola.[3] Tarsem's feature film directorial debut was The Cell (2000), starring Jennifer Lopez.

In 2003, Tarsem directed one of the most elaborate Pepsi commercials to date. It combined a gladiator theme with Queen's "We Will Rock You". The commercial starred Enrique Iglesias in the version of the commercial aired in Europe and North America and Amr Diab in the version aired in the Arab world.

Tarsem's second film, The Fall, debuted at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival and was released in theatres in the United States in 2008. His third film was 2011's Immortals.[1][4] He directed an adaptation of the Brothers Grimm story of "Snow White", called Mirror Mirror (2012).[5][6]

In 2020, Tarsem made his return to music videos with Lady Gaga's single "911", his first in 26 years.

In 2021, his Super Bowl ad for Toyota featuring the adoption of US Paralympian Jessica Long won significant critical acclaim.[7] He also directed the Microsoft Windows 11 commercial Journey which featured the song 'Brings You Closer to What You Love' by Odessa, an appearance by Master Chief from Halo (Xbox) and dancers emerging through a painting by Clifford Bailey.[8]

His 2023 film Dear Jassi premiered at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival,[9] where it was the winner of the Platform Prize.[10]

Filmography as director[edit]

Feature films[edit]


Music videos[edit]



  1. ^ a b Goldstein, Patrick (26 June 2007). "A 'Fall' no one wants to take". Los Angeles Times.
  2. ^ "Tarsem and the legend of "The Fall"". The Chicago Sun-Times.
  3. ^ Chhabra, Aseem. "Hindi movies often do not capture the beauty of India". Rediff.
  4. ^ Wise, Damon (4 October 2008). "Final fantasy". The Guardian. London.
  5. ^ Kit, Borys (1 November 2010). "It's Official: Tarsem Directing Relativity's Snow White Movie". The Hollywood Reporter.
  6. ^ Sarafin, Jarrod. "Singh Confirmed for Snow White". Mania. Archived from the original on 5 November 2010.
  7. ^ "The real story behind the Super Bowl's most moving advert". The Independent. 8 February 2021. Archived from the original on 26 May 2022.
  8. ^ "Microsoft's Windows 11 Brings You Closer to What You Love". interpublic.com. 19 September 2021. Retrieved 17 August 2023.
  9. ^ Charles Bramesco, "Dear Jassi review – Hollywood maximalist makes first Indian movie". The Guardian, September 11, 2023.
  10. ^ Steve Pond, "‘American Fiction’ Wins Toronto Film Festival’s Audience Award". TheWrap, September 17, 2023.

External links[edit]