SAFF 2020: Friday

Friday, November 20, 2020
7:00 PM – 9:30 PM PST

Red Carpet Night

This event will be available online at the time listed above Pacific Standard Time at

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The Red Carpet Night at Sikhlens: Sikh Arts & Film Festival will be virtual this year. On Friday, November 20th we will screen several “Project S” films, followed by a Q & A session. Sumita Batra will host the event and Dean Stephen Galloway will welcome the audience. Our keynote speakers for the evening will be The Singh Twins, followed by a screening of “The Singh Twins”.

Website: YouTube/Sikhlens

Programming is subject to change without notice.

Sumita Batra
Sumita Batra, Entrepreneur

Hosted by Sumita Batra

Born in Greenwich, England, and raised by Sikh parents that were born in Iran, Sumita Batra grew up migrating between India, England and Iran. She moved to the United States when she was 16. Her family struggled and worked hard to create stability in a new country. When her mother decided to open Ziba Beauty in 1987, Sumita became the spokesperson for the business. Batra produced events, and tradeshows to help grow the business. She polished Ziba Beauty and opened chic studios in major malls across California and a global trend was born. A slew of major Hollywood celebrities hired Batra and Ziba Beauty to create henna, and body art for music videos and magazine shoots. As a henna artist, she has worked on A-List celebrities such as Beyoncé, Madonna, Gwen Stefani, and many more. She became the CEO in 1998 and partnered with an international distributor to create and market kits for brands like The Body Shop, Sally Beauty, and Walgreens.

In 1999, Batra authored a book called The Art of Mehndi, published by Carlton Books/Penguin. She then launched her eponymous brand Sumita Cosmetics, expanded to 22 countries and sold the company to her partners in 2017. In today’s COVID-19 environment, Sumita has pivoted and has recently launched The Pro Safety Group together with her partner Madeline Leaonard. They are producing a Virtual Summit on safety for the Beauty Industry January 11-13th, 2021. Batra is also working with a global COVID-19 Consortium that is offering COVID-19 Test Kits (PCR, Antigen and antibody tests) to a network of global clients.

Headshot of Dean Stephen Galloway
Dean Stephen Galloway, Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, Chapman University

Welcome Message by Dean Stephen Galloway, Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, Chapman University

Stephen Galloway joined Chapman University this year as the Twyla Reed Martin Dean of Film and Media Arts at Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. Dean Galloway is best known for his role as executive editor and producer at The Hollywood Reporter. He created and produced series such as “The Hollywood Masters“ and the “Close Up with The Hollywood Reporter,” available on Sundance TV and Hulu. Galloway graduated from Cambridge University with F and came to America on a Harkness Fellowship (the British version of a Rhodes Scholarship). After studying at the American Film Institute’s conservatory, he worked in film and television both in the U.S. and France before joining The Hollywood Reporter where he has served for almost 30 years.

Over the past decade, Dean Galloway worked to bring in and support diversity in the entertainment industry. Through a partnership between The Hollywood Reporter and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles, he created the award-winning Women in Entertainment Mentorship Program, which pairs high school juniors from schools in South Central Los Angeles with top-level women in film and TV. More than 250 teenagers from disadvantaged backgrounds have participated in this program and gone on to college, helped by more than $10 million that Stephen has raised in scholarship money.

The Singh Twins – Art Under Lockdown

The Singh Twins will discuss two covid response artworks they created during the Covid-19 lockdown–‘NHS V Covid: Fighting on Two Fronts’ and ‘Get Your Knee Off Our Necks’.

Headshots The Singh Twins
The Singh Twins, Artists

Keynote Speakers: The Singh Twins

The Singh Twins are internationally renowned British artists whose award-winning work which challenges generally accepted, Eurocentric perceptions of heritage and identity in art and society, has been cited by Sir Simon Schama as representing the artistic face of modern Britain. As Honorary Citizens of Liverpool and recipients of an MBE and two Honorary Doctorates, their ‘outstanding contribution to British art’ has been acknowledged at the highest level and features in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History. Media coverage includes interviews for The Guardian and Independent; guest appearances on Woman’s Hour, the One Show, Graysons Art Club; the BBC’s ‘Face of Britain’ and ‘Civilizations’ series and two commissioned arts documentaries.

