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Monday, February 05, 2007

Sikh film festival raises awareness

Over 11 hours, in 13 movies, Sikh culture was highlighted in Cubberley Auditorium on Saturday.

The movie marathon was the second-annual Spinning Wheel Film Festival, an event sponsored by the Stanford Sikh Students Association.

“The medium of film helps convey the Sikh culture to a very broad audience,” said Manvir Singh ‘07, president of the Stanford Sikh Students Association.

The featured films ranged from “Who Do You Think You Are?” — a documentary by acclaimed “Bend It Like Beckham” director Gurinder Chadha — to the post-Sept. 11 drama “The Gold Bracelet” to the animated feature “Saka Sirhind.” The festival played host to a number of different film genres and styles, while providing illuminating insight into the Sikh experience — from centuries past to the modern day.

From “Who Do You Think You Are?”, which examined British Sikhs’ cultural experiences, to “A Dream in Doubt,” which focused on hate crimes against Sikhs following Sept. 11, the films touched on powerful experiences in the lives of Sikhs.

The films were shown in clusters of three to four hours, with each cluster aimed at a specific age group. The festival also gave viewers the opportunity to interact with some of the films’ actors and directors in post-film question and answer sessions....

There is a feeling among Sikhs that a lack of awareness among the general public has contributed to a post-Sept. 11 backlash against the religious community. The Spinning Wheel Film Festival was founded in Toronto, Canada four years ago in an effort to combat this ignorance and to spread knowledge of Sikh culture. [Link]

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