dwf press kit
"a starting point for the new dialogueon race and religion that is essentialfor America's future."Diana L. Eck, Harvard University Professor of Religion andDirector of The Pluralism Project
DIVIDED WE FALLAMERICANS IN THE AFTERMATH
In the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, a college studenttraveled across America and discovered stories ofracism, violence, and the power of forgiveness. Herjourney became Divided We Fall.
On a two-year international tour, the film inspireddeep, courageous dialogue about who we are andwho we want to be.
It captures the imagination of a people hungry forrenewal and healing - now more than ever.
"a film that is bringing viciousintolerance aimed at innocentpeople out in the open."CNN, Paula Zahn NOW
"moving, terrifying,astonishing, buthopeful as itinspires us tobecome who webelieve we are."Lawrence Lessig, leadinglegal scholar and bestsellingauthor of The Future of Ideas
"a tour de force: shocking and disturbingyet at the same time deeply moving andultimately inspiring."Amy Chua, the New York Times bestselling author of World onFire and Day of Empire
"an illuminating meditation upon what it hasmeant to be 'one of us' in the days since 9/11."Harold Hongju Koh, Dean of Yale Law School
"stunning... could nothave arrived at a moresignificant time in our
nation's history."Philip Zimbardo, Stanford University
Professor Emeritus of Psychology
Contact: Tracy J. Wells, Communications Director, [email protected], 404.229.0997
FACT SHEETDivided We Fall: Americans in the Aftermath
An award-winning film by Sharat Raju & Valarie Kaur
2008 | 90 min | Color | U.S.A.
Divided We Fall: Americans in the Aftermath from New Moon Productions is the first feature-lengthdocumentary film about hate violence in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001. The film weaves together apersonal journey and cross-country road trip with an authoritative examination of race, religion, andAmerican identity in the ongoing aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001.
• Synopsis. Valarie Kaur was a 20-year-old college student when she set out across America inthe aftermath of 9/11, camera in hand, to document hate violence against her community. From the still-shocked streets of Ground Zero to the desert towns of the American West, herepic journey confronts the forces unleashed in a time of national crisis – racism and religion,fear and forgiveness – until she finds the heart of America… halfway around the world.
• Production. Stanford undergrad Valarie Kaur began production one week after Sept. 11, 2001when she left school to document hate violence against Sikhs, Muslims, and Arabs with her 18-year-old cousin Amandeep S. Gill as cameraman. She continued to capture unreported storiesas a student until she joined writer-director Sharat Raju and his team in 2004. With grassrootsdonations, the team retraced Kaur’s steps in 2005, revisiting her original interviewees andspeaking with scholars and lawyers about the larger historical and political context. Forcomplete production history: http://dwf-film.com/about/production.html
• Tour. Divided We Fall premiered in Phoenix, Arizona in Sept. 2006 on the five-year memorialof the hate murder of Balbir Singh Sodhi. On a two-year international tour, the filmmakershave been invited to 150 screenings in 90 cities across the United States, Canada, the UnitedKingdom, and India. For a list of screenings: http://dwf-film.com/tour/pastscreenings.html
• Campaign. The success of the tour inspired the Divided We Fall Campaign – film screeningsand community dialogues in 50 cities in the U.S. during the Sept. 11th anniversary in 2008. Fora list of upcoming screenings: http://dwf-film.com/tour
• Media. Filmmakers Valarie Kaur and Sharat Raju have been featured in national mediaoutlets, including CNN, C-SPAN, National Public Radio, the BBC, and the Religion NewsService. For more: http://dwf-film.com/news/video.html
• Filming Locations. Filmed on location in California (Clovis, Fresno, Los Angeles, San Diego,Mojave Desert, San Jose, San Francisco; Oakland/Berkeley, Sacramento, Yuba City, Palo Alto);Arizona (Phoenix, Mesa); New York (New York City); Connecticut (New Haven); Washington,D.C.; and India (New Delhi, Punjab).
