Opening Night 2019

Opening Night
Friday, November 22, 2019
6:30 PM – 10:00 PM

Sikhlens: Sikh Arts & Film Festival in Orange, CA opens on Friday, November 22nd at the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts Folino Theater. The Red Carpet event will screen several films and highlight their illustrious film makers.

Dress Code:

Website: Dodge College of Film and Media Arts

  • Indian formal Maharaja and Maharani Attire
  • Western Formal
  • Dress to Impress

Location for Friday Night Only

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

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The Singh Twins received an MBE from the Queen for ‘Services to the Indian miniature tradition of painting within Contemporary Art’

Amrit & Rabindra Singh

Contemporary British artists, Amrit & Rabindra Kaur Singh will discuss their recent artwork “Jallianwala: Repression and Retribution” and the film that grew out of it. They narrate the film which will be screened later in the evening. They will provide details of their research into Jallianwala, and their efforts in the creation of this amazing piece of artwork.

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Amardeep Singh

The Sikh Legacy in Pakistan
Amardeep Singh

Following the end of the British rule of India in 1947, the Sikh community was caught up in a conflict of a ‘two nation’ split of the sub-continent. It forced them to abandon their tangible and intangible legacy. 

Amardeep Singh embarked on a month-long journey into 36 cities and villages in Pakistan in 2014. The discoveries made on this journey inspired him to continue to explore his forebears’ history. He undertook a second trip to 90 cities and villages in 2017. He has authored two books on the Sikh Legacy in Pakistan.

In this year’s calendar, Amardeep shares some of these sites across Pakistan, many of which are now inaccessible, as sovereign nations have divided the geography.

You are invited to have Amardeep sign your personal copy of the calendar in the theater lobby Friday evening. 

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All filmmakers of our featured films this evening will be in attendance.
There will be a Q&A session after the screening of all the films.



Based in December 1984, this film is about a middle-aged Sikh couple living in Bhopal. Having lost many of their relatives and friends in the nationwide anti-Sikh carnage that started in Delhi, they are in a precarious emotional state. It is set during the nascency of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, which later was declared the fourth major tragic incident of the year 1984.

Going Home: Travels in the Lost Homeland

Going Home: Travels in the Lost Homeland

Sikhs lost their homeland when, in 1947, Punjab was partitioned and divided between two newly created nations, Pakistan and India. What would it feel like for Sikhs to visit the land their ancestors left behind in Pakistan, where the major portion of their historical, cultural and religious heritage is located today? Join Sikhlens as they experience a flood of mixed emotions as they tour the land of their forefathers for the first time.

Jallianwala: Repression and Retribution

Jallianwala: Repression and Retribution

“Jallianwala: Repression and Retribution”, is a film based on new artwork by contemporary British artists, The Singh Twins. The artwork itself is designed in three parts as a triptych. The center panel (shown above) largely focuses on the massacre – namely, the moment on April 13th, 1919, when an officer of the British Raj, Brigadier-General Dyer, ordered his troops to open fire, on a peaceful demonstration of un-armed Indian civilians in the city of Amritsar, Punjab in northern India. 

The left panel focuses on the historical context of Jallianwala. In particular, it emphasizes how the motives, methods and unremorseful attitude of Dyer towards the massacre of innocent civilians whom he described as ‘mutineers’, reflected an established mindset of Imperial superiority. 

The right panel explores the impact of Jallianwala in terms of how it acted as a catalyst for India’s freedom struggle and the story of Shaheed Udham Singh – the Punjabi Sikh who made it his life’s mission to avenge the atrocity committed against his countrymen.The Singh Twins narrate the film and discuss their research into Jallianwala, and their efforts in the creation of this artwork.

Peering Soul

Peering Soul

Amardeep Singh embarked on two separate extensive journeys into cities and villages in Pakistan and subsequently authored two books on the Sikh Legacy in Pakistan.

During his second visit, Salman Alam took some candid video footage of Amardeep’s field explorations, focusing on architectural feats and landmarks and capturing a sense of place and time. The film Peering Soul creates a sense of nostalgia and also highlights the breathtaking beauty of landscape and architecture by exploring the abandoned spiritual sites in remote areas of Pakistan.

Shades of Indigo

Shades of Indigo

Sam Dhaliwal is a Sikh farmer who migrated to America in 1976. Starting with just ten acres of land, and overcoming white supremacist attacks, Sam today owns over 400 acres of farmland in Bellingham, Washington. However, this isn’t just an immigration story. The passion that the entire Dhaliwal family has towards agriculture can be seen in every step of their journey. Sam’s son Rob Dhaliwal continues to be involved in the farm operation after receiving a degree in horticulture. With Sam’s experience and grit coupled with Rob’s academic approach and technological awareness, the Dhaliwal’s today have broadened into verticals of processing and packaging their harvest. They even hire documented migrant labor as a way of giving back.

Climate Change and local summers that have been punctuated by record-breaking heat waves have had deleterious effects on crops. Despite all they have to contend with, the Dhaliwal’s continue to strive to give back to their adopted homeland and its people. 

The Cheez That Binds Us

The Cheez That Binds

Italian Punjabi Sikhs Rashpal Kaur, Baljeet Singh, and Iqbal Singh work in various industries in Novellara, Emilia-Romagna, such as Italian dairy farms and the production of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, learning to adjust to Italian society and culture. All tell their life-changing stories of their difficult immigration from India to Italy, the process of settling in a foreign country, and the progress they have made since. Sikhs have built 46 Gurudwaras throughout Italy, have a statue and cemetery dedicated to the Sikh regiment that saved Italian towns in WWII, and are a prominent aspect of the culture in Novellara today.

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