California, 26th November 2019
With his new films premiering at the Sikhlens: Sikh Arts & Film Festival, California (SAFF 2019), acclaimed filmmaker Ojaswwee Sharma pulled a hattrick with (1) Chaurassi, (2) Scars - After a 100 Years of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre and (3) Butter Toast. The films officially debuted for their world premiere at the at Dodge College of Film & Media Arts, Chapman University, California and The Frida Cinema, California on 22nd, 23rd & 24th November 2019, respectively.
This is the third consecutive year where Ojaswwee’s films have screened at the Sikhlens festival in United Stated of America, previously - Zubaan (2017), The Tide of Time (2017) and Rooh (2018).
The 3 films this year - Chaurassi (short film), Scars - After a 100 Years of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre (documentary) and Butter Toast (short film) , screened to a gala response within the international Indian and North American Community. The films are further expected to screen at film festivals across The US, Canada, India, Pakistan and the United Kingdom in the coming months.
Chaurassi screened on the Opening Day of the festival, with Scars on the second day, and Butter Toast on the concluding day. The 3-day festival concluded on 24th November 2019, in California (USA).
Chaurassi (Short Film/20 mins)
Co-produced by Sikhlens Destination S, Pinaka Mediaworks and Rolling Frames Entertainment, the 20 minute short film Chaurassi was screened at the opening night of the festival on 22nd November 2019. Set in the year 1984, the film is based on a true incident, narrating the story of a bereft Sikh couple in Madhya Pradesh that have been sufferers at the hands of the events that shook the nation that year.
The film stars Chandigarh-based actors Madhu Bala, Ranjeet Pannu, Yaspal Tiwari, Harwinder Singh Shanty, Khushpreet Kaur, Saudamini Kapur, Siddharth Ohri, Sunny Dhillon. This is the flagship film of 2019 by Ojaswwee Sharma.
Scars - After a 100 Years of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre (Documentary/30 mins)
Another Sikhlens Destination S, Pinaka Mediaworks and Rolling Frames Entertainment production, was the second film to premiere at the festival on 23rd November 2019, with a run time of 20 minutes.
In an ode to the centenary of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, the documentary is weaved through heart-wrenching narratives from the descendants of the martyrs who have kept the stories buried deep in their hearts over the generations. Artists, authors, historians and researchers revisit the tragedy in the film and narrate how things have unfolded since then, through their work of art, writing and research.
Butter Toast (Short Film/6mins)
Another short film that screened at the Californian festival on 24th November 2019 was Butter Toast. It is a sweet 6 minute take on the essence and importance of food. India has teeming millions who go hungry to bed. This short film implores everyone to save every bit of food and share with the ones who cannot afford a proper meal to build a nation where everyone is privy to proper food and nutrition. The film features the father-son duo of Ramandeep Singh and Mahekdeep Singh.
“The response to the films has been overwhelming. Punjabis from different parts of world - The United States, India, Canada, UK, Singapore, Pakistan received Chaurassi and Scars with open hearts, and spoke to me till late hours after the respective shows had got over, sharing their experiences of the dark years. As a filmmaker, it is indeed a matter of pride and happiness to see your films being appreciated not only within your country, but to communities beyond. Sikhlens has been a great platform where we’ve been able to creatively portray stories that are relevant to Punjab and I’m thankful to the audience in California that connected with all three films on an emotional level that matches my own” said Director Ojaswwee Sharma.
Mr. Ojaswwee Sharma
Mr. Bicky Singh
Executive Producer for the films Chaurassi and Scars - After a 100 Years of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, Mr. Bicky Singh, said, “Both films, Chaurassi and Scars, resonated very well with the audience at the festival and I’m happy that through these films, we were able to help retain Sikh history along with portraying the emotion of the common man till date. Chaurassi, meaning 1984, takes the viewers on a harrowing ride through the four national tragedies that engulfed and convulsed India in that fateful year, whereas Scars brings the emotion prevailing in Punjab even after a 100 years of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Both films are fine works of art, and we are proud we could support such important projects.”
Prior to these films, Ojaswwee has had more than 30 laurels to his name. His films have been critically acclaimed globally, with Admitted (2018) bagging 12 international laurels, Zubaan (2017) winning 16, The Last Date (2017) - 6, and Rooh (2018) - 7. All films, including Chaurassi, Scars - After a 100 Years of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre and Butter Toast can be found on IMDB for more details.