• Technical Details.o Total Running Time: 1:32:00o Sound: Stereo, LT/RT.o Shooting Formats: Still Photography, Hi-8 Video, Mini-DV Video, DV Cam Video,
Super 8mm Film, Super 16mm Film, High Definition Video. (Note: includes archivalfilm footage and television news footage.)
o Aspect Ratio: 1:1.85.o Showcase Formats: Digital Betacam; DVCam; DVD.o Film stock: Kodak Vision 2, Super 16mm and 8mm gauges.o Edited on: Avid Media Composer Adrenaline.o Website: www.dwf-film.com
• Facts.o Valarie Kaur began the journey to make Divided We Fall on Sept. 15, 2001 in response to
the murder of Balbir Singh Sodhi, a turbaned Sikh American her family knew.o Balbir Singh Sodhi was the first of at least 19 people murdered in post-9/11 hate crime.o More than 130 hours of footage was shot over five years for DWF.o Valarie interviewed approximately 100 people during the production.o Nearly the entire crew worked without pay.o Much of the crew was in their twenties when making the film.o Funding for the initial stages of production was raised entirely through grassroots
donations. Panavision Camera’s New Filmmakers’ Grant provided a free film camerapackage to the production. Eastman Kodak donated nearly half of the film stock.
o On tour since Sept. 2006, the filmmakers have led two-day dialogue programs aroundthe film at universities, colleges, schools, and communities around the world.
o New Moon Productions is named after Valarie’s grandfather’s village in Punjab, India.o The film will be released on DVD with educational curriculum starting in October 2008.
AWARDS AND CRITICAL PRAISE
"★★★★★"- Orlando Sentinel
"deeply moving"- Omaha World-Herald
“courageous and powerful… maythis film be seen around the world.”- Frances Moore-Lappe, activist and bestselling author ofDiet for a Small Planet
"a moving portrait of one ofAmerica’s rawest periods."- India West
“heartbreaking and uplifting, historicand modern… see this film!- Kal Penn, star of The Namesake
Best International Documentary, ReelWorld Film Festival 2007, TorontoAudience Choice Best Documentary, Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles 2007Best Documentary, New Jersey Independent South Asian Ciné Fest 2007Opening Night Film, Seattle Human Rights Film Festival 2007Official Commendation from the State of California presented by Lt. Gov. Cruz BustamanteOfficial Commendation from the City of Clovis, CaliforniaMai Bhago Spirit of Baisaki Award 2008, Sikh Dharma InternationalCentennial Foundation Seva Award 2007, Toronto, CanadaSikh American Heritage Award 2007, Sikh Council on Religion & Education (SCORE)Sikh Heritage Gala Miri-Piri Award 2007, Orange County, CAPunjabi American Festival Service Award 2007, Punjabi American Heritage Society, YubaCity, CA
"Thank you for jump-starting a dialoguethat desperately needs to take place."26-year-old white male in Berkeley, Calif.
Visit www.dwf-film.comfor hundreds of reviewsfrom across the country
"helped me see Americaand its history in a muchricher way than I everhave before."60-year-old white Christian male inMinneapolis, Minn.
"stands as an incredibly inspirationalreminder of just how connected we all are."22-year-old African-American male in Atlanta, Ga.
"extremelyinvigorating for mysense of societalresponsibility andcommunal identity."18-year-old white Jewish male inPortland, Ore.
"Incredible...moved me to tears.Valarie's voiceresonates for us allthrough this film."34-year-old Native AmericanIndian female, Phoenix, Ariz.
"amazing... shouldbe seen by allAmericans."41-year-old agnostic whitefemale, Omaha, Neb.
POST-9/11 DISCRIMINATION• 1700% increase in ‘anti-Muslim’ hate crimes, from 2000 to 2001, according to the FBI1
• More than 1,000 hate incidents reported within one week of Sept. 11, 20012
• At least 19 people murdered in hate violence within one year of Sept. 11, 20013
• 83% of Sikh Americans report that they or someone they knew personally experienced a hate crimeor incident since Sept. 11, 20014 • 64% Sikh Americans express fear of danger to themselves and families since Sept. 11, 20015 • 41% Muslim Americans express fear of danger to themselves and families since Sept. 11, 20016 • 3 out of 4 Sikh boys who attend school in Queens, NYC have been harassed or teased on account oftheir religious identity since Sept. 11, 20017
• Hate incidents continue today: increased hate violence in the U.S. corresponds with terroristattacks abroad as well as critical moments in the U.S. war on terror.
