The Making of ......

The tragic events of September 11th, 2001 changed our world forever. And it changed many lives. The repercussions of that fateful moment when the symbol of American dominance and freedom, came tumbling down, result of the actions of a sick mind, began to be felt all over the world immediately. Those repercussions continue to spread their venomous fangs and it so appears will do so for years to come. Such are the horrors of hatred and bigotry.


As I watched the tragedy of that morning unfold on television and images of the likes of Osama Bin Laden splashed across the screen, a cold fear crept over me. I feared for my father, who would pass for an older version of the man whose heart is filled with nothing other than hateful vengeance and destruction of humanity. My father on the other hand is a God fearing man who would do anything to help a fellow human being regardless of his color, race or religion. And he is a Sikh, from Punjab India. His faith ideologically far removed from the belief of the terrorist mindset. His religion is perhaps the most tolerant of all faiths. His milk white beard flows freely and his head adorned with a white turban. Handsome and regal even in his old age. Kind and gentle in his appearance and deeds, by no means a terrorist. I feared for him and many others like him: Sikhs with beards and turbans.


Anyone not familiar with the Sikh faith would mistake my father to be an Arab and liken him to Osama Bin Laden. Four days had passed. In the mean time my father suffered the consequences of the attack. He was called a camel rider, rag head, escaped a physical attack by a group of young men and his fence was painted with slogans of derogatory nature, several times. Yes, he was mistaken for an Arab.


Ignorance or arrogance, it leaves little room for argument in the heat of the moment. That moment still continues to play out. Most among us still have not bothered to learn the difference. Perhaps they never will.


On that fourth day it happened. What I had feared the most. A Sikh gas station owner in Phoenix, Arizona was gunned down in front of his business. The killer was caught and yes he thought the Sikh man he killed was an Arab. Even when the difference was pointed out to him he felt no remorse. He had done what he felt was right. He took the life of an innocent man and destroyed a family for vengeance against a nation, a religion, a movement. Alas, the wrong one.


I was so moved by this compounded tragedy, the first of its kind, a repercussion against a Sikh man. Not an Arab or a Muslim was killed after the 9/11 attack, but a Sikh. Ironic, but it happened for history to comprehend.


I began to write my script for The Gold Bracelet. The story and the characters came out of me like a monsoon flood. I wrote what I felt and saw in my inner mind and soul. I did not start off with any particular plan, just my feelings. The script was finished in about seven days. Someone close to me read it and her joy and tears said it all. I had something special. Not just a tragedy, but an unfolding of a full and blissful life. I had written the story of Arjun Singh and his family, proud and an honorable American man, with a beard and a turban.


I began the arduous task of raising funds to make my film. I suffered many heartbreaking disappointments and letdowns. Made numerous trips to Sacramento, California to meet with a group of investors who loved my project, agreed to finance it, but backed out at the last minute via a fax. They didn’t even have the decency of a phone call. And, no help came from the Sikh Community. Who, I thought were eager to be recognized as a distinct religious group with good intentions. This film is about them; finally, their chance to be heard and seen at a world platform. First film ever made on the subject. I thought all this would appeal to them. But no, they did not understand my heart felt efforts. One well-informed Sikh even called the project, “my personal video” and declared that it would have little or no value to them. I cried my heart out for days. The final resolve, this film will be made.


It’s not how good it is or how and if at all it will change anything or any lives. Not sure if films can really do that. It’s just that we did make The Gold Bracelet, a film that truly came from the soul. The only hope is that it makes people think: Non-Sikhs and Sikhs alike.


It took a savvy Sindhi businessman (Inder Dadlani) and a smart Gujrati hotelier (Bhikhubhai Patel) to tell the story of a Sikh family. They became my co-financiers. Inder sold his house, I borrowed heavily against mine and Bhikhu I believe went gambling to Vegas. If he did, I am glad he won. Two God fearing Hindu men became my saviors. They believed in my dream.


However, on the day we started shooting we had zero funds in the account. We were all waiting for our money to arrive from different sources. We did the obvious; we prayed.


God sent an angel (Mender) with a check, an advance on a project she was doing and we started shooting. Hard work by a dedicated crew who saw something very special unfold in front of their eyes every day of shooting and the fear of each day when we waited for money to arrive on the set so we could buy lunch or stock for the day, kept us going.


Somehow we survived and completed the film right on schedule and budget. At the end of the shoot I entered perhaps the loneliest period of my life. Unable to move around much and suffering from a herniated disk pain so severe that I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy, though I truly hope I don’t have any. I was left all alone. All the fanfare and excitement of the shoot gone, just like that in one day. My pain had erupted half way through the shooting. I had such a difficult time getting to the set each day and prayed that I would make it through somehow. Fearing that even if I shut down the production for a day to deal with my pain and visit the doctor, that would be the end of the film. I will never get it back on track again. I don’t think anybody on the set even realized how much pain I was in. I braved it. I had a mission and an obligation to my co-financiers who believed in me and backed my dream. And a wonderful crew and a dream cast who stood by me. I had to journey on; pain will have to wait.


I felt at times, that God was testing me and I had to pass the grueling exam. I still had to complete post-production of the film. But God wasn’t through yet. Couple of months later, still suffering from various ailments and side-effects of all the pain killers I kept taking during the shoot, I suffered further complications that landed me in the hospital, my first trip and that too life threatening. But, I knew the end wasn’t here yet. I had a mission, to complete The Gold Bracelet.


God was on my side. I had sailed and survived the storms of his tempest. I had earned his mercy.

Enjoy it for what it is. Be fair. I ask for no more.


EXCERPTS FROM THE SPEECH GIVEN BY KAVI RAZ AT THE PRIVATE SCREENING : ACADEMY OF TELEVISION ARTS AND SCIENCES


As the Ferris wheel goes around and around, up and down so does life. But when you stand way back, look up at it, it's always so colorful, exciting, rising proudly, ever so majestically towards the heavens, so full of life; so full of HOPE. That's how Arjun saw life.

