Film Festival Circuit of My Name Was January

My Name Was January is a true story

SYNOPSIS

When a trans sister, January Marie Lapuz, is brutally murdered in her own home, a community reacts and her friends and other trans women of colour come to share and voice their issues, concerns, and challenges. January was seen as a bright light in the lives of many. This is the story of January, a friend, a daughter, a person. This film will not only bring justice to January, but to all the women who have lost their lives. January had a beautiful soul, and now part of her soul rests in each and every one of us.

FILM FESTIVAL CIRCUIT

My Name Was January has won 14 international awards and garnered 63 official selections at film festivals around the world.  My Name Was January entered the Canadian Screen Awards for Best Short Documentary in 2020.

The film was screened in 11 countries including Canada, USA, England, Norway, Spain, Cyprus, Taiwan, Lebanon, India, Philippines, and Russia.

Below are some of our more notable recognitions at film festivals:

AWARD WINNERS

  • Best Short Documentary, Emerging Lens Cultural Film Festival, Halifax, Nova Scotia (A Canadian Screen Awards Qualifying Festival)
  • Best LGBTQ Film, Los Angeles Film Awards, Los Angeles, California

FINALISTS

  • Finalist (Gold) in the Canadian Shorts Category, Canada Shorts – Canadian and International Short Film Fest, Saint John, New Brunswick
  • Finalist, San Francisco Sex Worker Film and Arts Festival, San Francisco, California

SEMI-FINALISTS

  • Best Short Film (Narrative), Toronto Beaches Film Festival, Toronto, Ontario
  • Best Long Shorts, Edmonton Short Film Festival, Edmonton, Alberta
  • Best LGBTQ Film, Reel Heart International Film and Screenplay Festival, Toronto, Ontario

OFFICIAL SELECTIONS

  • National Screen Institute (NSI) Online Short Film Festival, Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Lebanese Independent Film Festival, Achrafieh, Lebanon
  • Reel Pride LGBT Film Festival, Fresno, California
  • New West Film Festival, New Westminster, British Columbia
  • Taiwan International Queer Film Festival, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
  • Queer Asia Film Festival, London, England (Screened at the British Museum)
  • Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival, Surrey, British Columbia (A Canadian Screen Awards Qualifying Festival)
  • International Motion Festival, Nicosia, Cyprus
  • Davis Feminist Film Festival, Davis California
  • Toronto Feedback Female Film Festival, Toronto, Ontario
  • Global Nonviolent Film Festival, Hollywood, California
  • International Women’s Film Festival, Orlando, Florida

DISTRIBUTION

The film has been picked up for distribution by a local social justice non-profit distributor, Moving Images Distribution of Vancouver.

Moving Images will distribute the film to the educational market and the general public in Canada.

Discussion Guide for teachers has been developed to go with the film.  The film was also picked up by OUTtv and Revry.

Top 15 South Asian Role Models for 2020

Photo Credit:
A Little Late with Lilly Singh/NBC Entertainment/ Unicorn Island Productions/Irwin Entertainment
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 25, 2020

Top 15 South Asian Role Models

Surrey, British Columbia – Sher Vancouver is pleased to announce the Top 15 South Asian Role Models for 2020. 

BACKGROUND

The Top 15 South Asian Role Models was a list first compiled by Sher Vancouver Founder and award-winning social worker and documentary film producer, Alex Sangha, in January 2011 and was published in the Vancouver Observer.  A new list was compiled in June 2015 and published in the Georgia Straight, Huffington Post, Darpan Magazine, and Surrey604.

The Top 15 South Asian Role Models is now released for publication approximately every five years. 

The purpose of the list is threefold:

  1. To educate the broader public about the contributions that South Asian people make to the world.
  2. To provide South Asian youth with positive role models so they can feel proud of their culture, heritage, and accomplishments as a community.
  3. To showcase the ethnocultural diversity of South Asia as a subcontinent and its people.  For the purposes of this list, South Asia includes people from the countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and The Maldives and their diaspora worldwide.  People from Afghanistan, Burma, and Tibet may also be considered at the discretion of the jury.

