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Indianapolis, Nov. 24, 2010
Kanwal Prakash Singh

The Sikh Arts and Film Festival (SAFF) at the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts: Chapman University in Orange, California reminded us how far the Sikh American community has come in recent decades in its efforts to showcase the Sikh arts, culture, and creativity in the U.S. and around the world. Organized by SikhLens, an exciting and visionary project of Future Computing Solutions, Inc. (FCSI) and its founder Sardar Bicky Singh, the SAFF is dedicated to celebrating Sikh culture. In addition to FCSI, this year’s Festival (November 19-21) was sponsored by many prominent organizations, businesses, and patrons that included Chapman University Dodge College, Kaur Foundation, U.S. Department of Justice, Fairmont Private Schools, and many others.

A red carpet warm welcome by beautifully dressed hosts and fit for the Maharajas and Maharanis (the requested dress code for the evening) greeted each guest to the Friday night’s Gala celebration at the entrance to Dodge College, the venue of the SAFF. The reception area was buzzing with excitement and elegantly dressed guests from around the country and beyond greeting old friends and making new aquintances, enjoying the artwork of the featured artist, KP Singh of Indiana and other special displays of Sikh creative artists and artisans.

Many distinguished guests and accomplished artists, authors, educators, filmmakers, philanthropists, businessmen, and represntatives of faith traditions had come for the SAFF from around the USA and abroad. Among them were the Sikh icon, Dr. Amarjit Singh Marwah; Sardar Mohinder Singh, Editor of India Journal; The SinghTwins from UK; author Bobby Singh; film actors: Agam Darshi, Guru Singh, Balwinder Johal, Angad Bhai; and Vic Sarin, the director of the feature film Partition; Harleen Singh, Punjabi folksinger; Mirin Kaur, President of Kaur Foundation and Janice Singh, designer of the Sikh Studies curriculum for Middle and High School students; and scores of prominent personalities. Sardar Bicky Singh, the spirit, visionary, and driving force behind the SAFF, welcomed the multi-generational and multicultural gathering of several hundred. Several awards were presented for outstanding achievements.

The entire weekend was filled with fun and feasting, opportunities to learn, and invitations to participate and make new friends. Besides a whole variety of films on many subjects: Sikh faith, history, cultural heritage, significant events, and Sikh diaspora concerns and achievements were presented in several clusters throughout the weekend in the main auditorium at the Dodge College Film School. The feature Festival film Partition about the Partition of India in 1947 written and directed by Vic Sarin offered a moving insight into the lives of two young people brought together and then pulled asunder by the religious and cultural divides that unfortunately could not be overcome in the end. The movie about the 99-year old gentle Sardar and beloved marathon runner, Fauja Singh of UK, Nothing Is Impossible, directed by Nina Duttaroy had some very important lessons for all of us. The documentary Wagha directed by Supriyo Sen about the ceremonial festivities at the Indo-Pakistan border witnessed by thousands of Indians and Pakistanis on their respective sides of the Wagha border was a pure delight and a great example of how people of different cultures and communities can find fun and excitement in places that one may least expect. For one brief moment there seemed to be no cultural divide separating the two nations.

Bobby Singh signed copies of his book: The Lions Firanghies; KP Singh signed copies of his book: The Art and Spirit of KP Singh ~ Selected Drawings and Writings and copies of the 2011 Sikhpoint Interfaith Calendar for all the guests. People enjoyed the exhibit of the featured artist KP Singh and the creative jewelry designs of Niranjan Singh Khalsa and displays of the breathtaking Golden Temple replica in glass and gold, crystal kirpans with filigreed metal handles, and other items inspired by Sikh themes.

A national Sikh Studies Initiative already launched and successfully implemeted in several counties in Maryland and Virginia, presented by the Kaur Foundation of Washington D.C., was introduced to the gathering by Sardarnis Mirin Kaur and Janice Singh who prepared the Sikh Studies curriculum for the Kaur Foundation. The State of California Education Board has accepted the Sikh Studies Program in principle, and once implemented, it will serve over 6.5 million children at the elementary, middle, and high school level. Over one hundred people participated in the workshop led by Mirin, Janice, and Sangeeta Luthra. This would be the single most important initiative of the Sikh American community in the US with the goal of dispelling prejudice and unfounded streotypes, and harrassment of Sikh children in the U.S. schools. We can only imagine the longterm impact of this cultural education.

The excitement, energy, and talents of young Sikh Americans was evident everywhere. What we witnessed, discussed, and experienced in the various forums, such as “The Creative Sikhs,” made us proud and very hopeful about our future as Sikh Americans. New friendships and collaborative ideas were formed and unexpected family connections were discovered. Formidable challenges remain, and many unexplored opportunities await us as we adjust to life and opportunities, expectations, and responsibilies of our new environment. Each of us felt greately enriched and carried home some valuable ideas for serious pursuit.