In essence that's what the heart of this film is. HOPE.

Hope is infinite, it's indestructible, it has many foes but has never buckled at the knees in a posture of defeat. Hope is always victorious. Hope lets people like me dream. Yes, that's what we do. We dream. And that's what the journey to make this film has been to me. A dream. I stand here at this conjuncture of this dream. Not alone but with so many others.

I have walked the fires of hell to come to this point. If I am here today its only because of the hard work of all those who were involved in the making of the film and the prayers of so many more.

I am so grateful to them all. I spent months searching and auditioning actors all over the country and in India. Looking for the very best. I believe I found them. They dug deep into their souls and shared a part of themselves with us all.

I am reminded of what Hamlet says to the players, the actors as he instructs them about the performance of the play. He says "Speak the speech, I pray you, trippingly on the tongue: but if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines". Well my players did just that, what I asked of them..and more.

Hamlet goes on to say, "Suit the action to the word, word to the action, with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature. For anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was and is to hold, as t'were the mirror up to nature."

The characters of The Gold Bracelet shared their moments of laughter, sadness, joy, anguish and tears with you all. I hope we as the actors truly held the mirror up to nature and what you saw came across as real and believable. And it touched your heart, your soul.

I am so grateful to this wonderful cast. Meher, Archana, Sony, Arsh, Ari, Joseph and so may others for your amazing performances. You breathed life into my silent words and made them real.

Many traveled from far corners of the country to participate in the shooting of the film. Dancers and actors came from New York, Chicago, Bay Area, Seattle, some at their own expense; Anita, Anju, Meenal, Simmer, Heena, dancers from Berkeley and many others. I thank you for your exuberance in wanting to be part of this film. Your contribution is immeasurable.

To Chris Worland one of our editors, thank you for finding the missing heart of the film. Your talents are immense. My heart felt gratitude to my English brother. (Duck) Peter Carl Ganderup for the depth of his talents, that he shared with us in his absolutely amazing score. To Aman for his wondrous touch to the Shabad and Malkeet for his lyrics and Micky for his memorable scoring of the songs. You are all blessed with great talents. I hope we continue to create together, wonders to come.

Tragedy shattered a perfect cycle of life in the Singh household. I shared the broken pieces of that cycle of life with you all. I thank you deeply for turning out here tonight in all your finery, making a good moment so wonderful and memorable. You complete that cycle of life. Without you, the audience, the lives of the Singhs and the many other lives that they touched become meaningless and non-existent. You make them real.

My thanks in advance to the media for taking time out to attend. I need your help to spread the word. I hope you liked what I did and will commit to helping me on my journey.

And my condolences to all those innocent people who suffered the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy. Muslims, Arabs, Sikhs an Others alike. I hope your sacrifices become a lesson for us all.

Having said all that, you would not be here today, sitting in this theatre having watched this film and listening to me, if it weren't for the two individuals who truly made it happen; Inder Dadlani and Bhikhubhai Patel. I thank you both with all my heart for believing in me and opening up your hearts and wallets. You have done something truly amazing that "time" will remember. This film is yours.



Kavi Raz's "The Gold Bracelet" screens at the Academy


A new Voice for Victims of 9/11, Golden rays of hope will shine at a private screening of The Gold Bracelet at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
 
The Gold Bracelet, the much awaited feature film directed by Kavi Raz will have its first private screening at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Leonard H. Goldstein Theatre in North Hollywood, CA. Event starts at 5:00 pm.
           
It is the first film to deal with the tragedies faced by so many American Sikhs and Arabs following the September 11th attacks on the twin towers. Kavi wrote, produced, directed and acted in the film, which also stars Sonny Mandal, Archana Puran Singh, Mehrunissa Hassan, Arsh Singh, Joseph Whipp, and Ari Barak.  It is also the first major film with a central Sikh theme. Award winning director of photography Jack Conroy (My Left Foot) shot the film .
            
Based on actual events, the very refreshing and original story deals with the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy faced by a Sikh family. According to Raz, original plot, new faces along with veteran talent and a twist of fate that has truly been ripped from the headlines "is the soul of the film." 
           
The Gold Bracelet is a groundbreaking film that deals with a tragic event that changed our world forever; a moving journey of a man who strives to live a simple yet meaningful life.  
 
Kavi Raz, a veteran of hundreds of appearances on television, films and stage marks his directorial debut with this feature. Inder Dadlani, Bhikhubhai Patel and Kavi Raz are the executive producers of "The Gold Bracelet." 
        
The event is being hosted by New Hope Enterprises.



Going For The Gold A Newcomer Makes it to the Big Screen


North Hollywood, Calif., - There's a simple formula for success in Hollywood - move here, get a break, and find yourself walking down a red carpet. For actor Sonny Mandal, that equation sums it all up nicely. There is, of course, much more to it than that, but no one cares to see an athlete train until he wins the gold. What matters are results; and in his feature film debut, "He delivers", says Director Kavi Raz of Mandal.


When Raz set out to make his first feature film, The Gold Bracelet, he was sure about one thing - no one else outside the news media was tackling the story's subject matter. Based on true events following September 11th, it was original. So it only made sense that all elements of the film making process remained original. That also meant breaking casting stereotypes. After months of arduous auditioning across the U.S., Raz found who he was looking for, actor Sonny Mandal.


In the film, which screens to a private audience on January 28th at The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Mandal plays Bobby Dhillon, a whiz-kid computer major who has fallen hard for the girl of his dreams. Strangely, Mandal is not usually cast as the goofy-tech-geek type, but in this case breaking the rules was the rule. Bobby Dhillon is a guy who represents all Americans because he gets back on his feet when knocked down. After 9/11, that is what we did as citizens and as a nation. Every good story reveals the individual struggles of its characters; and Bobby Dhillon, as portrayed by Mandal, reveals many of our own struggles.




