SPINNING WHEEL FILM FESTIVAL- HOLLYWOOD
celebrates the stories of Sikhs worldwide
Friday, November 14 through Sunday, November 16
SWFF-Hollywood showcased Sikh Art and Film at the Writer’s
Guild Theatre in Beverly Hills.
Los Angeles, Nov. 18, 2008
Minu Singh/ Gary Singh
On Friday, Nov. 14, over 750 attendees filed through the red carpet
at the Writer’s Guild Theatre. Celebrities from Hollywood
and from across the globe filled the high profile sold out event.
Filmmakers, community supporters, critics, and media attended the
Maharaja Maharani formal event which showcased Sikh Art, Film, Food,
Jewelry, and Culture. Ravin Kaur Kohli, SWFF Hollywood Chair, welcomed
the excited attendees as the glamorous night continued with the
launch of Sikhpoint 2009 Calendar.
Heritage Awards were presented to scholars and artists that have
contributed significantly to Sikh art and research: Julius Bryant,
Michael O’Keefe from the British Library have been a great
resource for research on Sikh History, Jagdip Jagpal for his contribution
to the Wallace Collection, Sarinjit Bahia for his contribution to
World War I Sikh History of France, Amrit Singh and Rabinder Singh
(SinghTwins) for illuminating Sikh art in public and private houses,
Gurprit Basran for his invaluable contribution to the Anglo Sikh
Heritage Trail, and Amarjit Khalra for his involvement in the Spirit
Creative Media Awards were presented to following Filmmakers in
recognition of their outstanding work: Jaswinder Singh, Future Computing
India/ Sikhpoint for Saka Sirhind, Raj Singh for Pantee 35, Amrit
and Rabindra Singh for The Making of Liverpool, Sandeep Singh for
Cultural Safari, Angad Singh for Roots and Wings, Paul Dhillon for
Bhangra Generation and Sweet Amerika, Michael Singh for World Premier
Prisoner’s Song, Minu Singh for world premier documentary
Chillianwala (Second Anglo-Sikh War 1849), Baljit Sangra for Warrior
Boyz ,and Greg Cote for Kabaddi Cops.
Three films were screened for this evening: Sikhs in America, American
Made, and the North American Premier of Unraveling. The program
concluded with dessert reception and distribution of the Sikhpoint
2009 Calendars. Minu Singh’s self titled debut album presented
as a gift to all the attendees received great reviews. This Punjabi
Music album is also available on iTunes under the artist name “Minu
The Official Spinning Wheel Film Festival Hollywood 2008.
Over 2,000 people attended the all-day event. The program had four
clusters and seventeen films. Filmmakers, community members, volunteers,
and critics congregated to watch the documentary and feature films.
Question and Answer sessions after each cluster gave attendees an
opportunity to quiz the filmmakers about their work.
For the first time, the Spinning Wheel Film Festival Hollywood 2008
showcased Sikh Art lectures. Despite the light attendance due to
the California wild fires and freeway blockade, it was still a well
attended all-day event. Sarinjit Singh showcased his immense knowledge
of the Anglo-Sikh Wars. He highlighted the tumultuous period between
1839 and 1849. The Singh Twins, Amrit and Rabinder Singh, shared
some of their most well-known paintings housed in major public collections
around Britain. One of their collections included The Iqbalnama
Series which focused on the Scottish Sikh Relations figure. Julius
Bryant lectured about the life of Maharajah Duleep Singh by examining
fifteen images of his lifestyle.
In cluster six, Jagdip Jagpal discussed the Wallace Collection
of Sikh Arms and Armour. Harbinder Singh of Anglo-Sikh Heritage
Trail lectured on the Epic Battle of Saragarhi (1897). This profound
story of unprecedented bravery of a handful of Sikh soldiers left
a lasting and profound effect on the audience. Michael O’Keefe’s
lecture gave overview of Sikh artifacts and paintings at the British
Cluster seven, the first of its kind, created a platform dedicated
to showcasing Sikhs in the Visual, Audio, and Entertainment Industries.
Among the panel were Guru Singh an actor and director, Jagmeet Singh
a MC and Hip Hop Musician, Jas Ahluwalia a professional Tabla player,
Laura Kim an executive in the entertainment industry, Mandeep Sethi
a Hip Hop musician, Minu Singh a singer and filmmaker, The SinghTwins
well renowned artists, Sri Kartar Kaur Khalsa an artist of Sikh
and non-Sikh art, and Tanya Moni an Artist. During this cluster
attendees were excited about being able to interact with the panel
in a discussion and Q/A. Mandeep Sethi, Jagmeet Singh, Jas Ahluwalia
and Gunjiv Singh Bhasin performed for the audience. Mandeep and
Jagmeet rapped in English, while Gunjiv rapped in Punjabi. After
the clusters were over, A private VIP Dinner was held by Dr. Marwah
and his wife. At this event the SWFF-Hollywood 2008 concluded with
a fun filled night of socializing and recognition of more filmmakers
and artists. For the next SWFF- Hollywood, which will be the sixth
year of SWFF- Hollywood, you can expect the same platform for Artists
and Filmmakers to unite, on an even larger scale. SWFF celebrates
the stories of Sikhs worldwide, and brings diverse interpretations
of their culture, identity, and history to the screen.