SELECTION CRITERIA

  • SELECTION COMMITTEE – People from South Asia or the South Asian diaspora who are inspirational, influential, and impactful especially within the last five years are shortlisted.  A selection committee from Sher Vancouver research and come up with the shortlist.
  • CORE MEMBERSHIP – This shortlist is then sent to the core Sher Vancouver membership for final recommendations, review, and feedback.
  • PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT – Sher Vancouver Founder Alex Sangha then gathers all the feedback, information, and recommendations and announces the Top 15 list in a news release to the general public and the media, as well as various social media platforms.

INTRODUCTION

The world cannot stop talking about immigration. It is an eminent topic that spurs political debates and sensationalizes headlines, creates conflict and opportunity, and affects the world over.

People from South Asia and their diaspora around the world make up a remarkably diverse demographic. 

If you look at the largest country in South Asia for example, India, you will discover that over 31 million people of Indian birth or descent are part of the Indian diaspora spread around the globe. Their social and cultural diversity is represented in 33 major languages and some 1500 minor ones, seven major religions, and a mélange of six major ethnic groups.   

Furthermore, Professor Nirvikar Singh, co-author of a book on the Indian diaspora, “The Other One Percent:  Indians in America,” notes that 8% of the founders of high-tech companies in the US are Indians.   Indians are one of the richest and most educated ethnic groups in one of the richest and most powerful nations in the world. These numbers tell only half of the story.

From their collective experiences abet with separating from their homeland, they continue to find ways to embrace the best the world has to offer, while maintaining their cultural roots and identities as Indians.

They have integrated themselves into a pluralistic western society, which values competitiveness, egalitarianism, and objective individualism to achieve success and contribute effectively to a larger society.

TOP 15 SOUTH ASIAN ROLE MODELS FOR 2020

The Top 15 is made up of seven women and eight men with origins from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Canada, USA, and the United Kingdom from Hindu, Muslim, Christian, and Sikh families.  We also have five wonderful Honourable Mentions for you to check out!

“The opportunity to create a list of the Top 15 South Asian Role Models for 2020 has been an eye-opening experience.  The impact South Asians have had through multiple fields and professions is utterly amazing.   I am proud to help showcase some of these wonderful people and give recognition to deserving members of our distinct and varied communities,” states Sher Vancouver Youth Group Member Karn Sahota.

“It was very difficult to shortlist the Top 15 as the world is full of wonderful South Asians and people of South Asian origin doing amazing and incredible things.  I felt so proud of being an immigrant from Punjab, India and South Asia after researching and learning about all the amazing achievements and community service and success of our global community,” states Sher Vancouver Vice President Kayden Bhangu.

Here are some amazing South Asians that are making tremendous strides in the present times in random alphabetical order by last name:

RIZ AHMED – Actor, rapper, and activist.  As an activist, he is known for his political rap music. As an actor, he has won an Emmy Award and has received nominations for a Golden Globe and three British Independent Film Awards.

SHAHIDUL ALAM – Photojournalist, teacher, and social activist. He was Time magazine’s Person of the Year in 2018.

EDUARDO BHATIA – Attorney and politician.  He is the former 15th President of the Senate of Puerto Rico and former executive director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration. Bhatia has worked to eradicate the injustices of inequality and lift Puerto Rico from the ruins, fight poverty and rebuild the middle class to through the transformation of the country’s public schools.

JAMEELA JAMIL – Actress, radio presenter, model, and writer.  Jamil was one of fifteen women selected to appear on the cover of the September 2019 issue of British Vogue Forces for Change.

SAL KHAN – Founder of non-profit Khan Academy, one of the most popular online learning sites.  He has been profiled by CBS’s 60 Minutes, featured on the cover of Forbes and recognized as one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.

HASAN MINAJ – Comedian, actor, and writer.  He was listed in TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people of the world of 2019 and was awarded Peabody and Webby award for his Netflix show in 2019.

SATYA N. NADELLA – Business executive.  He is an Indian American CEO and Director of Microsoft since 2014.  In 2019, Nadella was named the Financial Times Person of the Year.

VIKRAM H. PATEL – Internationally renowned researcher, psychiatrist.  He was listed in TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people of the world.

NAOMI SCOTT – Actress.  She has made her mark in both the British and the American entertainment industries as a singer and an actress. She is best known for her role as Princess Jasmine in Disney’s musical Aladdin released in 2019.

HANNAH SIMONE – Actress, television host, and fashion model.  She is best known for portraying Cece on the Fox sitcom New Girl.  Besides her career in the show business, she has also done research on the rights of children and women for a book under former Foreign Affairs Minister of Canada Lloyd Axworthy.

