Sikh Film Fest 2010 Presents New Documentaries

September 23, 2010 – The Sikh Art and Film Foundation will present its Seventh Annual Sikh Film Festival on October 22-23, 2010. The Sikh Film Festival will offer a range of 12 films, all documentaries in English or in Punjabi with English subtitles, featuring Sikh stories from across the globe, from both established and emerging filmmakers. The two-day event will be held Friday and Saturday, October 22 and 23, at Asia Society and Museum, 725 Park Avenue at 70th Street in New York, with an October 23 evening gala and awards ceremony closing the festival at the New York Public Library in Bryant Park. 

The October 22 premiere evening at Asia Society will present three films—including a world premiere and North American premiere—from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Featured is the World Premiere of a new documentary, “Holy Kitchens: A True Business,” directed by Dalit Singh, produced by Andrew Blackmore and Dobbyn Webberz, and featuring celebrity chef, restaurateur and food writer Vikas Khanna. “Holy Kitchens: A True Business” is about the Sikh religious tenet of providing free food (Langar) through its kitchen temples, to all regardless of their belief or religion. The film provides a historical perspective of the origin of Sikhism. The festival will also present the North American premiere of “Harvest of Grief,” directed by Anwar Jamal and produced by Rasil Singh Basu, a documentary that deals with a farmer’s suicide in Sangrur in south Punjab. The film details the alarming agricultural scenario in Punjab that has been caused by a chain of disruptive historical events and myopic government policies. Closing the trio of films on Friday is The Rebel Queen, directed by Michael Singh, a film that deals with how the daughter of an Indian dog kennel, Maharani Jindan, wife of one Maharajah and mother of another, owner almost brought the British Empire to its knees, and the ensuing ruthless propaganda to scramble back and fight her.  

Following the triple feature on October 22nd, an after-party will take place from 10:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. at the Garden Court, Asia Society.

On Saturday, October 23, 2010, the Festival will showcase new short films from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and documentaries from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m at Asia Society.  Among the movies that will be shown are “Nothing is Impossible,” “Cancer Express,” “Riding the Tiger” and “Why? We are Killing Our Daughters.”

The two-day Sikh Film Festival will close October 23 at 7pm with the Sikh Art and Film Foundation's annual Heritage Gala at the New York Public Library at Bryant Park. The evening will celebrate the rich heritage, traditions and culture of the Sikhs with a star-studded evening of dance, art exhibition and auction, and live performances by Bhangra sensation Sukhbir and Oscar performing choreographer Rujata. Esteemed actor and Member of Indian Parlament Raj Babbar, entrepreneur and educator Shri Vikramit S. Sahney and renowned artist Aparna Caur will also receive Sikh Heritage Awards at this event.

At the gala, winning films in the category of Best Short Film and Best Documentary will be recognized with cash prizes totaling $15,000. Judging the films in competition are distinguished jurors Dr. Narinder S. Kapany (Indian born American physicist, widely acknowledged as the father of optical fiber), Robert Lupone (renowned American actor and artistic director both on stage, film and television) and Vicki Mabrey (correspondent for ABC News' "Nightline”). 

Announcing the 2010 Festival and Gala, Mr. Tejinder S. Bindra, President of the Sikh Art and Film Foundation, said “I am humbled with the encouragement and overwhelming response we are getting for our festival year after year. At only the seventh year of its inception the Sikh Film Festival has grown phenomenally. I feel much pride in witnessing the interest of young Sikhs in our culture and their enthusiasm in participating in this event.” He went on to add, “I hope they are inspired by our tradition and culture, and continue to make us proud Sikhs in society.”