SAFF 2020: Saturday

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Sikhlens Talks I
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM PST

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

Check here to find your local date and time.

Programming is subject to change without notice.

Reflections on a Sikh Hero: Jaswant Singh Khalra

Jaswant Singh Khalra was a Human Rights Activists who investigated and highlighted the 25,000 unclaimed dead Sikh bodies cremated by the security forces of Punjab-India during 1980s and 90s. Jaswant Singh Khalra was later abducted and murdered by the Punjab Police led by KPS Gill in 1995 for disclosing the evidences against Punjab police in International forums. Later the Khalra Mission Organization started a legal struggle to get justice for the unclaimed bodies and to convict the murderers of Jaswant Singh Khalra. The Khalra murder case took twelve years to sentence six cops to life imprisonment but the case and the wider question of justice to the Sikh community for the genocidal massacre done in Punjab and across India, post 1984, still remains unanswered in the Indian courts. 

Headshot Dr. Jasbir S. Kang
Dr. Jasbir S. Kang, MD

Dr. Jasbir S. Kang

Dr. Jasbir S. Kang, MD, FHM is Medical Director, Hospitalist Program at Rideout Health. A physician and community activist based in Yuba City, CA, he currently serves a Board member of Adventist Health -Rideout Foundation. He co-founded the Punjabi American Heritage Society in 1991 and the Punjabi American Festival in 1995 to foster cross-cultural understanding. He helped to create the first permanent museum exhibit documenting the history of Punjabi Americans.

Headshot Navkiran Kaur Khalra
Naavkiran Kaur Khalra

Navkiran Kaur Khalra

Navkiran Kaur Khalra, is an Electrical Engineer by profession. She along with her family have been Human Rights advocates and highlighted the massacre of Sikhs in Punjab during and post 1984. Navkiran migrated to US about 10 years ago for her graduate school. She has been involved to collaborate various Human Rights organizations interested to research and document the human rights abuses in Punjab and has kept the legacy of her father Shaheed Jaswant Singh Khalra alive by representing the Sikh cause to the Sikh Diaspora and other communities and human rights defenders.

The Duleep Singh Conspiracy

The astonishing intimacy of dozens of letters between young Queen Victoria and young Duleep Singh, the deposed Maharaja of the Punjab, remain just one of the amazing remnants of the conspiracies swirling around him, as uncovered by British journalist Christy Campbell. According to Campbell, the boy-king Duleep and his intrepid mother Rani (Queen) Jindan fall to the clutches of British subterfuge and lose their kingdom, their jewels including the Kohinoor diamond, and their gold and jewelry. Within a few years, Duleep has been converted to Christianity and practically adopted by the besotted Queen. He becomes a British Gentleman until his courageous mother is allowed to visit from her Nepalese exile home. She rekindles his Sikh identity and kickstarts one conspiracy after another to commit sedition and fight battles to get back his kingdom of the Punjab. The Queen is not amused. Meanwhile he and his mother almost bring the British Empire to its knees in Campbell’s tragic tale of domination, subjugation, world class treachery and triumph. 

Headshot Christy Campbell
Christy Campbell, Author/Journalist

Christy Campbell

Christy Campbell is an award-winning author and journalist. In 2000 he quit the Sunday Telegraph newspaper, where he was war correspondent and feature writer, to research his first major book, the Maharajah’s Box. Since then he has published a sequence of well received investigations into military history, true crime, wartime code-breaking and companion animals. He is married with three grown up children and lives in Suffolk, England, not far from Maharajah Duleep Singh’s one-time country mansion, Elveden Hall.

Rebel Queen Still
Rebel Queen

The Rebel Queen

How could the daughter of an Indian dog kennel owner almost bring the British Empire to its knees? How did the Empire’s brilliantly ruthless propaganda machine scramble to fight back against her? “The Rebel Queen” reveals the turmoil, murder, mayhem, and diplomatic intrigue surrounding this extraordinary woman, Maharani Jindan, wife of one Maharajah and mother of another. Forcibly separated from her son, escaping from captivity, and finally reunited with him, she sets in motion the wheels of justice that threaten to chase the British out of India.