LILLY SINGH – Actress, comedian, author, and television host.  She has received a People’s Choice Award and was listed by Forbes as one of the 40 most powerful people in comedy in 2019.

RAVI SINGH – Humanitarian.  He is the Founder of Khalsa Aid which is a UK-based humanitarian relief charity providing support around the world to victims of natural and man-made disasters such as floods, earthquakes, famine, and war. 

JAYSHREE ULLAL– Businesswoman. The current president and CEO of Arista Networks, Ullal is credited with the deployment of a transformational ethernet networking program. She is now one of America’s wealthiest female executives. Forbes named Ullal as one of the top five most influential people in the networking industry today.

INDIRA VARMA– Actress.  Indira is best known for her role as Niobe of the Voreni in HBO’s Rome. Her first major role was in Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love – an Indian historical romance film by Deepa Mehta. In the UK, she is better known as a versatile television artist and has appeared in several television serials including the all-time favourites Torchwood, Bones, and Game of Thrones.

MALALA YOUSAFZAI – Advocate for female education and the youngest ever Nobel Prize laureate.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

  • TAN FRANCE – Fashion designer, television personality, and author. Tan is most famous for being the fashion expert for the Netflix series Queer Eye. He became one of the very first openly gay South Asian men on a major show, and one of the first out gay Muslim men on western television.
  • ARUNDHATI KATJU – Lawyer and MENAKA GURUSWAMY – Senior Advocate. Arundhati and Menaka have helped take a giant step for LGBTQ+ rights in the world’s largest democracy by winning a fight against Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that decriminalized homosexuality.
  • ALOK VAID MENON – Writer, performance artist, and media personality.  Alok is gender non-conforming and transfeminine and uses singular they pronouns. As a mixed-media artist Alok uses poetry, prose, comedy, performance, lecture, fashion design, and portraiture to explore themes of gender, race, trauma, belonging, and the human condition. They have presented their work at 500 venues in more than 40 countries.
  • DANNY PUDI – Actor, comedian, writer, producer, and director.  Danny is best known for portraying the pop culture-obsessed Abed on NBC’s show Community. He has received three nominations for the Critics’ Choice Television Award.
  • RAGHURAM RAJAN – Economist. Raghuram is very widely respected and acknowledged in the field of economics. He is amongst the Top 10 Economists of the World, especially due to his foresight of the 2008 economic recession.  He was named by Time in its list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.

DETAILED BIOGRAPHIES OF THE TOP 15

RIZ AHMED is an actor, rapper, and activist (born December 1, 1982, in London, UK to a British Pakistani family). Riz was initially known for his work in independent films such as The Road to Guantanamo (2006), Shifty (2008), Four Lions (2010),  and The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2013), as well as television series such as Britz (2007) and Dead Set (2008), before his breakout role in the film Nightcrawler (2014). He then went on act as a lead in HBO miniseries The Night of and Girls for which he became the first Asian and first Muslim to win an acting Emmy.  As an activist, he is known for his political rap music. As an actor, he has won an Emmy Award and has received nominations for a Golden Globe and three British Independent Film Awards. Ahmed has spoken about the lack of accurate representation of Muslims in the arts, and often expresses these views on social media and has inspired to developing the Riz Test which aims to identify the nature of Muslim representation in film and TV.

SHAHIDUL ALAM is a photojournalist, teacher, and social activist (born 1955 in Dhaka, Bangladesh to a Muslim family). Shahidul was Time magazine’s Person of the Year in 2018.  Alam is synonymous with photography in South Asia. In a career spanning more than three decades, he has chronicled his country’s tumultuous history, photographing natural disasters, political upheaval, human rights abuses and, recently, the conditions facing Rohingya refugees who fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar. He has also covered stories elsewhere in the region, including places rarely visited by journalists, such as the Maldives.

EDUARDO BHATIA is an attorney, and politician (born May 16, 1964, in San Salvador, El Salvador to an Indian father) He is the former 15th President of the Senate of Puerto Rico and former executive director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration. Bhatia has worked to eradicate the injustices of the inequality and lift Puerto Rico from the ruins, fight poverty and rebuild the middle class through the transformation of the country’s public schools. He is the author of the most comprehensive energy reform law in Puerto Rico’s history (Law 57 of 2014).