Kavi Raz's "The Gold Bracelet Glitters at the Academy


North Hollywood, Calif., - The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences was the site of an exclusive screening of The Gold Bracelet, the new feature film by director Kavi Raz.


The Gold Bracelet is a story of a Sikh man faced with the realities of post 9/11. It is the first major film to deal with this very sensitive subject. Of all the guests who were lucky enough to nab a seat at the 600-seat prestigious venue, home to big studio screenings, and stay for the after-party, none were surprised to hear rumors circulating that a few hundred guests had been turned away. Over 350 could not get in due to an overwhelming demand for seats. The word was out. This was a film to see.


Just as the closing credits began scrolling on the screen, the response was overwhelming for Raz. An actor for most of his film career, Raz was inspired to create a voice for those Americans who have been abandoned and targeted by the opposite voices of ignorance and racism. In The Gold Bracelet, Kavi reveals the simple life one can lead as an American till a moment comes that changes things for ever. Written, produced, directed and also starring Raz, the film pays tribute to the many victims of the 9/11 aftermath and it is the first motion picture based on these real events that made national headlines. These victims were targeted because of their skin color and appearance. The violence prompted the leaders of India to lobby President Bush to protect the civil rights of U.S. citizens of East-Indian descent.


Following the screening, as guests mingled in the reception area, enjoying the tastes of India, much of the sentiment reflected on how similar the characters of the film were to themselves and everyone they know. "It's an American story no different from any other, no different from the ones two-hundred years ago, no different from two years ago. It's what's happening right now, today, in Phoenix, New York, Los Angeles. I just want people to watch this film. They can make up their minds without my having to preach about it," Kavi says. He continues, "Watch the actors, tell me how different these Americans are from the rest."


The films stars newcomer Sonny Mandal, Bollywood's Archana Puran Singh, Mehrunissa Hassan, Arsh Singh, Joseph Whipp, Ari Barak, and Ellen Geer. Colorful scenes were blended with emotion that could be heard and seen in the room. Laughter and tears brought the audience into the story, invariably interrupting the suspense. When the lights came up, Raz was greeted by a standing ovation. He spoke briefly about the importance of the story's message, taking a moment to thank those who helped make the film a reality. After inviting the cast to join him on stage, the audience was invited to ask questions. They were speechless.


After the screening, the director and his cast spent much of their evening with audience members signing autographs and answering questions. "It's not that they see us as movie stars. It's that they were strongly affected by what they just saw. The film moved them emotionally. Some struggled to find the right words to express their appreciation. In words or silent gestures their acclaim of the work they just witnessed was unanimous.


Kavi broke down barriers once before and he's doing it again by spreading a message that's going to stay long after this film has its day," says Sonny Mandal. Mandal was referring to Raz's role on the '80s hit NBC series St. Elsewhere, becoming the first South Asian/Middle Eastern actor to significantly break into Hollywood. He is also the first American director to tackle the post-9/11 plight of Americans victimized by racism.


The response to the film was absolutely amazing. "I found the film poignant, it achieved what "Crash" tried to do, a sense of prejudice that courses through our hearts in a very believable manner," said Bob Katz, an audience member.


Inder Dadlani, Bikhubhai Patel and Kavi Raz executive produced The Gold Bracelet.


The screening was hosted by Hope Media Enterprises.

 



Kavi Raz's "The Gold Bracelet" continues its Golden run at Cinequest


The critically acclaimed feature film The Gold Bracelet has been officially chosen to close the Competition Section of Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose, California.

This will mark the film's official World Premier at the prestigious film festival.

Cinequest is ranked among the top 15 Film Festivals in the World and features an array of films from all over the globe. The Festival opens with a gala event on March 1st and ends on March 12th with the closing festivities.

The Gold Bracelet is being shown in the largest venue of the festival. The historical 1100 seat California Theatre (CAL). It is also the only film in competition to have two screenings at this theatre.

This is a great honor for Kavi Raz on his directorial debut, who has been receiving glowing praise for his work as the writer, producer, director and star of the film.

In choosing the film the festival organizers said in their invitation to Raz, that they find the film "absolutely absorbing and would consider it a great honor to have the film in the festival".

The Gold Bracelet will compete in the "Maverick Competition" section of the festival, vying for the top honors against several veteran directors and major studio productions.

"We could have chosen to be in other, less competitive sections of the festival, we were given those choices by the festival committee. However, I chose to compete in the toughest section. I wanted to compete among the very best. I have faith in my work," said Raz.

"Regardless of how the film fares at the festival, we are just moved by the fact that the selection committee is very excited and proud to have our film at Cinequest. They have shown a great deal of confidence in my film and believe it will do exceedingly well. That's the primary reason they have chosen two showings in such a large venue and that too on the final two days of the festival. The festival is treating this film as their prime catch for this year."

The Gold Bracelet recently had a private screening for a packed house at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences where Kavi was greeted to a standing ovation at the end of the screening.

The film also stars Archana Puran Singh, Meherunnisa Hassan, Arsh Singh. Ari Barak, Joseph Whipp and Sonny Mandal, all turning out stellar performances.

Peter Carl Ganderup provided the original background score while the several original songs featured in the film were composed by Micky Narula. Bollywood singers Jaspinder Narula and Sonu Nigam gave voices to several of the songs on the soundtrack.

The Gold Bracelet is an original story set against the turbulent times of the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers. That tragedy compounded itself into international headline grabbing incidents that played out across the country as people vented their misplaced anger against the many innocent Arabs and Muslims. Caught in the whirlwind of this euphoria were the Sikhs, mistaken for Arabs for their code of dress and appearance that is so similar. The story of The Gold Bracelet is based on true events.

"I am somebody. I believe in the truth. I still have faith in the truth."

