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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Sikhs Gain Further Mainstream Exposure with a New Short Film to Premiere in Washington DC and Toronto Simultaneously

Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) September 22, 2006 -- In late 2005, a group of Sikh Americans decided to film a series of interviews on the streets of Washington, DC to see if their fellow Americans could correctly identify followers of the Sikhism, a monotheistic religion based in the Northwest Indian state of Punjab.

In the aftermath of 9/11, the Sikhs faced unwanted scrutiny due to their unique identity of colorful turbans and uncut hair or were mistaken to be followers of the Islamic faith. With intensive education done in the post 9/11 era about Sikhism, this group of Sikh Americans hoped to find that society was now able to easily distinguish who they were by their identities.

Their high hopes left them dejected.

Under the banner of the film group Dashmesh Pictures, the group decided to release these interviews in a short non-profit film in hopes to provide continuous awareness of the Sikh faith. Titled “The Sikh on the Street,” the film will be premiered in two separate film festivals in Washington DC and Toronto on October 1st.

“It’s surprising to see how successful this film has been thus far, especially through digital mediums like YouTube and Google Video,” recalls Sartaj Singh Dhami, who is one of the Co-Directors for “The Sikh on the Street.” Copies of the short have been shown throughout college campuses in America, Canada, England, and even as far as Singapore.

However, the film offers a sobering truth that Americans still know little about the Sikh faith. Supreet Kaur Rekhi, Co-Director and Cinematographer of “The Sikh on the Street,” reflects that “As our Nation honors the fallen on the five year anniversary of 9/11, it is shocking that Americans continue to mistake Sikhs as Muslims.”

“The Sikh on the Street” has caught the attention of Sikh advocacy based groups, such as the Washington DC-based Sikh Council on Religion & Education (SCORE). Dr. Rajwant Singh, National Chairman of SCORE, stated that “After watching this film I feel that Sikhs, and friends of the Sikh community, need to continue to educate all Americans about this peace loving faith that believes in universal equality for fall. I endorse initiatives like ‘The Sikh on the Street’ that offer new creative ways to let all know who the Sikhs are and their contributions to society.”

The Sikh on the Street,” created by Dashmesh Pictures, will be showing at the following film festivals:

Sunday October 1st, 2006 at 2:30 PM (Free Admission)

Verizon Presents the 7th Annual 2006 DC Asian Pacific American (APA) Film Festival
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Jefferson Drive at 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20013
(202) 633-4880

Sunday October 1st, 2006 at 5:30 PM

The 4th Annual Spinning Wheel Film Festival
Isabel Bader Theatre
93 Charles Street W,
Toronto, ON
Phone: (416) 813-4092

About Dashmesh Pictures

The sole purpose of Dashmesh Pictures is to provide a creative art media outlet, with an emphasis on visual works, to help promote a positive image for Sikhism. The mission can be divided into two subcategories:

1.) Provide knowledge to society of who the Sikhs are through creative works, as a mechanism to promote educational awareness, acceptance, and communal harmony.

2.) Provide inspirational works for members of the Sikh community, as a mechanism to aide in restoring their pride, as experienced by their ancestors in previous generations.


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