The Seventh Annual SikhNet Online Youth Film Festival inspired submissions of nearly 20 inspiring films from young filmmakers all around the world.
In addition to films from first-time directors, we had new films from directors who had submitted films in previous years.
The panel of judges watched every film, most more than once, and marked them all on Creativity (originality,) Message (Was the film inspiring and/or uplifting? Did it communicate the filmmaker’s message clearly?) and Technical Execution (videography, editing, post production, etc.)
Finally the judges have made their decisions!
INTERMEDIATE (18 – 28 y/o) – LONG FILMS 5 – 25 min.
Winner ($1,000) – “Five Folds”
by 24 year old Satdeep Singh from Ludhiana, Punjab, India.
“Heartwarming and very well made! Satdeep Singh knows how to make films. Every shot counts and is delivered with perfection. Viewers can’t help but get their emotions pulled into this story. It’s an inspiring family values film that highlights pride in Sikh identity iimage. This film was unanimously awarded the cash prize by the judges in the long film category. It also received the most likes as of Oct. 1, 2012 and was thus awarded both the First Prize as well as the‘Users Choice Award’. Congratulations Satdeep Singh!”
– The Judges
INTERMEDIATE (18 – 28 y/o) – SHORT FILMS 5 min. OR LESS
Winner ($1,000) – “When You Are On My Side”
by 26 year old Sahil Jeet Singh Singh from Delhi, India.
“We like how the story was told and how the lessons are revealed in the end. Both the plot and the pacing were well done, and overall the film had a powerful impact and used its short length to great advantage.”
– The Judges
JUNIOR DIVISION (17 years old and under)
First Place ($500) – “Cash is Trash”
by 17 year old Guneet Singh from Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India.
“This video tackles a very important aspect of our pride-prone minds that is easily overlooked. We liked the innocence of the story. The depiction of Sach Khand (heaven) was sweet, and got a smile out of all of the judges. It was gentle reminder of what selflessness is. It wasn’t harsh or judgmental and made its message clearly.”
– The Judges
Second Place ($250) – “Don’t Let It Define Us”
by 15 year olds Simran Kaur, Jivan Kaur, and Gursimran Kaur from Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
“We liked the messaging and simplicity of this film. It brings awareness of the challenges Sikhs face in a post 9/11 world and some of emotions those challenges evoke, then it encourages us to transform those emotions. It had a very personal touch as we looked into the eyes of a group of youth.”
– The Judges
Third Place ($125) – “Stand Out and Stand Up”
by 12 year old JJ Singh from West Des Moines, Iowa, USA.
“We love the personality of young JJ Singh! His confidence carried this film. It showed the power that comes with standing up to bullying, and dealt with the subject in a sweet way. This film definitely has a optimistic charm to it, so ‘stand up’ for this film!… or maybe it’s more comfortable to watch sitting down.”
– The Judges
SENIOR DIVISION (29 or older)
Winner – “Sangat – The Company”
by Gurpreet Singh from Bangalore, Karnataka, India.
“This story shows the importance of Sadh Sangat. Even when we might not be aware of it, our seva can be inspiring someone else.”
– The Judges
These are non-cash awards give to films that we thought were deserving of recognition and being highlighted.
“Left Behind” by Harjus Singh- Emotional Wisdom Award
“Another film by Harjus Singh. This one follows an Iraq war vet and his emotional conversation with his father…. but there is a twist. It deals with loss, letting go, and having hope. This is a heart-felt well made film. Harjus Singh definitely has an eye for artful film making. Thank you for another great. ”
“Satguru Khotio Khare Kare” by Navneet Kaur- Sant Sipahi Award
“The Sikhs in this film are principled and selfless heroes. So how do we become like them?… Through the power of Gurbani. This film takes us on a journey of self-transformation one woman takes so she can live a life of purpose and fulfillment. A lot of thought went into this film, and as usual the SOCH group makes us do just that… Soch (think). This film is a sincere depiction of the Sikh spirit. Oh, did we mention there are actions scenes too? This film captured the warrior saint spirit, and so was given the Sant Sipahi Award.”
“Injustice 1984” by Jarnail Singh- Injustice Awareness Award
” Based on a true story. This film takes us back to 1984 to witness friends and neighbors follow the media hype and turn on their Sikh companions in a misguided bloody riot. This film is a very well made reenactment that will send chills down the spine of Sikhs around the world who remember this senseless massacre that occurred not too long ago. We liked how it didn’t demonize the Hindu community as a whole and even brought us into the mind of the rioters themselves to see what could have provoked them to take such extreme actions. A powerful film that calls to every community around the world not to turn a blind eye to injustice. This film had excellent production quality, writing, and directing and highlighted the issue so well that is was given the ‘Injustice Awareness Award’.”
“Singh Vs. Singh” by Raj Angad Singh – Laugh and Learn Award
“The narration done in front of a green screen was done with a magnetic gusto. The story compares 2 Singh’s and their respective positive and negative life choices. It’s easy to know why not to follow the example of Gurpreet Singh as you watch him and his drinking buddies commit an incredible disrespect to the Dastaar (based on an actual incident). Sukhmeet Singh on the other hand is a simple, hard-working, and righteous person. ”
“Blind Journey” by Satdeep Singh – Heartstrings Award
” Slightly more somber than Satdeep’s other films so far. Acted with emotional subtlety. It speaks to the many Sikh girls who deal with marrying outside of their religion/lifestyle. We liked the production as a whole. It doesn’t end on a high note, but maybe thats why the message is so effective. This film was awarded the ‘Heartstrings Award’ because it drives home an emotional and prevalent dynamic.”