Los Angeles: More than 200 guests watched the first documentary on Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji at the Regal Theater and gave thunderous applause. It has been the first-ever film on the first Sikh Guru in the English language. Guests from Los Angeles and other parts of the United States flocked to view the release of this much-awaited film on the founder of Sikhism. Many leaders of various religions joined the celebratory moment for the Sikhs and they prayed at the conclusion.
Mr. Alexei Smith, Chief Ecumenical and interfaith Officer for the Catholic Archdiocese, Atilla Kahveci from Pacifica Institute, Steve and Judy Gilliland from Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Randy Dobbs, General Secretary The Bahai in Southern CA, Tahil Sharma, a Hindu representative, and an Interfaith Activist, were present.
Film directors Jerry Krell, Bishop John Chane, former head of the Washington National Cathedral, and Dr. Mark Juergensmeyer, Professor of Sociology from the University of California and Dr. Rajwant Singh joined a panel discussion following the release of the documentary.
Jerry Krell became emotional and said, “It was a great learning and a humbling experience for me to work on this film and I wanted the world to know about Guru Nanak Dev Ji.”
While Bishop Chane said, “As a Christian, I feel that this movie will ensure that Sikhs have a seat at the table when important discussions are taking place in the world. Guru Nanak’s contributions and that of the Sikh community will be appreciated.”
Likewise, Mark Juergensmeyer said, “This may be the best film I’ve seen on Sikhism and the Sikh community. It humanizes the topic with focus on real people with real stories of how their Sikh faith has entered their lives as a truck driver, a mayor, and a Grammy-nominated singer; and it shows how the image and ideals of the founding figure in the Sikh tradition is not just the stuff of history and legends but lives in the lives of people today.”
He added, “The film is a treasure for the ages that will continue to inspire individual Sikhs, the Sikh community, and all of us in this globalized multicultural world who learn from the deep cultural heritages of each other.”
Now, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) will facilitate this documentary on 200 TV stations across America in the coming months as Sikhs are celebrating the 550th birth anniversary of the founder of Sikhism.
The documentary features reputable authors and articulate speakers like Bishop Chane, a reputable Christian, Rabbi David Rosen, a prominent Jewish authority, Bob Thurman, a Buddhist scholar, Dr. Vrajvihari Saran, a Hindu scholar from Georgetown University, Ambassador Navtej Sarna, author of a book on Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Roopinder Singh, Associate editor of Tribune, India, Hoboken’s Sikh mayor, Ravi Bhalla, Dr. Nikky Guninder Kaur, author of many books, and Kamla Kapur, author of book on Sikhism founder.
National Sikh Campaign (NSC) extended support to this project and many Sikhs from the USA and other parts of the world. A week-long Awareness Film festival which brings films from all over the world on various social and cultural causes featured the Guru Nanak documentary on the final day. This is at the cultural heart of Los Angeles.
Auteur Productions has made many documentaries on world religions and on health and they had traveled to India and Pakistan to shoot the original footage of Gurdwaras related to Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji.