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ANNUAL SIKH FILM FESTIVAL 2008:
A Dream in Doubt
Director: Tami Yeager; Producers: Preetmohan Singh, Tami Yeager, Jedd Wider, Todd Wider

A Dream in Doubt is an immigrant story of survival as a wave of deadly hate crimes terrorizes the Sikh American community in Phoenix, Arizona. The film features Rana Sodhi, an Indian immigrant whose life is forever altered by the 9/11 terror attacks, not because he knew someone who died in the rubble, but because Rana’s turban and beard—articles of his Sikh faith—now symbolize America’s new enemy.

Rana’s eldest brother Balbir Singh Sodhi—who also wore a turban and beard—was America’s first post-9/11 hate crime murder victim, gunned down at his gas station by a man named Frank Roque, who claimed he was rooting out a terrorist. A Dream in Doubt travels to Rana’s hometown to explore post-9/11 America from his perspective, telling a personal story of national tragedy, murder, family, community, and the American Dream.

A Dream in Doubt shows the daily horrors that Rana and the Sikh community experience as misunderstood Americans. In August 2002, Sukhpal Sodhi, Rana’s next-oldest brother, is murdered in mysterious circumstances while driving a cab in San Francisco. Nine months later in May 2003, Rana’s friend, Avtar Chiera, is shot by three men who yell, “Go back to where you came from!” Three weeks after Avtar’s shooting, another friend, Inderjit Singh, is physically assaulted and threatened with death while working at a convenience store. Rana calls on the Sikh community to meet and discuss the senseless violence, and it quickly becomes apparent that the displaced anger over 9/11 terrorists and the violence in Iraq is far from over. At one point, Rana exclaims: “This is America! This can’t be. We will not tolerate it.” Motivated by the injustices, Rana is called to action.

The film follows Rana as he seeks vindication for his brothers’ murders by working to educate fellow Phoenix-area residents about hate crimes; acting as the spokesman for his family and the Sikh community; running his gas station to support his family; and, most importantly, attempting to guard his own school-aged children—Rose, Satpreet and Navdeep—from bullying and harassment.

Rana endures these injustices through a steadfast belief in the Sikh and American values of freedom, self-reliance and equality. But with each new incident, Rana’s wounds are reopened and he is forced to question how much should he suffer. For Rana, America is on trial.

About the Director
Tami Yeager has worked in documentary film production and outreach for over a decade, producing award-winning content for national television networks, public broadcasting and non-profits. Her most recent independent documentary project, A Dream in Doubt, chronicles the aftermath of the first post-9/11 hate murder and celebrates the courage to transform hate into hope. The film aired nationally on PBS’s Independent Lens in May 2008 and was selected to screen in over 35 cities with ITVS Community Cinema outreach program. In addition to Community Cinema, A Dream in Doubt has screened at several film festivals, universities and community centers around the country. Yeager has also managed outreach campaigns and produced companion educational curriculum and websites. She is currently working as a consultant on the Reframe project, a program of the Tribeca Film Institute that digitizes and makes available vital media arts from independent filmmakers, archives and other sources of independent media through a unique, online community platform.

About the Co-Producer

Preetmohan Singh recently co-produced the award-winning documentary film "A Dream in Doubt" with Producer/Director Tami Yeager. The film chronicles the aftermath of the first post-9/11 hate murder and celebrates the courage to transform hate into hope. "A Dream in Doubt" aired nationally on PBS' Independent Lens in May 2008.  The film has screened in over 65 cities, including a dozen universities, and has earned awards at multiple film festivals.  Preet previously collaborated with Tami on a film-based school curriculum project called "The Sikh Next Door," which is being utilized by teachers and non-profits across the U.S. He is currently the Director of Legislative Affairs at the Interfaith Alliance in Washington, DC. From 2002-2005, he was national director of the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund. He has conducted congressional briefings on hate crimes and trained over 6,000 law enforcement officials, including hundreds of FBI agents, about the causes and effects of such crimes. Preet is a graduate of Georgetown University and also studied at Oxford University in England.

 

2007; USA; Running Time: 57 minutes

A Dream in Doubt

A Dream in Doubt

A Dream in Doubt

A Dream in Doubt

A Dream in Doubt


Director: Tami Yeager
Director: Tami Yeager (L),
Co-Producer: Preetmohan Singh (R)


Awards

  • Featured on PBS – Independent Lens, May 2008
  • Best Documentary – Arizona International Film Festival 2007
  • Special Jury Award – San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival 2007
  • Grand Jury's Honorable Mention – Slamdance Film Festival 2007
  • Special Screening – “Independents Night”, Film Society of Lincoln Center 2007

Production
Director: Tami Yeager
Producer: Preetmohan Singh, Tami Yeager, Jedd Wider, Todd Wider
Writers: Tami Yeager, Valerie Kelly