Michael Singh, whose “Prisoner’s Song” was awarded “Best Film of Spinning Wheel 2009,” assembles world experts and commentators along with rare archival images, to bring to life the triumphant and tragic story of one of the most-feared challengers to the mighty British Empire.

Creative Sikhs I
1:00 PM – 3:30 PM PST

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

Check here to find your local date and time.

Headshot Waris Ahluwalia
Waris Ahluwalia, Actor.

Waris Ahluwalia

Waris Singh Ahluwalia (born 1974) is a Sikh American designer and actor based in New York City. His company, House of Waris, has collaborated with a number of other designers and artists throughout the years. Ahluwalia’s first film was The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) by Wes Anderson, as Vikram Ray, with a cast that included Bill MurrayOwen WilsonAnjelica Huston, and Cate Blanchett. He played a short role in Wes Anderson’s critically acclaimed The Grand Budapest Hotel. His film Beeba Boys, directed by Deepa Mehta and starring Randeep Hooda, was released on October 16, 2015.

All Quiet on the Home Front

The story of Bhagat Singh Thind, a Sikh American soldier, returns home after WWI to discover a law has passed that revokes citizenship of all Non-Caucasians and he is to be deported. Even though the war is over, he has to fight once again for the country and the ideals he was willing to give his life for.

All Quiet on the Homefront
All Quiet on the Home Front

Young Filmmakers

Renown Sikh filmmaker Michael Singh interviews young filmmakers Sati Kaur, Hansjeet Duggal, and Hargus Singh Sethi.

Headshot Michael Singh
Michael Singh, Filmmaker

Hosted by Filmmaker Michael Singh

Michael Singh is an American-born documentary filmmaker who grew up in the Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.  The son of a Punjabi farmer who was raised a Sikh, and a white Connecticut mother, Michael returned to the United States for higher education, ending up at the University of Chicago, and then USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.  His award-winning work has appeared on Discovery, NBC, PBS, and Al Jazeera.  His latest documentary, ‘Valentino’s Ghost: Why We Hate Arabs and Muslims,” received the Muslim Public Affairs Council’s “Voices of Courage and Conscience” award, and is designated a New York Times Critics’ Pick.  It received a standing ovation at La Biennale, The Venice Film Festival, and was banned by the Sundance Film Festival and PBS due to its detailed exposé of Israel as an unapologetically racist apartheid state.

Headshot Satinder Kaur
Satinder Kaur, Filmmaker

Satinder Kaur, Filmmaker

Satinder Kaur won the Grand Prize in the 2019 Women in Media CAMERAderie initiative for her short film Blood and Glory, which premiered at Tribeca Film Festival. Kaur is a fellow of the Writers Guild Foundation’s Veterans Writing Project. She has written and directed several award-winning and widely viewed shorts. Her film, The Last Killing, on police brutality and the decade of disappearance in Punjab, India, won the Amnesty International Best Human Rights Short award. As the multimedia director of Ensaaf, she spearheaded the video advocacy efforts of the largest human rights documentation initiative in India. During this time, she traveled throughout Punjab and interviewed survivors of torture and police brutality. Kaur received her MFA in film directing from USC School of Cinematic Arts. Currently, she’s a screenwriter in the GTDI program at NBCUniversal. 

Headshot Hansjeet Duggal
Hansjeet Duggal, Filmmaker

Hansjeet Duggal, Filmmaker

Hansjeet Duggal is a virtual/augmented reality& animation evangelist and an editor. His VR animated film Freiheit was selected for recognition in Annecy (the oldest and most competitive animation festival) in France. He recently got selected in American Cinema Editor’s Diversity Program and is being mentored by Oscar winning & nominated film makers His movie Jutti Kasoori which he edited was aired on PBS last November. He also produced a movie on field hockey star player Sardar Harbail Singh, and “Shades of Indigo” which is premiering at this year’s Sikhlens: Sikh Arts and Films Festival. He was also the editor on “The Cheez that Binds”. He also teaches in the Sikhlens Digital Voices Program which teaches filmmaking to students throughout the United States.