Their work is in collections worldwide. Well known public commissions include two paintings celebrating Liverpool’s 800th birthday and status as European Capital of Culture in 2008; a portrait of Maharaja Duleep Singh (National Museums Scotland collection); and ‘EnTWINed’ (Museum of London collection). Past exhibitions include solo shows at London’s National Portrait Gallery, National Museums Liverpool, National Museums Scotland and the National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi, and Mumbai. In 2016 The Twins were invited to contribute to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and their commission for the Museum of London was selected for Tate Britain’s ‘Artist and Empire’ International touring exhibition. In 2018 their hit exhibition ‘Slaves of Fashion’ (described as “a triumph of how to make boldly political art which doesn’t shout at its audience, but makes them want to discover the truth for themselves”), attracted over 105,000 visitors at its launch venue alone. They were subsequently commissioned by Royal Collections Trust to create an artwork for the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace exhibition, ‘Splendors of the Subcontinent’.

The Singh Twins Film

Easily told apart by their family but by almost nobody else, the world-class graphic artists and filmmakers Rabindra and Amrit Singh (identical twins) have turned the British Art establishment upside down. While conventional artists often strive to articulate their personal vision with abstract works requiring no drawing skills, the exquisitely talented Singh Twins refuse to march to the Western drumbeat of “personal vision,” shunning the emphasis on individualism. With unparalleled draftsmanship, the Twins bring Moghul Indian influences to their paintings that range from scenes of domestic bliss to highly charges political art. Steeped in both “East” and “West” they have produced an oeuvre unlike any other in what they call “Past-Modern” art. This film brings their delightful personalities to the fore and delves deep into their uncanny similarities as they both work on the same painting simultaneously. It is a sight to behold.

The Singh Twins Film
The Singh Twins Film

Films to be screened, followed by a Q&A session with our filmmakers


A young Sikh woman living in France learns to balance her Western, Punjabi, and Sikh identities. Growing up in the hardscrabble neighborhood of Bobigny, France, Anmol uses her education in order to create a path for future women of color to follow. In doing so, she realizes she must reconcile the meanings and expectations of being both Punjabi and Sikh.

Becoming Atma
Becoming Atma

Becoming Atma

BECOMING ATMA tells the story of Atma Singh, a French man who was raised Catholic and converted to Sikhism. Atma defines his own identity by being a businessman, a yogi, a father, and much more.

The Sardar of Conde-Sur-Vire

Son of the former Chief of the Indian Army, Vivek Singh is the first elected Sikh in France. He integrates into French culture being the only sardar (Sikh Man) in his town, Condé-Sur-Vire. His integration was not easy, but he eventually learns to thrive in Normandy.

The Sardar of Conde-Sur-Vire
The Sardar of Conde-Sur-Vire


Ranjit Singh, a lawyer and activist, fights against a French law that bans the wearing of religious symbols in public schools and government buildings. As a result of the ban, Sikh men and women have been forced to choose between their faith and education and employment.



UPROOTED tells the story of one Sikh family who fled Punjab for France after the attack of 1984. Years later the country they once found solace in has enacted a turban ban, which forces the family to fight for the right to express their Sikh identity.

Q & A Session with Our Filmmakers

Headshot Gianna Gravalese
Gianna Gravalese, Chapman Filmmaker.

Gianna Gravalese

Gianna Gravalese is a 2020 graduate from Chapman University with a BFA in News and Documentary and minor in Media, Culture, and Society. Throughout her student career, she worked as a producer and anchor for Chapman News and a director/producer/editor for some short documentaries. Her documentary work spanned anywhere from her hometown, to Asia, and Europe. When accepted to the Sikhlens program, she worked in a team to direct and produce two films in Grenoble, France where she and her fellow filmmakers uncovered the stories of French Sikhs. Gianna looks forward to attending festivals for these films once the pandemic is over, and is currently a lifestyle television reporter in Boston.

Headshot Haylie Bantle
Haylie Bantle, Chapman Filmmaker.

Haylie Bantle

Haylie Bantle graduated with a B.F.A in News and Documentary from Chapman University, Haylie hopes to take her experience and break into the television editing world. She has a deep love and appreciation for editing, finding it creatively challenging and fun. Haylie recently finished two documentaries, one being her thesis project, and another made with a competitive grant. She is now working for Ugly Brother Studios as a Postproduction Assistant and is set on editing a scripted series for Marvel Studios.

Headshot Rishabh Thakkar
Rishabh Thakkar, Chapman Filmmaker.

Rishabh Thakkar

Rishabh Thakkar has successfully lead Documentary projects in India, France, and the USA. A graduate of Chapman University with MFA in Documentary Filmmaking, he believes audiences all around the world connect through one thing – Emotions. Driven by his passion for inducing emotions in the audience through the audio-visual medium and guided by quality direction, he puts his best foot forward on every project. 

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