For the Singhs, an immigrant family living in America, life could not be more promising when everything seems possible. In Arjun Singh's (Kavi Raz) heart, one step remains to fulfill his dream of possibilities: the marriage of his daughter, Simrun ( Meherunnisa Hassan). Her own dreams include Bobby Dhillon (Sonny Mandal), a boy on campus whose pursuit of her is nearly relentless, proving it during a spin on reality that takes us on a colorful and musical voyage. However, Simrun's love for her father forces her to make a difficult choice until the 9/11 terror attacks change everything forever. What began as the quest for true happiness ends as the fight of their lives when the twin towers of the World Trade Center fall. Nevertheless, there is one truth that will never change - amidst unthinkable tragedy......there is still hope. The Gold Bracelet sends a strong message of hope and courage, defying all odds.


 


Kavi Raz's "The Gold Bracelet" walks away with top honors at Cinequest

Film Festival. First film on the subject, following the events of 9/11, steals

the show and creates the biggest buzz in festival's history.


Los Angeles, Calif.,--Now ranked among the Top Ten Film Festivals in the world, Cinequest wrapped up this year's outing with a gala event and awards ceremonies at the prestigious California Theatre in San Jose, California, awarding the Audience's Choice award for best feature, the festival's highest honor to "The Gold Bracelet," written, produced and directed by Kavi Raz.


The Gold Bracelet also stars Archana Puran Singh, Sonny Mandal, Meherunissa Hassan, Arsh Singh and Joseph Whipp.


The Gold Bracelet is beautifully photographed by veteran cinematographer Jack Conroy with songs composed by Micky Narula, main score by Peter Carl Ganderup and edited by Chris Worland and Omi Vaidya. Lyrics are by Malkeet Meet.


San Jose Vice-Mayor Cindy Chavez made a special appearance at the festival just to introduce the filmmaker, Kavi Raz and present the film to the audience. "This is a powerful film," she said. "It reminds us of our darkest hour as a nation. It is a film that will inspire us to live and work together as one. It is a film that needs to be seen across America and indeed worldwide." The Gold Bracelet was the only film at the festival where a City or Government official made an appearance.


The Gold Bracelet has been receiving glowing reviews from audiences and critics alike.


Richard von Busack writes in the Metro, "Precious Mettle... a must see film. I recommend this film highly. One of the most rewarding movies at this year's festival."


Audience member Rennu Dhillon echoed her feelings after the screening, "great movie, simply awesome. Every actor was great. Kavi is amazing, just amazing."


David Potter, who watched the film at Cinequest, writes in an e-mail sent to the director Kavi Raz, "Thank you, thank you for such a rich contribution to the American Tapestry. I cherish my freedom more today having seen this film. This was by far the best film at Cinequest."


Shevali writes in her response after seeing the film, "Kavi has done an excellent job in writing, directing, acting and producing this film. What a tremendous talent."


Gery Turgeon who also viewed the film at Cinequest sums it up by saying "I am still thinking of The Gold Bracelet over twenty four hours later. I found compassion, sentiment, tragedy, sorrow, glee and triumph. The best movie of over forty films I saw at the festival."


Festival sponsor Jim Boyce of the French Cheese Company proudly proclaimed that "The Gold Bracelet is an American film. All of America needs to embrace this film. I have never been so moved by any other film in my life."


Festival organizers were already very excited about The Gold Bracelet, even before its arrival at the venue. Then the film created such a buzz that everyone was talking about it. The film also had the highest attendance at the festival. Organizers further stated that The Gold Bracelet was probably the best film they have had at the festival in its sixteen year history.


Kavi, when asked how he was able to wear so many hats, write, produce, direct and act in the film, responds by saying, "I found it extremely challenging, I love challenge. I find it invigorating. And now the satisfaction of having gone through it is finally paying off as the audience is responding in such a favorable way to my work. They are praising my writing, direction and acting. What can be more fulfilling than that? I just hope I can do it again."


Set against the turbulent times of the 9/11 tragedy, the story centers around an American Sikh family as they come to terms with being turban bearing Sikhs in America at a time when the country is plagued with fears of terrorism.


Based on true events that unfolded across America within days of the 9/11 attacks. A Sikh gas station owner in Phoenix Arizona was killed four days after 9/11, mistaken for an Arab by his assassin.


"One of my hopes for the film was that, in its message, it reaches beyond the Indian audience," says Raz. "The reaction so far has been just glorious. The feedback from audiences of all ethnic and tradition mainstream American backgrounds has been extremely positive. What this tells me is that people, no matter what color, faith or culture they come from are all moved by the same emotions. Their concerns are the same. Their hopes and dreams are the same. The way they love and hate is not much different from each other. Breaking down all such barriers the audience is reacting to and identifying with my characters. This is very encouraging. This is very important for a film of this nature to work well. When people write to me and tell me that even days after having watched the film they are still thinking about it. That it refuses to leave them. That it makes them think. That's what I was hoping for. And it's happening."


The audience at Cinequest was overwhelmingly non-Indian.



"The Gold Bracelet" to screen at Methodfest Film Festival Moving story of

an American Sikh Family in post 9/11 America.


Hollywood, Calif., - Billed as the only festival in the world that honors films for their writing, directing and acting, Method Fest Film Festival has selected The Gold Bracelet as their centerpiece film for this year's event.


The festival was inspired by the Method style of acting made famous by Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, Al Pacino among others. These actors were all coached by the legendary acting Guru Lee Strasberg, whose acting institute continues to train actors in Los Angeles and New York. Actor/Director Kavi Raz is a former student of Strasberg.


The Gold Bracelet was recently honored with the Audience Choice Award as the best feature at Cinequest Film Festival held in San Jose California. Cinequest is ranked among the top ten film festivals in the world.


Showcasing the film as a centerpiece film at this year's festival is a tremendous honor for The Gold Bracelet. It's a validation of the fact that this film appeals to all audiences. The mainstream American audience is accepting this film as an American story.


The film tells the story of an American Sikh family whose lives are affected by the realities of post 9/11 America.


The film continues to draw stupendous response from all audiences and is building up a formidable following as it does the festival rounds.


The Method Fest Film Festival is held from March 31st to April 7th in Calabasas, California, this year.