JAMEELA JAMIL is an actress, radio presenter, model, and writer. (born February 25, 1986, in London, England, UK to an Indian father and a Pakistani mother).  Jameela has become a bona fide star, thanks to her role in NBC’s The Good Place, and is considered as a star on the rise in the entertainment industry. Jameela openly identifies as queer.  Jamil was the first solo female presenter of the BBC Radio 1 chart show. Jamil was one of fifteen women selected to appear on the cover of the September 2019 issue of British Vogue Forces for Change. She is set to appear as a judge on HBO ballroom competition show Legendary. 

SAL KHAN is an educator (born October 11, 1976 in Louisiana, US to a Bengali family). Sal is the founder of the non-profit Khan Academy, one of the most popular online learning sites.  Khan, 43, has spent the last 12 years developing hundreds of free classes, from math and science to history. His goal is to make learning accessible for everyone, everywhere.  Khan is revolutionizing education and helping millions of people by making it interactive and accessible so that anyone in the world can learn and prosper. Khan has been profiled by CBS’s 60 Minutes, featured on the cover of Forbes, and recognized as one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. He holds three degrees from MIT and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

HASAN MINAJ is a comedian, actor, and writer (born September 23, 1985, in California, US to a Muslim family). Until recently, he was a correspondent on the Emmy and Peabody award-winning program The Daily Show.  Hasan has been a featured speaker at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, has hosted one-man show, Homecoming King which debuted Off-Broadway and landed his own show Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj on Netflix.  Minaj was listed in TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people of the world of 2019 and was awarded Peabody and Webby award for his Netflix show in 2019.

SATYA N. NADELLA is a business executive (born August 19, 1967, in Hyderabad, India to a Hindu Telugu family). Satya is the CEO and Director of Microsoft since 2014. When Mr. Nadella took over, Microsoft was in danger of having missed almost every important new technology trend since the turn of the century. Mr. Nadella responded by taking Microsoft back to its roots, looking to a period before Windows when its software tools were used by other companies to build their own technology. Microsoft’s stock price has more than quadrupled since Satya Nadella took over as CEO six years ago. In 2019, Nadella was named the Financial Times Person of the Year.

VIKRAM H. PATEL is an internationally renowned researcher and psychiatrist (born May 5, 1964, in Mumbai, India to a Hindu family). He co-founded the Centre for Global Mental Health in 2008.  Dr. Patel leads research that plays a central role in the emergence and development of the field of global mental health and that has galvanized policy, civil society, and donor action to address the large unmet need for care for people with mental disorders in low-and middle-income countries. Patel outlines a highly promising approach — training members of communities to give mental health interventions, empowering ordinary people to care for others. He was listed in TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people of the world and was recipient of Canada Gairdner Global Health Award in 2019.

NAOMI SCOTT is an actress and singer (born May 6, 1993, in London, UK to an Indian Gujarati mother). She has made her mark in both the British and the American entertainment industries as a singer and an actress. She is best known for her role as Princess Jasmine in Disney’s musical Aladdin released in 2019. Subsequently, Scott went on to star as one of the three leads in the action comedy film Charlie’s Angels. She has also released the EPs Invisible Division and Promises.

HANNAH SIMONE is an actress, television host, and fashion model (born August 3, 1980 in London, UK to an Indian father). Hannah is best known for portraying Cece on the Fox sitcom New Girl.  Her effortless performance and enthralling personality are the main reasons behind her growing popularity in the show business. She began her journey in the entertainment industry as a TV host and VJ before exploring other avenues such as acting. Besides her career in the show business, she has also done research on the rights of children and women for a book under former Foreign Affairs Minister of Canada Lloyd Axworthy.

LILLY SINGH is an actress, comedian, author, and television host (born September 26, 1988, in Scarborough, Ontario to a Punjabi Sikh family). Lilly Singh has amassed nearly 15 million subscribers and more than 3 billion views since launching her popular channel of YouTube videos under the name “Superwoman” in 2010. She has since appeared as an actor in films and TV series and published a book that topped the New York Times Business Best Sellers list. Singh is currently the host of a new late-night talk show, “A Little Late with Lilly Singh” on NBC. She is the only openly LGBTQ person as well as the first person of Indian descent who is hosting a talk show on a major broadcast network.  Singh has received a People’s Choice Award and was listed by Forbes as one of the 40 most powerful people in comedy in 2019.

