American Made Tag

Published on Common Ground News Service. Oak Creek, Wisconsin - On Friday, I participated in a memorial for the victims of the 4 August shooting in a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. I am a third-generation Sikh American, and as the ceremony drew to a close, I tweeted, “May this not be the last moment the nation watches and mourns with us. May this be the start of lasting solidarity.” Now is the time that we, as Americans already embroiled in an increasingly bitter election year, must curb

On June 22, I had the privilege of spending the afternoon at the White House at the invitation of the President. A typical work day.  I was invited as one of 150 community leaders across the country for a briefing and reception in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage. The invitation came as a surprise -- and a long-held dream come true.  To shake the President's hand and say

A few days after our world premiere in Phoenix, we headed east for our New York premiere at the beautiful Rubin Museum of Art in Manhattan as part of the Sikh Arts and Film Festival. We arrived early to wander the sixth floor of the museum and admire the New York Times-acclaimed Sikh art exhibit “I See No Stranger" - a breathtaking presentation of early Sikh devotional art emphasizing Guru Nanak's message of the deep interconnectedness between all people. We then entered the theater downstairs to introduce

In less than 24 hours, I will be on a plane to India. When I began the journey to make Divided We Fall, I promised myself that I would travel to India once it was done and give myself time to explore and think and write. Nearly five years later, the film is almost complete, and I am about to cross east for my first real break in years. For a moment, I stop my frenzied packing, sit down between books, medicines, and clothes thrown across my bed,

January was the last time I wrote. Since then, I turned twenty-five, injured my wrist, stopped writing, started working harder, and began sprinting toward the finish line to complete post-production on our movie Divided We Fall. Now the movie is almost ready (as you can tell by our smiles) and my wrist has healed enough to write this big update

Since finishing production at the end of August, the team has been slaving away in the editing room in Los Angeles. Director Sharat Raju is co-editing the film with Scott Rosenblatt. Sheepishly, I had to return to school in Boston (for my masters program at Harvard Divinity), but I've been flying back to LA almost every weekend to witness their amazing post-production speed to meet our first deadline: this weekend. The dynamic-duo worked around the clock for four weeks in order to turn 130 hours of footage

This week, we take a break from production, but there is no rest for Sharat and me. We flew to Montana to fundraise for the film and spent the weekend in Livingston, MT, a small eclectic town at the mouth of Yellowstone Park. Penny Ronning, who hosted screenings of our work on Friday and Saturday nights at her art gallery, House of Fine Arts, organized our visit. We showed Sharat’s award-winning short film American Made and our film trailer for Divided We Fall, which was followed

It is the day before production begins. Today we went to Kodak to pick up the film. Sharat and I stopped inside the office first to thank Candace, the woman who decided to give us our film stock at almost half the price. I met her for the first time and shook her hand. "This film is four years in the making. Thank you so much for making this possible." We have come this far because of people like her. People who helped us for no other reason

Once again, I am living out of my suitcase. This happens a lot. Ever since September 11, 2001, my suitcase has been my home. That single event, that single day, has determined every part of my life. What I study. What I do. Who I know myself to be. And where I am. On this particular night, I am in Los Angeles, writing from a production office—a film production office. The place is an organized mess. Two rooms packed with editing equipment, camera gear, computers, stacks of papers