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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 Born movement.

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 Singh.”

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 Library London.

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.





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