RAVI SINGH is a humanitarian (born in Singapore and of British Sikh origin).  He is the Founder of Khalsa Aid which is a UK-based humanitarian relief charity providing support around the world to victims of natural and man-made disasters such as floods, earthquakes, famine, and war.  The Khalsa Aid team is often one of the first on the scene to help distribute food, water, clothing, medical and sanitation supplies. They fund and build semi-permanent shelters, if needed – anything that’s required in those early days to save lives, reduce people’s immediate suffering, and help maintain their dignity.  Ravi saw the footage of the Kosovan refugees on the news and was inspired by one Sikhi ideology in particular – “Sarbat da Bhalla” meaning “well-being for all” – recognizing the humanity in us all and reaching out to those in need, regardless of race, religion, borders.

JAYSHREE ULLAL is a businesswoman (born March 27, 1961 in London, UK to an Indian family).  Jayashree spent her formative years in New Delhi, India. The current president and CEO of Arista Networks, Ullal is credited with the deployment of a transformational ethernet networking program. She is now one of America’s wealthiest female executives. Forbes named Ullal as one of the top five most influential people in the networking industry today.

INDIRA VARMA is an actress (born May 14, 1973, in Somerset, UK to an Indian father). Indira is best known for her role as Niobe of the Voreni in HBO’s Rome. Her first major role was in Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love – an Indian historical romance film by Deepa Mehta.  In the UK, she is better known as a versatile television artist and has appeared in several television serials including the all-time favourites Torchwood, Bones, and Game of Thrones that consist of comedy, horror, and drama to cater to a wide spectrum of audience.

MALALA YOUSAFZAI is an advocate for female education (born July 12, 1997 in the Swat District of Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Malala is Pashtun Muslim).  She is the youngest ever Nobel Prize laureate and a former blogger for BBC Urdu.  She is currently a student at Oxford University studying Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Lady Margaret Hall.

DETAILED BIOGRAPHIES OF THE HONOURABLE MENTIONS

TAN FRANCE is a fashion designer, television personality, and author (born April 20, 1983, in South Yorkshire, UK to Muslim Pakistani parents). Tan is most famous for being the fashion expert for the Netflix series Queer Eye. He became one of the very first openly gay South Asian men on a major show, and one of the first out gay Muslim men on western television. France has gone on to co-host a Netflix series Next in Fashion with Alexa Chung and released his memoir, Naturally Tan in 2019.

ARUNDHATI KATJU is a lawyer (born August 19, 1982, in Allahabad, India and MENAKA GURUSWAMY is a Senior Advocate (born November 27, 1974, in Hyderabad, India). Arundhati and Menaka became beacons of hope for the Indian LGBTQ+ community. Their perseverance and commitment led an entire community to a historic win by humanizing their struggles and giving them the freedom to love.  Arundhati and Menaka have helped take a giant step for LGBTQ+ rights in the world’s largest democracy by winning a fight against Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that decriminalized homosexuality.

ALOK VAID MENON is a writer, performance artist, and media personality (born July 1, 1991, in Texas, US to Malayali and Punjabi family).  Alok is gender non-conforming and transfeminine and uses singular they pronouns. As a mixed-media artist Alok uses poetry, prose, comedy, performance, lecture, fashion design, and portraiture to explore themes of gender, race, trauma, belonging, and the human condition. They are the author of Femme in Public (2017) and Beyond the Gender Binary (2020). In 2019 they were honored as one of NBC’s Pride 50 and Out Magazine’s OUT 100. They have presented their work at 500 venues in more than 40 countries.

DANNY PUDI is an actor, comedian, writer, producer, and director (born March 10, 1979, in Chicago, US to an Indian father). Danny is best known for portraying the pop culture-obsessed Abed on NBC’s show Community. He has received three nominations for the Critics’ Choice Television Award. Danny made his debut as a director with a short film called Untucked about Marquette’s legendary basketball uniforms for the ESPN 30 for 30 series.

RAGHURAM RAJAN is a widely respected economist (born February 3, 1963, in Bhopal, India to a Hindu family).  He is amongst the Top 10 Economists of the World, especially due to his foresight of the 2008 economic recession.  He was named by Time in its list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.