1 Federal Bureau of Investigation. Hate Crimes Statistics. 2002. http://fbi.gov/pressel/pressel02/2001hc.htm.2 Ahmad, Muneer. A Rage Shared by Law: Post-September 11 Racial Violence as Crimes of Passion. California Law Review. 92Calif. L. Review, 1259. October, 2004.3 ibid..4 The Discrimination and National Security Initiative. We are Americans Too: A Comparative Study of the Effects of 9/11 on SouthAsian Communities. September 2006. http://www.dnsi.org/research/we_are_americans_too/5 ibid.6 ibid.7 The Sikh Coalition. Hatred in the Hallways: A Preliminary Report on Bias against Sikh Students in New York City’s Public Schools.June 2007. http://www.sikhcoalition.org/advisories/documents/HatredintheHallwaysFinal_000.pdf
FILMMAKER BIOSValarie Kaur – Writer and Producer
Valarie Kaur has emerged as a powerful voice for religious and racialdialogue from a new generation of leaders in post-9/11 America. A third-generation Sikh American, Valarie is a writer, public speaker, lecturer inreligion and ethics, and award-winning filmmaker. Valarie began thejourney to create Divided We Fall: Americans in the Aftermath as an
undergraduate at Stanford University, where she earned bachelor’s degrees in religious studies andinternational relations and was selected as the graduation speaker for her class. She won Stanford’sGolden Medal for her honors thesis on post-9/11 America. The film sent Valarie on a packedinternational speaking and screening tour which continues today. She has been invited as anauthority on the subject at more than one hundred universities, colleges, and religious centers acrossthe country. The State of California recently presented Valarie with an official commendationrecognizing her work as a scholar, activist, and storyteller. As a Harvard Presidential Scholar, Valariereceived her masters in theological studies at Harvard Divinity School and presently studies theintersections between religion and law in post-9/11 America at Yale Law School. She also serves asfounding director of the Discrimination and National Security Initiative at the Harvard PluralismProject.
Sharat Raju - Director, Producer, Editor
Sharat Raju is an award-winning writer, director, producer andeditor. After working with esteemed casting director Mali Finn onnumerous films including 8 Mile, Matrix Reloaded, and MatrixRevolutions, he pursued an MFA in Directing at the American FilmInstitute Conservatory. Sharat's first film, American Made, gainedinternational acclaim at nearly forty film festivals -- including Tribeca,
Aspen Shortsfest, and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts -- garnering seventeenawards. In 2006, American Made had its national broadcast debut on the PBS program IndependentLens and will be broadcast through 2010. Sharat recently completed a one-year stint as a 2007-08Directing Fellow through the Directors Guild of America and ABC Networks. Divided We Fall isSharat's first feature-length film and his first documentary. The State of California recently presentedhim with an official proclamation honoring his work as a filmmaker.
FOR COMPLETE CREW AND STAFF BIOGRAPHIES: http://dwf-film.com/crew.html
“In this culture of snapshots and sound-bytes, we arestarved for stories, real stories, personal authentic voices
that lay claim to who we are as Americans.
My hope is that this film tells a rich and complex storyabout the impact of fear and division in America and
abroad. The story is about the struggle for recognition. Itis an American struggle, the struggle for human dignity. Ina nation and world where divisions abound, this message
is important now more than ever.”
Valarie KaurWriter/ProducerDivided We Fall
DIVIDED WE FALLA M E R I C A N S I N T H E A F T E R M A T H
A FILM FROM NEW MOON PRODUCTIONS
Contact: Tracy J. Wells, Communications Director404-229-0997, [email protected]
236 Fifth Avenue, Suite BVenice, CA 90291