Harry Baweja

Harry Baweja’s sequel to his 2014 animated-historical film, “Chaar Sahibzaade: Rise of Banda Singh Bahadur,” will open Sikh Lens’ annual Sikh Arts and Film Festival Nov. 18 at The Frida Cinema in Santa Ana, Calif. The festival roster includes a host of other films, including “Udta Punjab,” “Ardaas,” “All Quiet on the Home Front” and “Love Punjab.” 

The annual Sikh Arts and Film Festival, organized by Sikh Lens, returns Nov. 18, featuring film and documentary screenings, panel discussions, music concerts and kids’ art workshops, among other activities.

The opening night of the festival, which runs Nov. 18 through Nov. 20 at The Frida Cinema in Santa Ana, Calif., and Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., will see the screening of the much-anticipated film, “Chaar Sahibzaade: Rise of Banda Singh Bahadur” at 7:00 p.m.

“Under The Turban,” a film where a young, modern, Sikh family travels the globe meeting with diverse Sikh communities in order to explore the roots and the identity of their religion, and the kirtan music video, “Kalyaan – A servant of the Night,” are just some of the screenings lined up during the youth sessions of the festival.

The feature film section will showcase “Eh Janam Thumare Leke” Nov. 19 at 10:00 a.m. while “All Quiet on The Home Front,” a film based on the real life of Bhagat Singh Thind’s struggle for U.S. citizenship after WW1, which stars Sikh American actor-designer Waris Ahluwalia, has made it to the short films session.

Festival goers will also be able to watch other short films, such as “Searching for a Signal,” “The Warrior,” “Rahi: The Traveller” and “An Afternoon Saga,” during the three-day festival.

Two very diverse but equally interesting documentaries have found place in the documentary screening section: “Sikh Musical Heritage: The Untold Story,” a documentary aiming to preserve and promote the legacy of the Sikh musical heritage; and “A Table for Sixty-Thousand,” which explores the inspiring story of how 60,000 free meals are served every single day at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab. It also documents the Sikh practice of langar, free community kitchen.

The critically acclaimed Bollywood film, “Udta Punjab,” starring Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, which exposes the extent of drug abuse in the state of Punjab, will also feature at the festival, along with “Ardaas” and “Love Punjab.”

Among other highlights will be live performances featuring Jas and Kamaljeet Ahluwalia, Neelamjit Dhilon, Amrit Lohia, Delhi2Dublin, and L-Fresh the Lion.

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