Over 850 public votes were cast to determine the winner of this year’s Diversity Video Competition! Gulshan Singh takes home first place with his film, “Let It Out”. This film will be premiered at the Sikh Art and Film Festival in New York City next month. The second place winner is Jasleen Kaur with her film, “I Will Stand Up”. The Sikh Coalition also wants to recognize David Woo for his compelling portrayal of “Neel”, a victim of school bullying and has decided to award a third place prize of $250 to David Woo.

2011-September-Gulshan-Singh“Let it Out” by Gulshan Singh First Place Winner ($1,000 grand prize) Gulshan Singh is currently a freshman at the University of Michigan studying Engineering Physics. His interests include chess, philosophy, physics, computer programming, and kirtan. He also enjoys playing soccer, frisbee, and running.
2011-September-Jasleen-Kaur“I Will Stand Up” by Jasleen Kaur Second Place Winner ($500 grand prize) Jasleen Kaur enjoys stirring the pot when there are already too many cooks. She hopes to discover a new spice that will revolutionize the future and let her take her rightful place in the world. But in the meanwhile, she’ll settle for studying the world of film and making some rad videos for people to watch.
2011-September-David-Woo“Neel” by David Woo Third Place Winner ($250 grand prize) David Woo grew up in the small,quiet suburbs just outside of Philadelphia, where he often found himself immersed in books and documentaries that later fueled his desire to travel and write. Throughout his school experience, David flew to Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Mexico, and Japan. All the meanwhile taking photos and meeting with strangers whose life and culture was vastly different from what he has seen. His love for traveling and storytelling became instrumental in his decision to become a photographer and filmmaker. David Woo is currently an international student at Temple University, Japan Campus, where he’s studying Film and Photography.


2011-September-VideographerThe purpose of the Diversity Video Competition is to promote understanding and encourage dialogue on civil rights issues,stereotypes, and myths surrounding minority groups (with a particular anchor in the Sikh experience). It is in this space that submitters may explore, interpret, and express their takes on a specific struggle facing minorities, as highlighted by theprompt. The Sikh Coalition strives to combat ignorance, and encourage all to embrace their diversity through this artistic dialogue between submitters and the viewing public.

Competition Topic

Bullying and harassment in schools is sadly becoming more and more prevalent, especially bullying based on race, religion, gender, etc. Referencing the Sikh experience, please create a 5 minute video (or less) that addresses this issue and possible solutions.

Panel of Expert Judges

2011-September-Paul-JoharPaul Johar is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons. He is also a fellow of the American College and American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons. He is currently the managing partner of Adirondack Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, a full scope practice based in Albany, NY. Paul is also an integral part of Sikh Art and Film Foundation and Chairs their Annual International Sikh Film Festival.

2011-September-JusReignJasmeet Singh (JusReign) specializes in creating web content such as comedic skits, parodies, and re-enactments of every day life in forms of online video and stand-up. His passion for comedy and creating media content started at a young age, lying within the roots of making home videos and presenting standup to his close family and friends. With the creation of online media and the popular website Youtube, Jus Reign took the opportunity to present his humour and talent in the summer of ’09 to a wide array of audiences through easily accessible online content.

2011-September-Kevin-LeeKevin B. Lee is a filmmaker and critic based in New York City. His credits include the award-winning documentaries “Dastaar: Defending Sikh Identity” and “Take a Look: Chinatown NYC Post-9/11.” He has produced three short films that have been broadcast on PBS’ “Reel New York” series and has screened his work at several festivals. Kevinis Vice President of Programming and Education for dGenerate Films. His responsibilities include identifying the best works of independent Chinese cinema for the dGenerate catalog and consulting with educators on using dGenerate films in their teaching and scholarship. Kevin also writes prolifically on film and has been published in Time Out New York, Cinema-scope, Cineaste and the Chicago Reader.

2011-September-Manbeena-KaurManbeena Kaur is the Education Director for the Sikh Coalition. The long term goal of the Education program is to create a cultural shift in the minds of the general public and to ensure that people have positive associations with Sikhs and Sikh practices. Manbeena has led various nationwide and regional education projects in order to achieve this end. She has been involved with and overseen several film projects for the Coalition, and has had four years of experience in both film capture and editing.

Judging Criteria

  • Creativity and Originality:Is the filmmaker conveying a theme, message, and/or experience in a new, exciting, and interesting way? Is the film engaging for the viewer?
  • Message:Is the filmmaker exploring a deeper issue or addressing a problem faced by minority groups? Is the message effectively conveyed? How well does the movie provoke thought in its viewers?
  • Quality:The movie is produced with technical and cinematographic aptitude and is edited well.
  • Versatility:Does the filmmaker address discrimination towards multiple minority communities, or focus simply on one?
  • Requirements:submissions meet file length limit and use copyright-free music.