Festival director Don Franken states that he is particularly proud to have The Gold Bracelet in the festival this year. Rarely do films come along that are of such a higher caliber in all areas that the festival feels that strongly about. The Gold Bracelet embodies unique writing, directing and pretty amazing acting.


Daily News reporter Mark Kallum writes that, "The Gold Bracelet is...the best film at this year's festival."


After screening of the film a gala party is being held to honor the filmmaker and cast.


The Gold Bracelet is written, produced and directed by Kavi Raz.


The film stars Meherunissa Hassan, Arsh Singh, Archana Puran Singh,.. Kavi Raz and Sonny Mandal.


The film's executive producers are Bhikhubhai Patel, Inder Dadlani and Kavi Raz




"The Gold Bracelet" Hits a Hat-Trick.



Hollywood, Calif., - "The Gold Bracelet" continues its Film Festival run with appearances in three major International Film Festivals within a period of twelve days. The festivals are, Palm Beach International Film Festival, Newport Beach Film Festival and Indianapolis International Film Festival.


Donald Trump is scheduled at the opening Gala party of the Palm Beach International Film Festival.


The critically acclaimed film has received glowing reviews and praise from the audience at all of its previous screenings, winning the audience Choice award as the best feature film at Cinequest Film Festival; currently rated among the top ten in the world.

The film is written, produced, and directed by Kavi Raz.


In its recent outing at Method Fest Film Festival, Richard Kaplan wrote in the Valley Scenes Magazine "This evocative film will tug at your heart strings and earn your compassion. There is much to admire in this film."


Don Franken director of the Method Fest Film Festival said of the film in its introduction "The Gold Bracelet is a rare piece of work. We are so proud to present this great film. Work of a very talented actor and filmmaker, Kavi Raz."


Mark Kallum wrote in The Los Angeles Daily News, "The Gold Bracelet is the biggest film at this year's festival."


Dennis Washburn, the Mayor of Calabasas, where the festival was held, presented a proclamation from the city to Kavi Raz and said "we look forward to many great films from your talents. You have given us something very special. We are proud to showcase your film in our city."


"The Gold Bracelet" is set against the turbulent times of the 9/11 tragedy. An American Sikh family is in the midst of celebrating a daughter's wedding when terrorists attack The Twin Towers. Life in the Singh household is changed for ever.


The film stars Archana Puran Singh, Kavi Raz. Meher Hassan, Sonny Mandal, Arsh Singh and Joseph Whipp.


The film's raw energy and emotions have been moving and vowing audiences of all backgrounds. The typical American is embracing this film and finding nuances that reflect their own values. They are appreciating this film not as a story of Indian/Sikhs, but as an American Story; an American film. In the Q@A that follows these screenings audience members echo their feelings and sentiments about how the film touches them and how they find similarities in the problems and dilemmas that the Sikh family comes face to face in the film.


Micky Narula's music compositions of the several songs that are featured throughout the film have been receiving much appraise and appreciation.


Inder Dadlani, Bhikhubhai Patel and Kavi Raz are the executive producers of the film.



 


“The Gold Bracelet” takes top Prize at Palm Beach International Film

Festival




Hollywood, Calif., - Kavi Raz’s acclaimed film “The Gold Bracelet”, winner of Cinequest’s audience choice for Best Picture, steals the Palm Beach International Film Festival, again, by taking home Best Picture in the audience choice category. Raz’s passionate film about the trials of one Sikh family in pre and post world 9/11, beat out many of the top contenders that were expected to take the Festival, including many films that featured A-List directors and Academy Award winning actors. The Gold Bracelet beat out an impressive line up which included films starring Ed Harris, Faye Dunaway, Robert Loggia, and Cary Elwes and even shot down many films that are greatly expected to make an appearance at the 2007 Academy Awards Ceremony. It also beat out “10th and Wolf” a film written by Bobby Moresco, the screenwriter of the Academy Award winning drama “Crash”.


The Gold Bracelet is based on true events surrounding a brutal hate crime that took place after the events of 9/11. The timing of the release of the film proves both daring and emotionally moving due to the current events surrounding the immigration controversy escalating in the United States today. It is also the first film to directly deal with the tragedy of September 11th.


The Palm Beach Film Festival has “created a special niche within the film industry and is listed as one of the top 25 film festivals in the world. Unlike many festivals around the country, the PBIFF has dedicated itself into making a difference in the lives of young people by helping to fulfill their dreams in the world of film. Proceeds generated each year go to the Palm Beach County Schools to provide new technologies for optimal learning in the form of grants and scholarships.” This is a huge win for director Kavi Raz as his film continues to make the festival run and inspiring audiences all over the world.


The Gold Bracelet is written, produced and directed by Kavi Raz.


The film stars Meherunissa Hassan, Arsh Singh, Archana Puran Singh, Kavi Raz and Sonny Mandal.


The film's executive producers are Bhikhubhai Patel, Inder Dadlani and Kavi Raz.


Original Score by Peter Carl Ganderup; Songs Composed by Micky Narula.


Director of Photography by Jack Conroy.


 



“The Gold Bracelet” to open Jacksonville Film Festival



Hollywood, Calif., - Kavi Raz’s inspirational, passionate film “The Gold Bracelet” continues it’s run with an appearance in the highly cultural Jacksonville Film Festival this coming May. Not only is the film being viewed at the festival, it is also the major opening feature, the first in a phenomenal line-up which includes films starring major A-List actors John Travolta and Salma Hayek. Executive Festival director Jean Tait personally invited Raz to showcase his film in the festival after the film’s tremendous outcome at Cinequest in San Jose this past March.


The film itself will be screened at the historical Florida Theater, a theater that seats 2,600 viewers. As an anchor to downtown development along the beautiful St. Johns River, The Florida Theatre draws 250,000 people to Jacksonville's center each year. The magnificently restored Florida Theatre is recognized as one of the finest concert venues in the Southeast. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Recently, “The Gold Bracelet” has inspired audiences and filmmakers alike at numerous top film festivals including Method Fest, The Newport Beach Film Festival, and Cinequest in San Jose, California. Along with being nominated for best ensemble acting in a major feature at Method Fest, Raz’s film took top honor (Audience Choice Award) for Best Feature Film at Cinequest. Cinequest is ranked one of the top ten film festivals in the world.


