Kids Corner


Encore, OnKaur





This year’s Sikh Youth Online Film Festival competition -- hosted annually by -- had a specific theme for the films: onKaur - Focusing the Lens on Women.

I was brought in to consult with them on this project, and, in time, on other projects, as well. In the spirit of full disclosure, I am currently working with them full time. My title is still up in the air, but I think the phrase “Den Mother” covers it.

In any event, it has been a privilege to work on this project every step of the way. The submissions that we received this year had an incredible quality to them.

Wonderful filming, thoughtful scripts, even some original scores.

All of the directors did a fantastic job.

Next week, we will announce the winners. But before then, I want to take a moment and give a “shout out” to my very favorite personal submissions.

This year, we experimented with an online voting system, so that the sangat could determine the winners. It would not have been fair to promote one film over another while voting was in process. But now that the voting has ended, I feel compelled to talk up the films that I, personally, enjoyed the most.

So, in no particular order, here are a few of my favorite films.

Bridge to the Soul: Directed by 25 year old Sharan Art from Ludhiana, Punjab. This exquisitely scripted and directed short film has an incredible message about female infanticide. It is imaginative and brilliant. The story stays in your heart long after the film is done.

Kaur – A True Identity: Directed by 24 year old Sarbjeet Singh from Chandigarh, Punjab. This fun and uplifting short film shows the power of bana, and the power of the Khalsa Spirit. It focuses on the journey of one young woman from being a typical college co-ed to a Spiritual Sister. There is a great scene of a Sardarni driving a jeep that I want as a movie poster.

I am Equal: Directed by 16 year old Simran Kaur from Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Amazing short film by a young Sikh woman, using the tried and true “YouTube White Board Drawing Time-Lapsed” style to tell her story. She intersperses her drawing with footage of Sikh women in Canada. This young woman is the voice of our future.

Kaurcageous: Directed by 23 year old Nirvair Singh from Iver, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom. This tongue-in-cheek, avant garde depiction of the Sikh women’s oppression within her own family system is simultaneously terrifying and funny. Set in an alternate “dystopia” English society, many women will be able to identify with the heroine of the story.

The Warrior Empress: Directed by 23 year old KayRay (Kirin Kaur) from Brampton, Ontario, Canada. This short-short film (it lasts less than 2 minutes) has a visually choppy feel to it. But I deeply believe every one of us needs to see these images of a Sikh woman, in her turban, running through the woods, doing gatka with a steel sword. Just for allowing that image to come to life – no matter how briefly – has made this one of my favorite films of the festival.

There are so many other inspiring films that also deserve attention and notice.

All of the submissions are worth watching. Yet, if you have the time, I would also recommend seeing Turban Girl, Roar of the Kaur, Am I Kaur?, The Voice of a Silent Confessor, Chullah, Kaur, Be Brave, Kauronation, and Karizmaa of Kaur.

Personally, I am humbled and amazed by the time and talent that went into creating the films this year. The theme “onKaur” spoke to a lot of young people. They have given us, in return, a treasure trove of images and stories that celebrate the strength and power of the Sikh and Khalsa women. If you have not had a chance to watch any of these movies yet, please take the time. We cannot find in cinema, on television or anywhere on the Internet a place where the Sikh woman is so honored and respected.

To view Bridge to the Soul, please CLICK here.
To view Kaur - A True Identity, please CLICK here.
To view I am Equal, please CLICK here.
To view Kaurcageous, please CLICK here.
To view The Warrior Empress, please CLICK here.

All of the films mentioned hereinabove can be found by CLICKING here. 


October 10, 2013

Conversation about this article

1: Harminder Singh (Jalandhar, Punjab), October 10, 2013, 9:55 AM.

You have missed "Kaur - The Attire Of Soul" by young director Jot Singh Baaz. It is well directed and the role played by Harleen Kaur is very impressive. What are your views about this film?

2: Manpreet Singh (Hyderabad, India), October 10, 2013, 10:27 AM.

Thank you for a wonderful review of the festival. I too agree with the previous comment: "Kaur - Attire Of The Soul" is among the top contenders this year and definitely deserves a mention here. For the benefit of other readers, here is a link to the movie.

3: Ek Ong Kaar Khalsa (Espanola, New Mexico, USA), October 10, 2013, 11:56 AM.

Yes, "Kaur - Attire of the Soul" is also a very good film. And my apologies, I thought I had listed it in the article. Thank you for correcting my mistake!

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