Technology has its own ways of amazing us, always. This time, the amazement comes through short film director Mandeep Singh Aujla, who, sitting in Brampton, Ontario, directed his recent short film, Aab. While Skype made his team feel Aujla’s ‘virtual presence’ on the sets, phone application Whatsapp helped him look closely and scrutinize artistes’ makeup.
Originally from Ikolaha, Khanna, Mandeep Singh Aujla, in conversation with HT City from Canada, talks about his 10-minute film — the story of environmental awakening and the awakening he encountered within while exploring Aab.
With pride in his voice, Aujla says it was his daughter who inspired him to broach the issue. “My 13-year-old is very environment conscious. From switching off lights when not in use to telling everyone not to waste natural resources, she tries her best to save the environment. Aab (water) is about the looming water crisis that our world is facing. The film talks about the benefits of natural resources and the consequences of their scarcity. It’s about how humans have selfishly been depleting earth’s resources. While making Aab, I realised the motive of my life. Now, I’m planning to make a feature film on the cause and will continue creating awareness about the same,” shares he.
The film’s cast includes actors Jasbir Jassi and Amar Noori. Sardool Sikander has sung a song for it. “I have used onsite production as well as virtual and remote methodologies to put together Aab. The film uses both live and animation story telling forms.”
The credit for making Aab visually strong goes to the director’s technical background. “After doing a diploma in computers, I taught the subject in Punjab from 1992 to 1998. In 2001, I shifted here (Canada) and started working as an information technology specialist at Trillium Health Centre, Mississauga. I’ve been fond of writing as well; a lot of my literary poems and short stories have been published in regional (Punjabi) monthly magazines. Films, however, are the perfect medium to reach a diverse audience. In 2002, I made a documentary on my village, Ikolaha, and one on my hometown in 2003 — My Khanna – My View.”
In 2008, he came up with a production house, Aujla Innovations Inc, which co-produced a Punjabi telefilm, Ehsass: A Tale of Family Ties, where Mandeep worked as the screen writer, lyrics writer, director of photography, editing, sound and design.