To be opening at such a highly cultural film festival, such as Jacksonville, is a huge honor for The Gold Bracelet.


The film, (written, directed, produced, and starring Kavi Raz) tells the story of an American Sikh family whose lives are affected by the realities of post 9/11 America. This deeply moving film has affected audiences in a way that is both touching and awe-inspiring and is gaining serious momentum as it circulates the film festival rounds.


San Jose Vice-Mayor Cindy Chavez claims, “This is a powerful film. It reminds us of our darkest hour as a nation. It is a film that will inspire us to live and work together as one. IT is a film that needs to be seen across America and indeed worldwide.”


The Gold Bracelet is written, produced and directed by Kavi Raz.


The film stars Meherunissa Hassan, Arsh Singh, Archana Puran Singh, Kavi Raz and Sonny Mandal.


The film's executive producers are Bhikhubhai Patel, Inder Dadlani and Kavi Raz.


The Jacksonville Film Festival runs from May 18th through the 20th in Jacksonville, Florida. The Gold Bracelet opens the festival on Thursday, May 18th at 7:30 p.m. The After-party being held for the filmmaker takes place right after the screening at Mark’s.


 



Kavi Raz’s “The Gold Bracelet” receives highest honor at the Mendocino

Film Festival



Hollywood, Calif., - The city of Mendocino, CA, a coastal town enriched with scenic beauty and budding culture, affectionately embraced Kavi Raz’s inspirational film “The Gold Bracelet”, by awarding it Best Feature Film – the highest honor in the festival. Even only in it’s freshman year, the Mendocino Film Festival was flaked with not only colorful films made by talented filmmakers, but also Hollywood royalty including Sydney Pollack, Danny Glover, and “Gone with the Wind’s” actress Cammie King. The Gold Bracelet had beat out a plethora of well-made films and was even the festival’s spotlighted film.


The award winning film, which is based on true events, had three screenings and the completely non-Indian community accepted and fell in love with not only the film, but the filmmakers as well. For two of the screenings, some audience members even had to stand in back in order to view the sold out film. Mendocino, a town that has been the location for over sixty films with its stunning landscape and breath-taking ocean views, breathed in Raz’s captivating film about a warmhearted Sikh family dealing with the before and after effects of history’s most traumatizing event – the terrorism acts of September 11th, 2001.


The film stars Kavi Raz, Meherunissa Hassan, Arsh Singh, Archana Puran Singh, Sonny Mandal, and Joseph Whipp.


Audience members have been extremely vocal at showing their appreciation for the film at every single festival The Gold Bracelet appears in. “This should be required viewing,” stated one weeping viewer at Mendocino, during one of the showing’s question and answer portion that took place after a screening of the film. Another audience member was so moved by the movie, that he walked up to director Kavi Raz after a screening in Jacksonville, and with tears in his eyes and said "I have been trying to get the message across for fifty years, that you have accomplished so beautifully in your film, I am a Baptist Church Minister. I thank you for it. It’s an amazing film."


In addition to taking the Mendocino Film Festival by storm, The Gold Bracelet has also been the featured selection, and award winner, in many other film festivals including; Cinequest, The Palm Beach International Film Festival, Method Fest, The Jacksonville Film Festival, The Indianapolis Film Festival, and the Newport Beach Film Festival. At the same time of the Mendocino festival, film was also warming the hearts of audiences at the Jacksonville Film Festival, which it was placed in the ranks along side films featuring A-List actors including John Travolta and Salma Hayek.


Viewing the film has been a high demand at some of the most recent film festivals, having sold out shows in Jacksonville, Indianapolis, and Newport Beach and even added extra showings for Jacksonville and Mendocino for eager audience members.


K.P. Singh, who viewed the film at the Indianapolis International Film Festival and wrote a brilliant article sighting the importance of the film itself, stated; “The movie while offering entertainment, a window to the Punjabi culture, and frequent and familiar challenges of families as they try to transplant and create a place for themselves in the American cultural landscape, leaves some lasting resonance and lessons: to make an effort to know, understand, appreciate, and celebrate our collective goodness, decency, and the tapestry of cultures and to take needed steps to preserve and assure its rightful place and sanctity to our lives and spirit and culture of communities where we live.”


The movie is a quadruple threat for director Kavi Raz, who not only directed, but also acted in the film, wrote the screenplay, and produced it. Said reporter Michael Ferraro of filmthreat.com: “Raz’s perfomance as Arjun steals the show. It’s a rather brilliant performance that is just as emotive as it is passionate,” as well as claiming that the film is “a very touching and interesting look into a culture not that often exposed.”


 



Kavi Raz Honored at the 16th Annual Miss India-Canada Function



Los Angeles, Calif.: It was a night of entertainment, prestige and glamour all rolled up into one; the 16th annual MISS INDIA-CANADA Pageant had it all! Organized by Canada-India Beauty Quest in association with MOVADO, the sold-out event was truly a memorable experience that those present will remember for years to come. At the end of the evening, Simranjit Singh of Ancaster, Ontario won the esteemed title of Miss India-Canada 2006. For the first time ever, ROGERS and SUNSILK also presented two new awards. Other sponsors included: Air India, Om Financial and Payal Convention Centre.


The 16 contestants began the evening with a high-energy dance sequence that captivated the audience and kept them in their seats for the remainder of the evening.


Mr. Kush Agnihotri, president of Canada-India Beauty Quest was then called upon to say a few words and present Hollywood writer, producer, actor, and director, Mr. Kavi Raz with the ‘Special Achievement Award’ for his growing contribution to international cinema. Following the award presentation, Mr. Sanjay Agnihotri, Director of Operations called upon Mr. Cory Boisselle, COO / CFO – Movado Group of Canada, and presented him with a plaque of appreciation.


