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I was thrilled to meet Kavi Raz and Inder Dadlani during the two showings of the movie, "The Gold Bracelet." I was happy to have had the opportunity to introduce the movie (see attached) at the Theatre and recommend "The Gold Bracelet" as a landmark movie produced by K.R. Films Hollywood with a timely message for Hoosiers and all Americans.

Congratulations to the wonderful Director Kavi Raz and cast of "The Gold Bracelet" : Kavi Raz (as Arjun Singh), Archana Puran Singh (as Baljit), Mehrunissa Hassan (as Simrun) Sonny Mandal (as Bobby), Arsh Singh (as Ranjit), Ari Barak (as Mirza), Jose Whipp (as Mel Harris) and others for their great performances in the movie. Each of the major characters gave an outstanding account of their acting skills and spirit: Bobby has an emerging star power; Beautiful Simrun and Baljit were absolutely outstanding; Bobby has an emerging star power; Ranjit played his difficult role with admirable strength; and Arjun, was simply masterful in his role as the father with an American heart and a Punjabi soul. One could not help but fall
in love with Arjun and his character, charm, and humanity.

The recently-released movie has already won some impressive accolades and important film awards at several international film festivals ( including Audience Choice Award as the "Best Feature Film" at Cinequest Film Festival 2006 and The PalmBeach International Film Festival) and hopefully will be shown in theatres across the country in the near future and earn its rightful place among the movies that speak to our heart and conscience, and touch our soul in some profound way.

The movie "The Gold Bracelet" is going to succeed on its own momentum and message and for offering an emotional jolt to the viewers in America and around the world as it introduces another face of our collective culture and human spirit. The tragedy and sadness portayed in the movie is beautifully cushioned in deep sensitivity, humor, passion, colorful insights into Punjabi traditions, culture, and folklore. The use of Punjabi language in dialogues is charming and often self-revealing as to the concern and spirit of the moment. Some viewers might see some distant echoes of simliar themes successfully
introduced in the recent movies like "Bend It Like Beckham," "Moonsoon Wedding," "Bride And Prejudice," and "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," yet I think that "The Gold Bracelet" has a tug and pull of its own because of the setting and
background of the horrific events of 9/11. The story-line does not end at the tragedy, oftershock or bitterness but surprises us with the resilience and triumph of the human spirit and with a prayerful hope for a better beginning for all the immigrant family and for all Americans.

The movie while offering entertainment, a window to the Punjabi culture, and frequent challenges of a family it tries to transplant and create a place for itself in the American cultural landscape, leaves some lasting resonance and lessons: to make an effort to know, understand, appreciate, and celebrate our collective goodness, decency, and the tapestry of cultures and to take needed steps to preserve and assure its rightful place and sanctity.

I can see some very constructive fall out from this movie and other thoughtful projects of this nature: class discussions, interfaith forums, teaching materials, community dialogues, cultural travel and visits to local places of worship, interfacing with ethnic communities at multi-cultural and festive celebrations, and of course a lot of personal research at the internet search engines to further enrich our understanding of the themes highlighted by "The Gold Bracelet" and other recent events.

"The Gold Bracelet" offered a unique window (but we must remember that culture and spirit even of the same community are not a monolith, it has many variables; it has many diverse and colorful textures) to the culture and creativity,
heritage and history; invited us to know the spirit of our American neighbors who live among us, love this nation and are transplanting their hopes and dreams, and find acceptance and a sense of belonging here.

Together the selected films screened at the annual International Film Festivals showcase the trends and state of the visual arts, existing and emerging cultural, spiritual, and social textures here and in far away lands, and events that are shaping our world. The Indianapolis International Film Festival offered 117 films over four days.

The colorful and emotionally charged movie "The Gold Bracelet," with its excellent portrayals, direction, and cultural insights offered each of us something to ponder; left behind a lasting impact and memory of an unfortunate tragedy when we disregarded, stereotyped, mistakenly identified Sikh Americans and their origin, faith, and ethnicity; and misunderstood their absolute loyalty and commitment to their new "home" in America. Unfortunately, in ignorance and prejudice, someone shattered the world of some innocent families and violated their sacred rights as Americans. On the other hand, we found a great cause for celebration: enormous joy and strength, wonderful kinships and friendships, and discovery of deep connections and a sense of mutual belonging by learning about each other.

The Film Festivals are another important gift to communities to enrich the culture and spirit of its people, dispel unfounded ignorance, and bring in renewed hope, light, and new perpectives to celebrate our common humanity and intertwined destiny. I hope that all Americans and especially Asian-Americans will see this movie, "The Gold Bracelet" and others that spotlight some important facets of their lives as they transplant their hopes, dreams, and cultures and mainstream their energy and talents; and for valuable lessons and challenges as we discover our true place in societies that are their new home.

As the new pioneers to these lands, we are at a unimagined threshold. We must recognize the need and urgency to interface ideas and ideals to shape a new tomorrow for generations yet to come. It all begins with getting involved and learning about each other; dispelling our own ignorance and striving for better understanding of the cultural, spiritual, and societal
fabric and framework that surround us. We must discover ways to connect across the fence, in a town square, and at events that concern our common welfare. We have a responsibility and stake to create an environment where we in
solidarity tackle our problems and to walk in friendship across bridges that we build together as Americans. Understanding about and interest in our emerging universe will not happen in a darked theatre but by expanding and nurturing
the light that we bring to this effort from all kinds of sources and experiences and by making it a continuing universal commitment. Often books, films, theatres, and friendly initiatives and encounters lead us to the "light."

Kanwal Prakash "KP" Singh
Indianapolis, Indiana USA

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