Friday, December 26, 2008

June 2008, Spinning Wheel Film Fest and iLead Youth Retreat, D.C.

In June of 2008, Angad was one of the featured director to speak at the Spinning Wheel Film Festival, held in the state capitol at the prestigious John.F.Kennedy Center.

The gala night held at the Organization of American States Hall featured awardees for making significant contributions towards equality, diversity and service such as the 97 year old Marathoner Fauja Singh, Writer Laurie Bolger (Manjyot Kaur), Dr. Paul Taylor of the Smithsonian Institute and Ranbir Kaur, the young Sikh U.S. Army woman deployed in Iraq.

The film festival celebrated the stories of Sikhs worldwide and brought diverse interpretations of their culture, identity, and history to the screen. While both entertaining and educating, the films also challenged conventional perspectives on a wide range of complex issues facing Sikhs and the world community alike.

One of the highlights was to spend a few hours with Fauja Singh, the 97 year old marathon runner who trains by running 10 miles every single day of the year! He runs on ginger curry and is a vegetarian. His sense of humor and child like cheer won us over and he soon became the center of attraction at the Kennedy Center.

Read more about the event in India Today, the most popular magazine in India. They also did an excerpt in print edition for the Punjab region. Sher-e-Panjab a leading Punjabi language newspaper in North America did a beautiful story on Angad’s work as well.

Following the Film Festival, Angad was invited to lead a week long film making workshop for teens at the iLead Youth Retreat (by Kaur Foundation) held at the beautiful Claymont campgrounds in Charlestown, WV. He volunteered to work with the youth in a ‘Do=Learn’ manner to participate in production of his new social awareness documentary Roots and Wings.
15 attendees from the age 13-16 went back empowered with motivation and practical skills to start working on their own films; films that engage in unifying and create social awareness and reforms.
Together they produced a short trailer which was much appreciated by the parents and won a first place in Sikhnet Online Film Festival of 2008. Please Read more about that workshop at the fastest growing online Sikh magazine
Thank You, Mirin Kaur and Kaur Foundation volunteers for the opportunity, love and support. Angad came back with 75 new friends and wonderful memories. Thank You, Adrian Bernal for helping Angad with the workshop.

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