Private Project

Trail Past Prejudice

With hate crimes against brown-skinned people on the rise, Sheela is conflicted whether to trust a white man she runs into while jogging, or to treat him with the same prejudice she often encounters.

  • Shruti Tewari
  • Shruti Tewari
    8000 miles away
  • Kavya Tewari
  • Laikh Tewari
    Shaya, Khazana, Bicycle Bride, Dance of Death
  • Shruti Tewari
    Key Cast
    Bicycle Bride, Love Aajkal, Shaya, Where We Go From Here
  • Dave Garrett
    Key Cast
  • Titus Vikneswarra
    Key Cast
  • S. Viknesh
    Cinematographer & Editor
    Cold Pressed, True Love
  • Shaan Memon
    Fitting In, Darpana
  • Steven Lagosh
    This is War, The Night Delivery
  • James Anthony Cotton
    Western Religion, Cold Pressed, White Rabbit
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    5 minutes 50 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 11, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    2,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • WorldFest Houston
    United States
    April 20, 2018
    Silver Remi Award
  • Delhi International Film Festival
    New Delhi
    December 6, 2017
    Indian premiere
    Official Selection
  • Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival
    United States
    May 27, 2018
    California Premiere
    Official Selection
  • The World's Independent Film Festival
    San Francisco
    United States
    September 21, 2018
    Bay Area
  • International Women's Film Festival
  • Calcutta International Cult Film Festival

    Official Selection - Best Debut Director
  • Best of India Short Film Festival
    Los Angeles
  • Nassau Film Festival
    United States
    May 11, 2018
    Official Selection
  • Pictoclik Showcase: Women in Cinema
    San Francisco
    United States
    August 29, 2018
    Official Selection
  • San Mauro Film Festival
    San Mauro
  • Franklin County International Film Festival
    United States
    Official Selection
  • Festival of Globe, Silicon Valley
    Santa Clara
    United States
    May 13, 2018
    Official Selection
  • North Carolina South Asian Film Festival

    United States
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Shruti Tewari

Shruti Tewari is a film and theatre actor from the Bay Area. She made her big screen debut with the Bollywood blockbuster 'Love Aajkal' in 2009 and has done several films including 'Khazana,' 'Family Party,' 'Bicycle Bride,' 'Torn' and 'On Golden Years.' Her upcoming films include the feature 'Cold Pressed' (a thriller set against the olive oil industry) and the short 'All quiet on the homefront' (based on the true story of the first Sikh soldier in the American army played by Waris Ahluwalia). She has played the lead in several short films that have received many accolades at international film festivals with 'Shaya' winning a platinum Remi award at WorldFest Houston and 'Where We Go From Here' winning the Audience Choice and Best Narrative Short at the Anthem Film Festival in Las Vegas. Her film 'Persistence of Memory' was a featured film at the SF pride celebrations in 2016 and she recently finished shooting for 'Fitting In' and '106ºF' short films. Her theatre credits include Antares Ensemble's one-woman show 'The Human Voice,' Arclight Repertory’s 'Twelfth Night,' Opera-Piccola's 'Mirrors of Mumbai,' Palo Alto Players’ 'Aftermath,' Golden Thread Productions’ 'Island of Animals' and TheatreWorks’ 'Baby Taj.' She is also thrilled to have worked on a virtual reality comedy series – 'Uturn VR'– developed to showcase workplace inequity for women in Silicon Valley. This series won the Golden Goggles award at JIVRFest, New York and played at Raindance in the competition category this year.

She is proudest of her work in juvenile halls through the non-profit Each One Reach One for which she was awarded a Certificate of Honor by the city and county of San Francisco for creating a positive impact in the community through the arts. Featured on Contemporary Indian Women and SuperMompreneurs websites and interviewed on Women Now TV show, she was also on the cover of the first Indian bilingual Desi Lifestyle magazine.

A graduate of Columbia University, she opted out of a career in investment banking to pursue the performing arts.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

The inspiration for the film comes from a poem I wrote after the shocking murder of an Indian engineer in Olathe, Kansas. Subsequently, an Ohio man published a video on YouTube sharing his displeasure at the growing presence of immigrants from India in the Midwest including video of brown-skinned kids playing in a playground. It was very disturbing to observe the rising hate directed towards all brown people, especially children. My poem that inspired me to write the screenplay is below:

A scream, and a shot
A blaze of light…
A fallen man spewing hate
A helpless man losing might
Sharing space in suspicion
Living and dying in fright

Is it time to scrub the artist’s palette
Curing the arts of BROWN
Bleeding it out of Munch’s Scream
And from Mona Lisa’s gown
Scraping the trees, painting the sand
Letting our earth drown

Should all hate be targeted
Towards all that is BROWN

Where songs and dreams
And hopes reside
Where art is a virtue
And trust is a guide
Where dreamers live
Breathe and thrive
On that trail past prejudice
O my heart, come alive
Come alive!

Being a writer and a keen observer of the world around me, I have written and directed TRAIL PAST PREJUDICE as a way to address the fear of the “other” spreading across America. As a legal immigrant, and a citizen for over ten years, I wanted to share a unique perspective on how art can serve as a bridge for human connection, when prejudice creates divides. The themes in the film pertain to skin-color based prejudice and xenophobia as experienced by a female protagonist.

The film is in the final stages of sound mixing, is under 6 minutes long, and was shot in the heart of Silicon Valley in Menlo Park, CA.