Divided we Fall Tag

The doors of the classroom swing open and thirty middle school kids tumble in, talking, giggling, tugging at each other, bouncing with energy.I am nervous. Divided We Fall has never been shown to junior high school students – we had aimed the film for colleges and high schools, but when the Fayerweather Street School invited me to teach their seventh and eighth grade class for a day, I was curious. I've planned to show the movie in the morning and discuss in the afternoon. Now, standing in the back

Sometimes magic happens. Last fall, through a series of coincidences, I met a woman named Valerie Courville. “My name is inside your name!” I told her. We took it as a sign. Valerie (pictured) introduced me to her 9 year-old son Dylan, an old soul with light in his eyes. They both grew close to my heart. It wasn't long before they offered to bring Divided We Fall to Dylan’s school – the Fayerweather Street School in Cambridge, a private pre-K to 8 school that focuses on

The view from the seventh floor is dazzling – sunset behind the Washington Memorial, water shimmering around Jefferson, city lights coming alive. I am looking out from the City View Room in a building at George Washington University, where we are about to hold the DC premiere of Divided We Fall, our last screening of the calendar year, hosted by the GW Sikh Student Association and the Smithsonion Asian Pacific American Program. I have a moment to take in the view before it all begins. I spot the

Lieutenant Governor CRUZ BUSTAMANTE hosted the formal California premiere of Divided We Fall a few steps away from our state capitol tonight. Beneath the great dome of the Secretary of State building, hundreds of people mingled, holding plates of Indian food, waiting for the doors to open for the premiere. The Lieutenant Governor came to welcome us and express his excitement about the film. (Spot us in the crowd

It was like coming home. Our San Francisco premiere at the Third I Film Festival was our first screening in California, and looking out into the packed audience in the city’s famous Roxie Theater, I was overwhelmed by the image of my parents, cousins, friends, professors, interviewees, and strangers standing up together to applaud our film at the end. It was our fifth standing ovation – and the tears couldn’t help but come. We had just flown through the night from Miami the night before to make our

Unlike most Sikh Americans my age, I never spent my summers at Sikh camps as a kid or attended Sikh youth conferences when I got older. As a third-generation Sikh American (my family has lived on the same plot of California farmland for nearly a hundred years), I had a very American name and couldn’t speak Punjabi well. So I grew up on the edges of the Sikh community. I always felt like an outsider – until I began the journey to make this film five years

On October 17, 18, and 19, the “Women in Religion in the 21st Century” conference was held at the Interchurch Center in Manhattan. It was a gathering of academics and religious practitioners from around the country in a rich three days of panels, workshops, and films exploring faith, feminism, and “faith-fueled activism.” On each day of the conference, I was asked to speak from a different Sikh perspective: first as a Sikh filmmaker, the next day as young scholar of Sikh scripture, and on the last day

After premiering in Phoenix and New York, we made our BOSTON PREMIERE at Tufts University on October 25, hosted by the Asian American Center. It was a full audience once again, but this time, it was made up mostly of college students, many of whom experienced 9/11 as freshmen in high school. Linell Yugawa, our gracious host and director of the Asian American Center, introduced us. We introduced Divided We Fall: Americans in the Aftermath. And it began. This time, Sharat and I sat in the back to

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

There was a red carpet. Four hundred fifty people. Press cameras. Hot food. Banners that read "United We Stand, Divided We Fall." A whirl of conversation that settled when the film began. And a standing ovation when it ended. It was the night of our world premiere in Phoenix, Arizona, and it officially launched Divided We Fall into the world. The premiere was held on the eve of the five-year memorial of Balbir Sodhi's murder. Hosted by the Phoenix Sikh community, the event was a memorial for those