Following this presentation, Mr. Kush and Sanjay Agnihotri called upon the Chief Guest of the evening, Her Excellency Shyamala Cowsik, High Commissioner of India to Canada to say a few words.


Other notable attendees were: HON. Mr. Satish Mehta – Consul General of India, Hon. Ujjal Dosanjh (former Health Minister of Canada), Hon. Gurbux Malhi – Member of Parliament, Hon. Dr. Ruby Dhalla – Member of Parliament, and Hon. Mr. Bharat Agnihotri – MLA from Alberta.


Upon completion of acknowledging each dignitary, the opening host: Aashish Rajhans introduced the emcees for the evening, Ms. Karen Johnson, and Mr. Suneel Joshi. Suneel commenced the evening by introducing the distinguished Panel of Judges: Pathik Baxi, Barrister & Solicitor; Rahul Bhardwaj, President – Om Financial Inc.; Cory Boisselle, COO/CFO – Movado Group Of Canada Inc.; Dr. Pam Gill, Family Physician; Tosh James, Model Scout – Elmer Olsen Model Management; Pallan Katgara, Director – TCI: Travel Corporation (India) Pvt. Ltd.; Cuckoo Kochar, President – DCR / Phoenix Group; Kass P., On Air Personality, "The Groove" – Flow 93.5; and Shylee Someshwar, President – Visual Rhythms.


The judges were then put to the test as each contestant went through the first three segments: Indian Dress, Evening Gown, and Talent. Prior to introducing the finalists, the emcees announced that Sonia Singh won the ROGERS People’s Choice Award. Ms. Susan Gordon – Senior Director, National Marketing, Rogers Wireless presented Sonia with a bouquet of flowers. She also received a Pink Razr.


The SUNSILK Miss Beautiful Hair Award went to Nisha Ravindranath. Ms. Jillian McLaughlin –Brand Building Manager Hair Care presented Nisha with a bouquet of flowers. She also received a gift basket filled with SunSilk products.


Rajminder Aujla of Toronto, ON won Miss Congeniality and Kamel Bains of Surrey, BC won Miss Photogenic.


The top 5 finalists were then introduced in random order: Nisha Ravindranath of Mississauga, ON; Simranjit Singh of Ancaster, ON; Yamini Shinghal of Montreal, QC; Kam Bains of Surrey, BC and Angelie Sood of Unionville, ON. The final segment of Question & Answer involved asking each contestant a different question on stage before the panel of judges.


As the audience waited for the representative from the accounting firm of Sharma Kanish and Associates to approach the stage, the audience was treated to an entertainment piece by a Japanese Drum Group – Kiyoshi Nagata Ensemble.


As the audience waited in complete silence, Karen and Suneel announced the results. The Second Runner-up was Nisha Ravindranath and the First Runner-up was Yamini Shinghal. Karen and Suneel then went on to call upon Her Excellency Shyamala Cowsik on stage to facilitate in the crowning of Simranjit Singh as MISS INDIA-CANADA 2006. Simranjit won over $10,000 in prizes!


The 19 year old native of Ancaster, ON is entering her final year of her undergraduate degree at McMaster University. She has aspirations of becoming an optometrist. During her reign, she wants to try her luck in the entertainment field, and simultaneously, she wants to be a role model to young Indo-Canadians by becoming involved in more community events.


After the pageant, Mr. Sanjay Agnihotri, Director of Operations remarked that this year’s winner will also assist in promoting the goals of a very important organization: the Canadian Cancer Society. When asked what he thought of this year’s pageant, Mr. Agnihotri replied, “The hard-work and dedication that our team and volunteers put into this year’s event has truly been remarkable. I am also overwhelmed with the support we received from the community this year. The contestants have made this 16th annual event, one that we will all remember!”


For further information, please visit http://www.MissIndiaCanada.com


Miss India-Canada is the registered trade mark of Canada-India Beauty Quest

 


The golden circle broadens: Kavi Raz's controversial film "The Gold

Bracelet" scheduled to stir international waters in Calgary, Alberta



Hollywood, Calif., - There comes a time in everyone's life, that when facing even the darkest of tunnels, the slightest sliver of the thought that eventually this too will pass and the light will peek through at the end of the path, can fill the heart with hope. With every great tragedy, heroes will emerge and take flight.


Kavi Raz's sleeper hit "The Gold Bracelet", a gentle film about a loving Sikh family who violently endures the hardships brought on by the terror of September 11 th, has been hit with a sudden, and unpleasant, surprise splash of ice water. Raz's film, which is based on true events, sights the tragic death of a Sikh family man who is brutally murdered just four days after the terrorist attacks after being mistaken for an Arab. Balbir Singh Sodhi was shot dead in Mesa, Arizona by Frank Silva Roque, an engineer, who was sentenced to death in October of 2003 after a jury dismissed his plea of insanity, stating that "it (was) a weak excuse for the brutal murder". In an unfortunate twist, just recently the Arizona court reversed Roque's sentence of death to life in prison. After five years, this comes as a blow to the Sikhs, who deserve justice for the unspeakable hate crimes that have been bestowed upon them since 9/11.


It was Aeschylus that once said "In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair comes wisdom ." The lighthouse beacon in the storm comes in the form of Raz's award winning film, a stunning work of art that focuses on the fact that being American comes from the heart, not from the color of your skin or one's religion preference. It proudly symbolizes that although Sodhi's death, and the deaths of many others, were in fact senseless, those Americans did not die in vain and we will not soon forget them.


Mr. Raz brings his showcase film to the beautiful setting of Calgary, Alberta for the Calgary International Film Festival this September 23 rd at the Globe Theater. The festival stealing film has already captured the hearts of audiences nationwide as well as many awards at high profiled film festivals including Method Fest, The Newport Beach Film Festival, Palm Beach International Film Festival, Indianapolis International Film Festival ,and Cinequest. The film, written, directed, produced, and starring Kavi Raz, is not showing any signs of slowing down as it begins to build international momentum.


