November 5, 2010
tive categories for awards in Best Short Film and Best Documentary, followed by a Q&A session with the filmmakers. The celebrations then moved to the New York Public Library where a grand gala ended the Festival. India's Minister of State for External Affairs, Preneet Kaur, who was to be chief guest at the gala, could not make it to the event due to a family emergency. She however, complimented the Sikh Art and Film Foundation for their excellent accomplishment in achieving their mission and raising awareness about Sikhism in a video message. Her participation and encouragement was evident in her presence during the first two days of the event. At the event Tarlochan Singh, Member of Parliament, awarded Raj Babbar for his contribution in Vision. Padamshree honoree Vikramjit Sahney was awarded by Indian Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri, for his contribution in Leadership. Arpana Caur was awarded for her contribution in Art by the Consul General of India, Ambassador Prabhu Dayal.
Raj Babbar, Tejinder SIngh Bindra and Michael Singh at the premiere
India Post News Service
NEW YORK: The 7th Annual Sikh Film Festival and Heritage gala was a high point on the Indian American cultural scene in New York City with festivities and celebration spanning over 3 days, Oct 21-23. People from all walks of life from all over the US and abroad participated in the grand event and left with the experience of enriched knowledge through films. The Festival started with D S Jaspal's eye opening photographic exhibition at the Indian Consulate titled - "Tryst with Trees". The exhibition was of sacred Sikh shrines commemorated by the names of trees. A feature session on the second day followed the glitterati of celebrities walking the red carpet. The session showcased three films - a premiere of Vikas Khanna's "Holy Kitchens - A true business"; the premiere of "Harvest of Grief"; and "The Rebel Queen". At the Q&A session with the filmmakers after the movies Vikas Khanna said his movie "is the work of love and made not only to increase knowledge about Sikhism but as a message to his mother about his love for Amritsar - his birthplace." For Amrita Basu and Rekha Basu it was voicing their mother, Rasil Basu's message to the world through the "Harvest of Grief". Both reiterated the deepening experience that transformed them completely while making the movie and also moved the government to look
Arpana Caur and Ajay Banga in front of Arpana's "Sachcha Sauda"
into the plight of farmers in Punjab more seriously. Tejinder Singh Bindra, President of The Sikh Art and Film Foundation, took this in-
models posing as her existed. Applauding the filmmakers on the occasion, actor/producer/parliamentarian Raj Babbar said "I must congratulate all the filmmakers for their
Sukhbir performing at the Gala while the audience moves to his beat
stance to stress how a "picture equals a thousand words" and can influence decisions towards the benefit of a community. The biggest challenge for Michael Singh, the filmmaker of "The Rebel Queen", was to work on a film about Maharani Jindan, of whom no visuals apart from portraits of
choice of subjects and the courage they have exhibited in making these films." The after party that followed quickly lightened the solemn mood of the audience with the beat of throbbing music, dance and entertainment. The concluding day was a completely sold out event that showcased films in competi-
A live auction saw immense excitement and participation from the guests. Ajay Banga, CEO of MasterCard, won the bid to Arpana Caur's "Sachcha Sauda" at $16,000 and faithfully paid for it with his MasterCard The esteemed panel of judges comprised Amrita Basu, Rekha Basu, Dr. Balbinder S. Bhogal, Aseem Chhabra, Dr. Narinder Singh Kapany, Robert Lupone, Vicki Mabray, IJ Singh and Safina Uberoi. The coveted Best Documentary award went to "Khanabadosh" while "Nothing Is Impossible" won the Best Short Film award. The judges, however, made a special mention to "Riding the Tiger" under the category of shorts. A live auction later saw immense excitement and participation from the guests. Ajay Banga, CEO of MasterCard, won the bid to Arpana Caur's "Sachcha Sauda" at $16,000 and faithfully paid for it with his MasterCard. A cricket bat signed by the Indian cricket team was auctioned for $11,500, half the proceeds of which went to the charity 'Khushi'. The Prince of Bhangra, Sukhbir's performance at the gala shook the dance floor that saw the tapping feet of Sikhs and Americans all the same.