Headshot Harjus Singh Sethi
Harjus Singh Sethi, Filmmaker

Harjus Singh, Filmmaker

Harjus Singh was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. After high school Harjus attended the University of Cincinnati, majoring in BioMedical Engineering, and eventually Chapman University getting his MFA in Film Production. Harjus’s thesis “All Quiet on the Homefront” which stars Waris Ahluwalia, was based on the true story of Bhagat Singh Thind. It has screened at Oscar qualifying film festivals such as LA Shorts. Harjus continues to write and direct films which tend to be focused on identity and power. Currently Harjus has a feature script in the final round of Sundance Labs and has worked in the industry at places like EuropaCorp and CBS.

Creative Sikhs II
3:30 PM – 6:00 PM PST

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

Check here to find your local date and time.

Headshot Sareena Sandhu
Sareena Sandhu, Filmmaker

Sareena Sandhu, Student Filmmaker

Sareena Sandhu is a high school senior at Menlo School, in Atherton, Northern California. She received a grant from the HAND Foundation in her junior year to research the cultural integration of Punjabi Sikhs into Northern Italy, more specifically the Parmesan cheese industry, and filmed “The Cheez that Binds Us” to document it. She also utilized the film equipment from the new Sikhlens Equipment Rental Program.

She is new to the world of documentary filmmaking but has enjoyed the process of creating her first documentary and intends to pursue this art further in the future. Her work on this film has earned her recognition in winning the Youth in the Community Joy of Sewa Award in 2019. She loves to learn about the prominence of Sikhs throughout the world and has taught her fellow classmates about Sikhism on multiple occasions. Sareena loves traveling, dancing Bhangra on her team of 12 years, flying, and playing field hockey. She really enjoys engaging with her culture in these multifaceted ways and sharing what she loves about it with her friends and community.

The Cheez That Binds Us

The Cheez That Binds us

Italian Punjabi Sikhs Rashpal Kaur, Baljeet Singh, and Iqbal Singh work on Italian dairy farms, and in the production of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese in Novellara, Emilia-Romagna. All tell of the difficult immigration from India to Italy, the process of settling in a foreign country, and the progress they have made since.

Writing Children’s Books

Headshot Bhajneet Singh
Bhajneet Singh, Author

Bhajneet Singh is a Sikh community activist, entrepreneur, philanthropist, actor, and creative writer! Born and raised in California, Bhajneet loves playing sports, traveling, doing kirtan and being on the beach. He has devoted much of his life to mentoring Sikh youth through Gurmat Camp and is gifted at connecting kids with the teachings of Gurbani in a practical, thoughtful, and relatable way. Bhajneet became a father 3 years ago to Ajeet Singh, his first little lion, who inspired him to write this book. Bhajneet lives in LA with his family and is a devoted dad of three energetic kids (Ajeet, Simer and Kirpa) as well as uncle of four (Gurdaas, Sobha, Jodh, and Bibek). He does his best writing on long flights to China. Ajeet Singh, The Invincible Lion, is Bhajneet Singh’s first children’s book which he hopes will inspire kids to be strong in the face of bullying. With Gurbani as the guide, kids can overcome any challenge with chardikala and grace.

Headshot Harman Pandher
Harman Pandher, Author

Harman (Harmohanjit) Singh Pandher is a public, elementary school teacher. He was born in Vancouver and raised in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree (English Literature) and a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of British Columbia. From 2011 to 2018, he was elected to two consecutive terms as a School Board Trustee on the Burnaby Board of Education. Harman is the author of Sugar, Steel, and the Maple Leaf: the poems of a young Sikh Canadian. He is the founder of SONG Creative Mentorship Association of Greater Vancouver: a non-profit society focused on providing youth with mentorship in the arts and opportunities for community service. He lives in Burnaby with his family, including his dog, Wicket. Harman can be contacted at Gurpreet Kaur Birk is a Canadian freelance illustrator. Her work can be seen on Instagram @birkidy.

