Sikhlens, The World’s Premier Sikh Film Festival, 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.

Keep your eyes opens for more news on Sikhlens: Sikh Arts & Film Festival coming November 17-19, 2017.

About Sikhlens

When the Sikhlens Foundation was founded over 25+ years, it focused on art, heritage calendars, lectures, and interfaith outreach programs. .  Post 9/11 Sikhlens inaugurated a film festival to increase the awareness of Sikhs amongst mainstream Americans. For the last seven years the foundation has collaborated extensively with Chapman University. Our first involvement was with the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts.

Through “Project S”, (“S” stands for “Sikhi”) undergraduate film students travel abroad to film six to eight Sikh-themed films. “Project S” is a two semester course, plus the summer in between. The Spring Semester is focused on pre-production, Summer Semester involves on site filming, and Fall Semester involves post production. The “Project S” courses are taught by Dodge faculty and provide the student with course credit. It is a unique program – no other campus has anything like it. The classes have previously gone to Thailand, Malawi, and the UK. The work-in-progress films are shown at our film festival in November and final versions were completed and screened on the Chapman campus in December.

An ancillary program to “Project S” is “Destination S”. This program involves Dodge graduate film students and alumni. They have traveled to various destinations around the world–India, Canada, Africa, and various European locations, to film Sikh-themed films. Professor Jeff Swimmer has accompanied the “Destination S” program to Nepal, Malaysia, and the UK. Through our collaboration with Dodge we are now providing Digital Voice training for our youth, during which they learn the basics of filmmaking.

As part of film festival programming we became involved with the Leatherby Libraries.  Sikhlens collaborates with the Chapman Libraries in showcasing our heritage by utilizing their facilities and programs for exhibitions and lectures. Our annual film festival is also the launch of a 120 day Sikh exhibition open to the public at the Leatherby Libraries. Last year’s exhibit highlighted the life of Dr. Bhagat Singh Thind (Dr. Ji), known as the first Sikh from America to join the US Army during WWI and then winning the fight to become a US citizen. Previous exhibits included “The Great Wars-Never Forgotten 1984” and “The Last King”. This year’s exhibit is entitled “Sikh Turban and Identity”. The exhibitions are seen by thousands of students coming to study in the library. Books, paintings, artifacts, and historical anecdotes are included in these fascinating exhibits. After their conclusion at Chapman University, the exhibit travels on loan to other institutions before returning to the Library’s permanent collection. We are working to expand permanent Sikh collections with books, artifacts, and private and antiquarian collections.

Last year’s Opening Night also featured the ribbon cutting of the Sikh Story room in the Leatherby Libraries. It is now a permanent room where students can meet, study and be educated by Sikh stories. There is even a display that indicates the gurdwaras in the area and advises visitors on how they can arrange a visit. This “study room” concept has been pioneered by Chapman University.

The Opening Night dinner of the film festival is hosted at the Fish Interfaith Center. Also in conjunction with our Sikhlens Foundation, the Center hosts the University’s annual Vaisakhi Celebration (Punjabi New Year) in April. Other theology based events that we have been involved with include sponsoring the attendance of six students at the World Religion Conference in Salt Lake City. Langar (free meal) services are held at Fish four times a year. Lectures are also held throughout the year. This January we subsidized a sixteen-day trip to India where Chapman students studied Religions of India, with a focus on Sikhism. This interfaith trip will now become an annual event.

Our most recent involvement has been with the Center of Performing Arts (COPA). Sikhlens sponsored a concert at the Musco Center for the Arts last November as part of our annual film festival. Through this involvement, it is our goal to sponsor a Performing Arts scholarship in conjunction with COPA. This scholarship would provide a student the opportunity to learn about Sikh music and performing arts.

All of our programs have met with much enthusiasm and success. We continue to move closer to our goal of awareness of Sikhs amongst mainstream Americans by exposing them to our unique heritage.

Festival Schedule

The content, selections, and schedule subject to change without notice.

november, 2017

17nov6:30 pm10:00 pmOpening Night - Kids Animation Workshop6:30 PM to 10:00 PM

17nov6:30 pm10:00 pmOpening Night - TIGER6:30 PM to 10:00 PM

18nov10:00 am12:15 pmYouth Centric - Theater 110:00 AM to 12:15 PM

18nov10:00 am12:15 pmSikhs in History - Theater 210:00 AM to 12:15 PM

18nov1:20 pm2:20 pmCreative Sikhs - Theater 11:20 PM TO 2:20 PM

18nov1:30 pm3:30 pmSpecial Screening: The Black Prince - Theater 21:30 PM to 3:30 PM

18nov2:30 pm3:30 pmKids Workshop II2:30 PM to 3:30 PM

18nov2:30 pm3:30 pmSikhlens: Defense Directive - Theater 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM

