LAYA are an audacious group of New Jersey high school students who turned racist school bullying, tragic shootings, and feelings of not belonging into an opportunity to fight for AAPI history in NJ state school curriculum.
This story follows five high school students in New Jersey of Korean, Filipino, Indian, and Chinese descent who had a major role in passing a New Jersey state bill to include Asian American history in every school’s curriculum. The film will also feature Dr Kani Ilangovan of Make Us Visible, NJ who supported and guided the LAYA students to helping achieve their goals.
In this short mixed-media film, we follow a collective of high school students (LAYA) and a local organization (Make Us Visible NJ) as they come together to create a mandate for the AAPI curriculum in New Jersey public schools.
Shruti Ganguly is a filmmaker and writer based between New York City and Oslo. Shruti was a member of Obama’s ECCO committee of 30 leaders and creators in entertainment, chairing its Asian Caucus, and is on the Creative Council for Emily's List. She has produced several feature and short films (including Spirit-winner H., and the Nora Ephron Prize-winner INITIALS SG) that have premiered at Sundance, Venice, Tribeca, Telluride, and Berlin.
Shruti is currently writing “Secret Daughter” for Amazon Studios, which will star Priyanka Chopra and Sienna Miller, directed by Cannes-winner Anthony Chen, and sold “DeathSpa”, a psychological horror about a bachelorette party that goes wrong to Sony Pictures International.
Shruti created “Flossy”, a half-hour comedy with writer/comedian Kerry Coddett, with EP Robin Thede, set up at Warner Bros, and she will be an EP and writer on the half-hour TV series “Brown Baby” (based on the eponymous memoir by acclaimed British novelist, Nikesh Shukla), which is in development with Bad Robot/Warner Bros and will star Himesh Patel.
Shruti has directed and produced branded content, short docs, music videos and commercials, ranging from clients like Nike, Netflix, Michael Kors, MUNCH, and so on, through her production company honto88, based in New York City. In the Fall of 2021, Shruti started a new company - Prism Entertainment - with producers Megha Kadakia and Priya Giri Desai to focus on high-quality, South Asian-focused film and TV content.
Previously, Shruti worked at NYLON, MTV, and Conde Nast, producing the CLIO-winning 73 Questions series. She is a co-founder of the Resistance Revival Chorus, a collective born out of the Women's March that brings together artists and activists to use music and joy as an act of resistance. Shruti is a published writer (Nevertheless They Persisted, Penguin) and a contributing writer for The Juggernaut. Shruti received her Bachelor's degree from Northwestern University, and went to NYU's dual MFA/MBA program at Tisch and Stern. She hails from India, by way of Oman.
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