It was reassuring to see young dedicated volunteers, celebrated patrons, generous sponsors, and American friends ready to support and assist in taking the Sikh arts, culture, and creativity to the next level and earn a rightful place for our heritage and promise as fellow Americans. Friends like Sardar Bicky with their quiet passion, organizational skills, and enormous generosity set an example and challenge for all of us to do our part in advancing ideas that benefit the collective interests of all Americans and humanity. We all have a personal stake in the preservation, advancement, and integration of Sikh arts and culture into the national and international cultural and spiritual fabric. We also know great ideas need nurturing. Friends at many levels and in the fields of education, arts, law-enforcement, business and civic leadership, foundations, interfaith community, and media are vital for success. We have to do the heavy lifting with imagination, innovation, dedication, and with Sutguru’s blessing. Indianapolis, Indiana USA November 24, 2010


Annual Sikh Art & Film Festival on November 19-21 in Orange, CA

Los Angeles, Oct 30, 2010
Gary Singh/S.Singh

There's a reason why NRIs who attend the Annual Sikh Art & Film Festival are so enthusiastic. Each year, the organizers invite artists from across the country and around the globe to perform arts, culture, and spirit with colorful turbans, jeweled dresses as Maharaja & Maharani attire

This year, Annual Sikh Art and Film Festival (SAFF) to be held from November 19th-21st, 2010 at the prestigious Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University in Orange, CA. SAFF provides a venue for artists to present their “Sikhcentric” films, art, and music to the broader community with the intent of showcasing their talents and generating increased Sikh awareness.

The Festival begins Friday, November 19th with a red-carpet Opening Night beginning at beginning at 7:30 pm. Guests will be welcomed to the festival by a set of short films, live entertainment, and the premiere of the 2011 SikhPoint Calendar. A delectable dessert and dancing reception will conclude the night.

A youth-focused cluster will start off the Saturday events. This cluster focuses on films and live book readings intended to incite interest and inspire youth, while teaching about Sikh history. The focus then turns to creative Sikhs in the Visual, Audio and Entertainment Industries. Hear their stories, watch and listen to their craft, and interact with and support Sikhs breaking ground in these unique areas. Also introducing for the first time an interactive segment on "Introduction to Film-making,"to demystify the film-making process. Rounding out the day’s events are a series of short films featuring a wide variety of genres, an eclectic mix of filmmakers, and a unique blend of topics, including special selections from the SikhNet Youth Online Film Festival. Saturday evening’s events will be kicked off by a heart-pounding music video, which will serve as a prelude to the 2010 SAFF feature film. After a day filled with Sikh-centric arts, the festival is hosting a “Dance the Night Away” after party for festival attendees at Dodge College.

Sunday’s events start with an international flavor, with an emphasis on Sikh films and artists from all over the world. The concluding cluster of the festival will touch upon Social Issues within the Sikh Diaspora. This segment is aimed to bring upon a meaningful and insightful look into the surroundings of the Sikh Community today.

All festival events will be taking place at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts in Orange, CA.

SikhLens seeks to provide an outlet for sharing Sikh heritage and culture with the rest of the world by creating awareness for work that is “Sikh-centric,” showcasing our talent, and instilling pride in our community.

SikhLens seeks work from artists in a variety of fields, including but not limited to movies, books, music, and art. It creates appropriate avenues for this work to be shared with the rest of the world with the aim of getting more exposure for the presenters; and at the same time creating awareness about Sikhs. This will result in a better understanding of Sikh culture and values in a way that is pure and unbiased.

If you have any questions/comments, feel free to contact Asees Kaur Singh for the Sikh Arts and Film Festival at For tickets and more information, visit Get your tickets today as seats are limited!!

Books to be Launched at SAFF 2010

KP Singh's Book - The ART and SPIRIT of K.P. SINGH

Title: The ART and SPIRIT of K.P. SINGH
Selected Drawings and Writings
By K.P. Singh

This coffee-table volume was released nationally in October, 2003 by Guild Press Emmis Publishing. The Introduction to this book is written by the distinguished U.S. Senator Richard G. Lugar of Indiana. The book offers over 200 pen and ink drawings and a few photographs of historic and architectural sites and places. The images include Indiana courthouses, colleges, scenes, and historic and cultural treasures, sacred “cathedrals”, architectural landmarks, and monuments from many places around the world.

The text touches many facets of human spirit and experience. The essays and poems invite the reader to enjoy, learn, explore, preserve, enhance, and appreciate the world and wisdom of ages in all its colorful richness and diversity, wonder and mystery, and tradition and creativity. The book offers an attractive presentation of images and writings in nine broad sections.
The writings are universal in nature and spirit, offering rich imagery, reflections, introspection, and personal prayers, and an enthusiastic celebration of the universal threads that transcend and bridge all humanity. A great effort is made to make this book meaningful for all ages, genders, and communities.

Many may find echoes of their own inspirations and inner stirrings mirrored in the writings; others may see rich spectrums of cultures and creativity in the architectural images. The book is a window to my soul, a tribute to the human spirit. The focus of this book is to raise awareness about matters of spirit and preservation of our collective architectural heritage. I hope that this book will enrich and strengthen your commitments, ideas, and ideals that best reflect your spirit.

This book is a unique gift for friends, colleagues, public officials, fundraising events, schools, and libraries. The book offers many interesting images from around the world and prayerful meditations and perspectives about life and spirit.

Singh is an artist whose reputation extends far beyond the state of Indiana. His intricate, rapturous pen and ink drawings, which have the quality of nineteenth centurgy engravings, are of famous buildings from India to Illinois. Critics have praised him: tens of thousands of admirers have his drawings of well known colleges and universities, church and public buildings from around the world. Now for the first time, he has chosen the best of his work for a large format, four-color celebration of much of his collection. His own meditations from published and unpublished works accompany the drawings and some Singh photos that deepen the spiritual dimensions of this remarakable book.– Nancy Baxter, Editor Guild Press



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