18nov4:00 pm6:00 pmShort Films Session I - Theater 14:00 PM to 6:00 PM

18nov4:00 pm6:00 pmSikhlens: Destination S and Project S Films - Theater 24:00 PM to 6:00 PM

18nov4:00 pm6:00 pmKids Workshop III4:00 PM to 6:00 PM

18nov7:30 pm9:30 pmThe Black Prince - Theater 17:30 PM to 9:30 PM

18nov7:30 pm9:30 pmLahoriye - Theater 27:30 PM to 9:30 PM

19nov10:30 am12:30 pmShort Films Session II - Theater 110:30 AM to 12:30 PM

19nov10:30 am12:30 pmSikhs Across the World - Theater 210:30 AM to 12:30 PM

19nov1:30 pm3:30 pmSocial Issues - Theater 21:30 AM to 3:30 PM

19nov1:30 pm3:30 pmPanthic Digital Voice - Theater 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM

19nov4:30 pm6:30 pmRabb Da Radio - Theater 14:30 AM to 6:30 PM

19nov4:30 pm6:30 pmKids Art Workshop IV4:30 PM to 6:30 PM

19nov4:30 pm6:30 pmSardar Mohammad - Theater 24:30 AM to 6:30 PM


Platinum Sponsors


Gold Sponsors



Opening Night (Friday Only)

Dodge College of Film and Media Arts – Chapman University
283 N. Cypress St.
Orange, CA 92866

Website: Dodge College – Chapman University

Saturday and Sunday

The Frida Cinema
305 E. 4th Street
Santa Ana, CA 92701

Website: The Frida Cinema

Hotel Accommodations

Ayres Hotel Anaheim

2550 E Katella Ave
Anaheim, CA 92806

Group Name:  SAFF Film Festival
Group Code:  SAFF17
Arrival Date:  Nov 16-17, 2017
Departure Date:  Nov 20-17, 2017
Cut-Off Date: Oct 23-2017

Group Booking Link: https://reservations.travelclick.com/12627?Adults=A&Children=C&rateplanID=2415785

Special Rates

Single Occupancy – $139.00
Double Occupancy – $149.00
Std. Qn/Qn – $149.00
Rates are subject to Applicable Taxes; Tax Currently at 15.24 % + Tourism Fee Currently at 2%.  Rates include breakfast, parking, and high speed internet access.

Opening Night Tickets


Date: November 17, 2017

Start Time: 7:00 pm

IMDB: Link

Screening Location: Dodge College Of Film & Media Arts

Early Bird Price: $20

Pre-Sale Bird Price: $30

At the Door Price: $50

Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them

Kids Art & Animation Workshop (FREE)

Date: November 17, 2017

Start Time: 7:00 pm

Location: Dodge College Of Film & Media Arts

Price: FREE

This session is geared to help teach children about art and animation, followed by a kids appropriate movie, if time permits. Please remember to pick up your child after the Opening Night movie for the adults.

Festival Pass

Festival Pass

Date: November 18, 2017 and November 19, 2017

Start Time: 10:30 am

Location: The Frida Cinema

Early Bird Price: $15

Pre-Sale Bird Price: $20

At the Door Price: $35

Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them

Excludes Opening Night and All feature films

Student Pass

Student Pass

Date: November 18, 2017 and November 19, 2017

Start Time: 10:30 am

Location: The Frida Cinema


Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them

Excludes Opening Night and All feature films

Panthic Digital Voice

Panthic Digital Voice 2017

(Sikh-Centric Films)

Cultivating original Sikh-Centric short films that convey important Sikh messages through examples.

Register now for the exclusive Southern California Panthic Digital Voice (PDV) pilot program, brought to you by joint collaboration of Sikhlens (www.sikhlens.com) and Sri Hemkunt Foundation (www.hemkunt2.org). Through this pilot program participants get an opportunity to grow their storytelling abilities using digital media. Sikhs currently have minimal or no representation in American mainstream digital media or journalism. There is a dire need for our youth to learn Sikh history and become the Next Generation of Sikh Story Tellers. Register HERE.

The topic for this year (2017) is Sikh Identity: Who Am I? I’m A Sikh. An online/physical workshop will be provided to all the registered participants to show them the process of creating the video/film. The winning films will be showcased at the Kids night at the Sri Hemkunt Foundation International Symposium and at the Sikhlens: Sikh Arts & Film Festival.

Southern California Workshop to be held Saturday, March 18, 2017

Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, Chapman University
283 N. Cypress Street
Orange, CA 92866

Room: 111 (Marion Knott Studios)

Time: 9:00 AM – 2:00PM

Check-in Time: 9:15 AM – 9:45 AM

Workshop Time: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

To register contact: Dr. Ginny Chawla at (714) 686-3665


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