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MEDIA CONTACT

Alex Sangha MSM

Founder of Sher Vancouver

Cell:  604-842-7340

Email:  alexsangha@gmail.com (preferred method of contact)

To check out the previous lists from 2011 and 2015 go to:  https://www.shervancouver.com/press.html

Top 15 South Asian Role Models for 2015

 

 

Top 15 South Asian Role Models for 2015

  1. Waris Ahluwalia is an American designer and actor. He was born in Amritsar, Punjab, India. Waris is currently based in New York City. He hails from a Sikh family.
  2. Aziz Ansari is an American actor and comedian. He was born in Columbia, South Carolina. His family is Tamil Muslim from Tamil Nadu, India.
  3. Shabana Azmi is an Indian actress and a social and women’s rights activist. She was born in Hyderabad, India. She hails from a Muslim family.
  4. Mindy Kaling is an American actress, comedian, and writer. She was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Mindy has a Tamil father and a Bengali mother who are both Hindus.
  5. Aamir Khan is an Indian actor, producer, director, and screenwriter. He was born in Mumbai, India. Aamir hails from a Muslim family.
  6. Shaun Majumder is a Canadian comedian and actor. He was born in Burlington, Newfoundland. Shaun’s mother is a European Canadian from Newfoundland and his father is Bengali Hindu from West Bengal, India.
  7. Manny Malhotra is a Canadian hockey player with the Montreal Canadians. He was born in Mississauga, Ontario. Manny’s father was born in Lahore, British India (Pakistan) and his mother is French Canadian.
  8. Deepa Mehta is a Canadian Oscar-nominated film director and screenwriter. She was born in Amritsar, Punjab, India. Deepa was raised in a Hindu family.
  9. Michael Ondaatje is a Canadian novelist and poet. He was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Michael is of Burgher ancestry which is a Eurasian ethnic group in Sri Lanka.
  10. Russell Peters is a Canadian comedian and actor. He was born in Toronto, Ontario. Russell is Catholic and Ango-Indian descent.
  11. Lisa Ray is a Canadian actress, model, and social activist. She was born in Toronto, Ontario. Lisa has a Bengali Hindu father and a Polish mother.
  12. Sugar Sammy is a Canadian comedian, actor, writer, and producer. He is from Montreal, Quebec. Sugar is of Punjabi descent. He often uses English, French, Punjabi, and Hindi in his stand-up routine.
  13. Vandana Shiva is an Indian environmental activist and anti-globalization author. She was born in Dehradun which is the capital city of the state of Uttarakhand in the northern part of India. Vandana is from a Hindu family.
  14. Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani advocate for female education and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate. She was born in the Swat District of Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Malala is a Pashtun Muslim.
  15. Muhammad Yunus is a Bangladeshi social entrepreneur, banker, and economist. He received the Nobel Peace Prize for pioneering microcredit and microfinance for the poor. He was born in the village of Bathua in Bangladesh. Muhammad is a Muslim.

Oh yes and honourable mention goes to the British South Asians from across the pond—Salman Rushdie, Sir Ben Kingsley, Jay Sean, and Zayn Malik—and of course the American film director, screenwriter, and producer who is breaking down barriers in Hollywood, M. Night Shyamalan.

 

Top 15 South Asian Role Models for 2011

 

Top 15 South Asian Role Models for 2011

 

  1. Aishwarya Rai– Bollywood actress and former Miss World

 

  1. Deepak Chopra– Personality development and health author

 

  1. Freddie Mercury– Lead singer of Queen

 

  1. Frieda Pinto– Indian actress

 

  1. Guru Nanak– Founder of Sikhism

 

  1. Jay Sean– British singer

 

  1. John Abraham– Bollywood actor

 

  1. Lakshmi Mittal– The richest man in Europe

 

  1. Mahatma Gandhi– Helped lead India to independence

 

  1. Norah Jones– Grammy award-winning singer

 

  1. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan– Pakistani singer

 

  1. Salman Rushdie– British author

 

  1. Sanjay Gupta– CNN Senior Medical Correspondent

 

  1. Siddhartha Gautama– Founder of Buddhism

 

  1. Sir Ben Kingsley– British actor

 

As a honourable mention I would like to include Manmohan Singh, one of India’s best Prime Ministers, and Muhammad Yunus, banker to the poor and Nobel prize winner.

 

Sher Vancouver Founder Alex Sangha with the Governor General of Canada Julie Payette at Rideau Hall in Ottawa

Presentation of Honours

MR. AMAR ALEX SANGHA, M.S.M.