Downingtown Filmmaker Draws on Experience Growing up as Punjabi-American

Image via Nardeep Khurmi.

A Downingtown filmmaker is tapping into his experience growing up as a South Asian in Chester County. Nardeep Khurmi’s new film “Land of Gold,” follows a Punjabi-American truck driver and an undocumented Mexican girl named Elena, writes Hira Qureshi for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Growing up as one of he few South Asian kids in his school, Kurmi took on the role of the “funny guy” who took interest in more artsy hobbies. He joined band and choir, which opened the floodgates for his interest in filmmaking. As someone with his background, Kiran found Penn Valley-raised filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan relatable.

“Oh. There is a path… Our journeys kind of parallel each other because we’re brown kids from the woods of Pennsylvania who went to NYU to make films,” he tells The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Kiran was born in Switzerland in the eighties, but his parents come from the Punjab region. After his father landed a pharmaceutical job stateside, they moved to New Jersey and eventually Chester County.

The film premiered at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival and is streaming on Max.

Read more about the Downingtown filmmaker in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Trailer for “Land of Gold”.

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