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Sikh Film goes to National Film Festival for Talented Youth


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    Atlanta GA, March 10th 2008 - When the 13 year old Singh walked around with 47 hand made fliers to distribute to his neighbors, he didn’t think that he would be instrumental in taking the message of the oneness of humanity this far. His goal was to learn about his neighbors and educate them about himself and Sikhism; he was also taking a small step towards making this world a little friendlier, a little less conflict ridden and a little more connected. Amazed by how his neighbors responded, he decided that there is so much goodness in the world and that it needed to be shared, especially in times when all you hear about is war, violence and fear. So in the summer of 2007, instead of wasting away his time with things that appeal to boys his age, he interviewed people and created a short documentary with the backdrop of Guru Nanak’s message. He called it One Light. Today One Light is making little baby steps to making this world a bit closer by being screened across North America in Film Festivals.

    “Guru Nanak reached almost a third of world’s population in his lifetime with the message of One God One Humanity and we all need to follow his footsteps. The world needs his message of peace and tolerance today as much as it did then” says the young film maker Angad Singh.

    When NFFTY’s executive director Jesse Harris wrote to Singh about One Light’s selection for screening, it was a hallmark for One Light because this time the audience is going to be very mainstream – not just Sikhs and friends of Sikhs. Not only does this short film bring a strong message of connectedness with one another, but it reveals the basics of Sikhism and the Sikh identity, hence, very subtly educating the audience in the process. One Light at NFFTY will be screened on March 30th, 2008 at 11:00 AM in a 400 seat Seattle International Film Festival cinema, and the screening will be followed by a Q&A session with the young filmmaker. The Film Festival will start with a red carpet opening night gala. Besides screening of films by talented young filmmakers across the country, there will be workshops and panels by film schools and TV producers as well as opportunities to participate in press interviews and meet with fellow filmmakers. “Think Sundance for young people.” says Harris. Tickets can be purchased on NFFTY’s website.

    Angad wants to take the opportunity to appeal to all young people to replicate his project in their neighborhoods. “When all of us work together our baby steps will make one giant leap” he says. One neighborhood at a time, his dream is for the youth to spread the message of hope and positivism. The effects are multiplied if you make a little documentary of your experience. “Imagine hundreds of positive Sikh films going to film festivals, schools and communities around the world; we can take Guru Nanak’s message of Peace and Universality to the world”, he says. “And don’t worry about the technical aspects: if you can connect a camera to a computer; you can handle it. And yes, your mind will play tricks on you when things go slowly, you get tired and you want to hang out with your friends instead or catch-up with sleep; but you just have to tell yourself – I am not giving up; I am doing it because Guru Nanak expects this of me, to make this world a better place.”

    To read more about the idea, process and experience please visit

    Slowly, Sikhs are realizing the power of Media and various Sikh non profits are encouraging the creativity of budding film makers in the U.S.A. One Light was first made for the Sikhnet Online Youth Film Festival as its home, which provided the forum and encouragement for the Sikh Youth around the world to be creative in this area.

    Spinning Wheel Film Festival Hollywood was the first Film Festival to recognize its potential on the big screen and encouraged Angad as the youngest filmmaker in Sikh film industry. UNITED SIKHS has offered to help cover the travel costs involved in public screenings of One Light with 100 or more mainstream audiences. With the unprecedented support for Sikh Filmmakers, the future of the Sikh Film industry is hopeful.

    NFFTY is a film festival based in Seattle, WA that showcases films by filmmakers 21 and under. After a successful kick off screening last spring, the festival will offer 3 full days of youth-made films and education March 28-30, 2008. From red carpet events to sponsor lounges, workshops and panel discussions, NFFTY is an exceptional youth film festival.

    The idea of filmmaker Jesse Harris to make a feature film at the age of 17 did more than create a movie; it would end up providing the venue for scores of other young filmmakers to showcase their work. Through his experience with filming “Living Life,” Harris’ first feature film, he and co-founders Jocelyn R.C. and Kyle Seago found the inspiration and need to establish the NFFTY.

    A diverse group of film and business professionals make up the talented and competent Board of Directors who manages the festival and its umbrella organization, The Talented Youth, a Washington State non profit corporation to support youth arts.

    Jesse Harris – Young Filmmaker of award winning Living Life and Founder of NFFTY
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