Announcing a man of many talents and much insight to share: Harish Saluja!
Saluja is a filmmaker, painter, film festival director, engineer, publisher, writer, radio host and music aficionado. Originally from Punjab, India, he received a degree in engineering from IIT, Kharagpur, but always had a strong love of the visual arts, music and filmmaking.
Saluja came to the United States in 1971 and settled in Pittsburgh as an assistant editor in a publishing company. In 1972 he was asked to host “Music From India,” a new radio program on DUQ developed by the India Association of Pittsburgh. He became the regular host and expanded the program to its current two-hour format dedicated to the music of the Indian subcontinent, ranging from popular Hindi film scores to Indian classical music. The program has become the longest running Indian music radio program in the country.
His abstract paintings have been exhibited in the United States and Europe. They are inspired by music and the colors, emotions and textures of the Indian ragas—a Sanskrit word meaning both color and tone.
Over the years, Saluja also pursued his love of filmmaking. He was associate producer of Tony Buba’s No Pets, was executive producer of the feature film “Dog Eat Dog.” He has acted in various commercials and in the Walt Disney film “Money for Nothing.” His film company, New Ray Films, was established in 1995.
In 1995 he began work as both producer and director on “The Journey,” his feature film. The film was shot in the Pittsburgh area over a three week period and was released in 1997, “The Journey” is a cross-cultural comedy/drama. It was screened in over 20 film festivals around the world and won Best Film awards in Florida and Cleveland film festivals. The film stars Roshan Seth and Saeed Jaffrey, two of India’s most distinguished actors working outside India. After ten years, “The Journey” reunited them in film since their work together in “My Beautiful Launderette” and “Gandhi.” The DUQ studios had the honor of serving as a location in the film with the Saeed Jaffrey character playing a radio host at DUQ. The film was shown around the world and then on TV (Independent Film Channel). Salute is presently developing two more films.
In 2006, Saluja launched Silk Screen, an arts and cultural exchange program in Pittsburgh. Its main event is a very successful international Film Festival. Silk Screen endeavors to bring various art forms, including dance, music, and visual arts, from Asia to Pittsburgh on a year-long basis.