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‘Apeejay has been the foundation of my artistic journey’

Rising star Gurasis Singh, a student at Apeejay College of Fine Arts in Jalandhar, emphasises the importance of honesty, dedication, and perseverance in pursuing a career in acting or filmmaking



Gurasis Singh, a student of the Department of Theater at Apeejay College of Fine Arts (ACFA) in Jalandhar, has emerged as a rising star in the film industry. His remarkable talent and dedication to his art recently earned him the prestigious Best Actor award at the 13th Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival held in Noida. Gurasis’s outstanding performance in the short-film ‘Rabbi‘, which he also directed, captivated the audience and impressed the festival jury, solidifying his position as a promising actor and filmmaker. This accolade comes as a pleasant surprise to Gurasis, considering the short time frame in which the film was created. With this significant recognition, Gurasis plans to leverage his success to further his career in the film industry, and hopes to take on inspiring and challenging roles in the future. Read edited excerpts of the interview:

Congratulations on winning the Best Actor Award at the Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival! How does it feel to receive such a prestigious recognition for your performance in the short film ‘Rabbi‘?

Thank you so much! It feels absolutely incredible to receive this prestigious recognition for my performance in ‘Rabbi‘. It was unexpected because we created the short-film in a very short duration, and now the film has received this prestigious award. I feel extremely grateful and want to thank the whole team for their effort in making this film a success.

Can you tell us about your journey as a student of the Department of Theater at Apeejay College of Fine Arts? How has your education and training contributed to your success in the field of acting?

My journey as a student of the Department of Theater at Apeejay College of Fine Arts has been transformative. Apeejay has played a crucial role in my growth, not just as an actor, but as an individual. From my schooling to college, Apeejay has been there for me. Mr. Sunil Joshi, my mentor, has been instrumental in motivating me to pursue acting since I was in class 4. I am truly grateful to Apeejay for providing me with a stage to showcase my talent and hone my skills. The teachers have also supported us immensely. Many students and their parents often wonder how to learn acting, and I would suggest that getting this type of training is not easy. For me, Apeejay has helped me in training body language, speaking dialogues, and all aspects of acting. I learned everything about acting at Apeejay from my mentor Sunil Joshi. He not only guided me in acting, but also taught me valuable life lessons on discipline, communication, and presenting myself in front of people. Apeejay has been the foundation of my artistic journey.

How did it feel to have your work showcased and recognised at such a prestigious platform alongside other talented filmmakers and actors?

It was an incredible feeling to have my work showcased and recognised at the Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival. Earlier, things were not going well for me, and I even considered settling in Canada. However, this year has turned out to be extraordinary for me. I always wanted to make a film on Dada Saheb Phalke, and this platform gave me the opportunity to present ‘Rabbi . We created the film within 20 days, from directing to writing scripts and handling pre- and post-production. Being recognised alongside other talented filmmakers as well as actors was truly a humbling experience and a validation of our hard work.

How did you approach the process of directing while also performing in the film? Did you face any challenges or discover new insights?

Directing while also performing in the film was undoubtedly challenging. Once I finished writing the script, I started facing hurdles during the shoot, but that’s part of the process. We encountered small obstacles along the way, but we made sure to improve and overcome them. We managed to work with a limited budget, and my team played a significant role in making it possible for us to bring the vision of the film to life. It was my first time directing a film, and I gained valuable insights into directing, acting, and post-production. I had to take on multiple responsibilities, but it allowed me to have a deeper understanding of the filmmaking process.

How do you plan to leverage this recognition to further your career in the film industry? Are there any specific projects or roles you aspire to take on in the future?

The recognition I have received at the Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival has given me a significant boost in my career. I had a feeling that my film would be nominated, but I never expected to receive the award among many top directors and actors. After the screening of ‘Rabbi , the audience provided positive feedback, mentioning that the film connected with them on a profound level. I have already submitted the film to two different platforms, and I am eagerly awaiting the results in June.

Recently, my debut feature film titled ‘First Kapi‘ has been released on ZEE5, where I played the second lead. It is a comedy film, and we are receiving a lot of love for it. I hope it achieves great success.

Moving forward, I am interested in exploring social topics that leave a lasting impact, and undertaking inspiring and challenging roles that will allow me to showcase my versatility as an actor.

How has your experience at the college shaped your artistic journey, and what advice would you give to aspiring actors and filmmakers studying at Apeejay or elsewhere?

My experience at Apeejay College of Fine Arts has been instrumental in shaping my artistic journey. The college provided me with a nurturing and supportive environment where I could develop my skills and pursue my passion for acting. Honesty and dedication have been the two key principles that guided me throughout my journey. My parents have always emphasised the importance of dedicating oneself wholeheartedly to whatever work we do. This field is very challenging, and I have faced numerous rejections during auditions. However, the key is to persevere, push oneself, and work hard continuously. My advice to aspiring actors and filmmakers studying at Apeejay or elsewhere is to stay committed to their work, believe in themselves, and never give up. Seek opportunities to learn and grow, and always remain true to your passion. With dedication and hard work, success will come your way.

Divya is a Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has a degree of Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication. She was a former sub-editor at News 24. Her passion for writing has always contributed to her professional and personal growth.