Headshot Simran Jeet Singh
Simran Jeet Singh, Auhor

Simran Jeet Singh loves sports and signed up for his first marathon after being inspired by Fauja Singh — and like Fauja, he has not stopped running since. Simran is an activist, writer, and scholar who believes deeply in the divine goodness of all people. He was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, and now lives in New York City with his wife and two daughters.

Artists At Work

Headshot Jasmeet Kaur
Jasmeet Kaur, Artist

Jasmeet Kaur loves to blend art and our Baani together: art that stirs the soul and Baani that feeds the soul. Baaniart presents nature, thoughts, abstraction, spirituality, and tranquility of our Sikh scriptures in vibrant colors and mediums. Jasmeet studied Textile Design from The National Institute of Fashion Technology in New Delhi. She worked for several years in the field of interior design and started her own company Kaur Competency LLC in San Antonio, Texas, working with residential homes and boutique hotels. She now lives in San Antonio with her husband and two sons, Darsh and Jeeve.

Headshot Priyanka Mac
Priyanka Mac, Artist

Priyanka Mac is an artist interested in capturing the dynamics of color and texture. Her painting is influenced by her work within the fashion industry, and has been exhibited in private and commercial venues. Priyanka holds an MFA from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. She lives and maintains a studio in Los Angeles, CA.

Saturday Night at the Movies
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM PST

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

Check here to find your local date and time.

Cha, Animated Movie

Cha (animated)

Bibi is plagued by memories of the past, and her granddaughter Simran is starting to notice. In resolving to teach Simran how to make Cha, they are pulled into the past, to Bibi’s memories of one fateful day in Delhi, 1984.

One World One Hope Movie Poster
One World One Hope

One World One Hope

In this period of Covid-19, the world has been hit with one of the greatest crises of our time – a crisis that has pushed aside differences and helped us realize that humanity is connected. A musical and spiritual representation of our journey, rising together through this pandemic as one global human family – Presenting Guru Arjun Dev Ji’s Universal Message of Oneness in ONE WORLD ONE HOPE

Shades of Indigo
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.

Knitted Beliefs Title Screen
Knitted Beliefs

Knitted Beliefs

Knitted Beliefs is a tapestry of harmony in Narayanpura, a neighborhood in Karachi, where Hindus, Muslims, Christians, and Sikhs live together in one of the largest multi-ethnic communities in Pakistan.

Style with Kaur Title Screen
Style with Kaur

Style With Kaur

A young Sydney-based fashion designer, and first ever turbaned Sikh fashion blogger, fuses eastern and western cultures with her fashion.

Ride With Pride
Ride With Pride

Ride With Pride

The founder of the Sikh Motorcycle Club in Melbourne, Australia fights for helmet exemptions for turbaned Sikhs.

Jutti Kasoori
Jutti Kasoori

Jutti Kasoori

Jutti Kasoori Walking into the Unknown: A History of Punjabi Women in California. Using archival footage and interviews, this film chronicles the extraordinary stories and contributions of the pioneering South Asian Punjabi women in California’s Central Valley. 

She Who Questions Title Screen
She Who Questions

She Who Questions

A second-generation Sikh Scottish woman works to help her Sikh “sisters” adjust to Western society, just as she did in her childhood. She runs an organization called Sikh Sanjog, which is devoted to giving Sikh women equal opportunities in their spiritual, personal and professional lives.


Raj and his brother, Pops, make up the popular music duo Tigerstyle. Based in Glasgow, the brothers work as DJs and music producers, creating hip-hop bhangra fusion music. While Western music is centered around a partying culture, Tigerstyle aims to promote Sikh values in their music.

Drawn From Life

Raj is a talented artist who creates detailed pencil drawings of people’s faces, including portraits of the Sikh gurus he most admires. After struggling with depression and anxiety for years, Raj is now returning to his artwork with a renewed sense of purpose and connection to his faith and family.

The Warrior Kaur

17-year-old female martial arts champion Harleen Kaur balances her normal teenage life in northern England, with training for the Olympics, as she strengthens her connection with her Sikh faith. Her faith nurtures her athletic feats, and vice versa.

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