As well as a screening the film, audiences have the privilege to meet and discuss his work with Kavi Raz himself in "A Conversation with Kavi Raz" Sunday, September 24 th.


The film stars Meherunissa Hassan, Arsh Singh, Archana Puran Singh, Kavi Raz and Sonny Mandal.


The film's executive producers are Bhikhubhai Patel, Inder Dadlani and Kavi Raz.


The Calgary International Film Festival runs from September 22nd to October 1st. The Gold Bracelet premieres on Saturday, September 23 rd at 6:00 p.m. with "A Conversation with Kavi Raz" following Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at the Glenbow Museum.




Award winning and critically acclaimed film "The Gold Bracelet" to open the

Connecticut Film Festival



Hollywood, Calif., - The Gold Bracelet, veteran Hollywood actor Kavi Raz's directorial debut that has been winning hearts and accolades everywhere is now set to open the prestigious Connecticut International Film Festival. Billed as a statewide event the organizers have outlined an array of studio and independent films from across the globe to be screened at the festival. Films will be screened at several locations throughout the state in an effort to reach its potential audience on a wider scale.


Connecticut is home to several Hollywood stars and boasts itself as a haven to the rich and famous.


Long time resident of the state, Hollywood legend, Paul Newman is expected to attend the opening day screening of The Gold Bracelet.


The Gold Bracelet has beaten out many big budget and star studded films at some of the most prestigious film festivals to win the best feature award. The film is based on a true event that rocked the world only days after the tragedy of the twin towers. A Sikh businessman was gunned down at his gas station only four days after 9/11, mistaken for an Arab. His assassin showed no remorse when after a lengthy trial a death sentence was pronounced upon by an Arizona jury. Ironically the one-time Boeing Engineer's sentence was recently overturned to life in prison, based on an insanity plea.


The Gold Bracelet will open the festival on Tuesday October 3rd at 7:00 PM. A gala reception honoring the filmmaker Kavi Raz will follow the screening of the film.


 


Canada lays out the Royal Welcome: Kavi Raz's multi-awarded film

The Gold Bracelet wins hearts across the border.



Regina-Saskatchewan, Canada - It wasn't just the proverbial red carpet; this one was laden with glitters of gold as Canada welcomed Kavi Raz to the prairies. The Queen City of Regina, Saskatchewan, situated smack in the middle of the Canadian Prairies, gives a resounding two thumbs up to Kavi Raz and his film, The Gold Bracelet.


The Gold Bracelet screened at the Regina RPL Film Theatre to full houses on November 11 and 12, 2006. Kavi Raz, was enthusiastically received before the screenings and people waited patiently afterwards to ask questions, mingle and meet with the filmmaker.


The show was sold out 30 minutes before the movie was supposed to start on Saturday even with extra chairs being put in wherever there was room. Hundreds of people had to be turned away. This diverse crowd of savvy prairie movie watchers had waited in the cold outside for the box office to open. Old, young and the very young came out to see the film.


As the movie progressed people could be heard laughing out loud during the funny parts and tears flowed freely during the sad moments in the film. It took many audience members several minutes to compose themselves after the movie ended and all were visibly touched and shaken by what they had just watched. One young man couldn't talk or move for a long time due to his emotions getting the better of him. Tearfully he commented that he wanted to embrace the filmmaker for the portrayal of the father, Arjun Singh and the relationship he showed between father and son.


Everyone stayed for the question and answer period and the reception afterwards. Kavi Raz took to the stage as the last of the credits rolled. The applause was deafening as he was introduced and then there was silence. You could hear the proverbial pin drop. And then the gates opened and questions poured forth faster than hands could be counted. Kavi was praised for the writing, acting, directing and story of an immigrant family that was portrayed in all its realistic splendor. Many couldn't believe that he himself played Arjun the main character in the film.


The Canadian audience commented that they were glad he had shown an immigrant man willing to be different and yet show so much love for his adopted land. It defined the heart of Canada's own policies towards its thinking as a multi-cultural nation. Kavi was presented with an "I love Regina" t-shirt by City Councilor Fred Clipsham on behalf of the Mayor. Joanne Crofford, MLA, brought greetings and a gift from the Premier of Saskatchewan Lorne Calvert and Mrs. Calvert. She commented it was not very often that she was personally called by the Premier to represent him at an event. She had come as an official duty but thanked Kavi Raz for the thought provoking and endearing film she had been privileged to watch.


The following morning Kavi was invited by Premier Calvert to visit him at is office. He presented Kavi with a letter of recommendation for his contribution to World cinema.


This screening was unique in that the diversity of the audience varied tremendously as did the partnerships created to sponsor it. The organizations which came together to support the screening and the visit of the filmmaker, Kavi Raz, ranged from academic, University of Regina Media Studies and Production and Regina Public Library, to religious and cultural, Sikh Society of Regina and India Canada Association, to community and non-profit, Immigrant Women of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Filmpool Cooperative.


In a small city in Western Canada, this type of positive response to a film like The Gold Bracelet is truly an event. When people come out on a Sunday night too because they heard good things or missed out on Saturday, when they stay for questions after 11:30 PM and even then linger until the security begs to close up, when they get in line to meet the filmmaker of a film that stirred their soul, when they just stay to savor the moment and share their feelings and thoughts with each other, when a 12 year old asks the filmmaker "what was your inspiration in making The Gold Bracelet?", when each viewer feels a kinship to the characters…..yes, it truly is worth it and it was an event to remember.


"Regina applauds your genius, Kavi Raz and revels in the glory of The Gold Bracelet. Thank you for bringing it to our part of the world. We will never be the same again," Director IWS.


In September, The Gold Bracelet played at The Calgary International Film Festival where the film was chosen as the Best of the Fest for a repeat showing. The film played to full houses and standing ovations.