After watching the world premiere a film buff Andrew Kendell @departedAviator tweeted: FIRE IN THE MOUNTAINS is a tender and melancholy elegy. Ajipal Singh is good at mining every-day moments to dramatic effect. These people feel real and sad and lived-in to devastating effects.”
Mumbai, 2nd February 2021: The World Premiere of Ajitpal Singh’s debut Hindi feature, Fire In The Mountains at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival 2021 got heart-warming response from the audience.
Held online, the World Premiere was followed by an engaging Q & A zoom session with debutant filmmaker Ajitpal Singh, lead actors, Vinamrata Rai and Chandan Bisht, cinematographer Dominique Colin, editor Simon Price and co-producer Mauli Singh who were joined by sound designer Mohandas VP, actor Sonal Jha, casting director Taran Bajaj,costume designer Karishma Apoorva Vyas, and first AD Himanshu Singh towards the end. The Q & A was moderated by Sundance Film programmer Dilicia Barrera.
Here is the link – https://youtu.be/rXrhbkXBkMQ
Followed by the world premiere, a Satellite Screening of the film organised was held at the historic Starlite Drive-in Wichita. The drive-in screening was followed by Q and A with the director, Ajitpal Singh moderated by Lela Meadow-Conner, founder of mama.film which organised the screening in collaboration with Sundance.
The self-taught filmmaker and writer-director of the FITM whose short film Rammat-Gammat won ‘Special Mention’ at the International Short Film Festival of Oberhausen 2018 says, “I have waited for this day for a decade. I started dreaming of making films when my first script was selected at Sundance Screenwriters Lab 2012. It has been a long journey but I am really happy to premiere my first feature at Sundance Film Festival. I am grateful to Sundance Institute for being a constant support and motivation.”
On an emotional note, he adds, “I feel like a father today who sends their child out in the world. With a heart full of love and wishes, I am ready to say goodbye to my film and hope it goes far and touches people’s hearts along the way.”
Fire in the Mountains is the only film from Indian and South Asia to be competing among 10 films in the ‘World Cinema Dramatic Competition’, the section which presents the emerging filmmaking talents around the world who offer fresh perspectives and inventive styles.
The 82-minute family drama, Fire In The Mountains is about a mother who toils to save money to build a road in a remote Himalayan village to take her wheelchair-bound son for physiotherapy but her husband who believes that a shamanic ritual (Jagar) is the remedy, steals her savings.
The film stars Vinamrata Rai in the central role of the mother along with Chandan Bisht and Sonal Jha, introducing first-time young actors from Uttarakhand, Harshita Tewari and Mayank Singh Jaira. The Jar Pictures production, Fire In The Mountains is produced by Ajay Rai and Alan McAlex and co-produced by Mauli Singh and Amit Mehta.
The 2021 Sundance Film Festival is held from 28 January to 3 February. Normally held in Park City, Utah, the festival has opted for virtual edition this year due to Covid-19, combined with the drive-in and socially distanced screenings around the country.
Artists from several countries have collaborated on the film which includes the veteran French DOP Dominique Colin (who collaborated with many auteur filmmakers including Gaspar Noë and Cédric Klapisch) who shot the film, Simon Price from New Zealand edited the film along with Parikshhit Jha, and the music is composed by Arnaud van Vliet of South Africa. The Indian crew includes the production designer Mausam Aggarwal, sound recordist Kanishk Bhoklay, sound designer Mohandas VP, costume designer Karishma Vyas and casting director Taran Bajaj. Additional dialogues are written by Uttarakhand based actor-writer Sudarshan Juyal.
Earlier titled Swizerland, the film won two awards, ‘Prasad Lab DI’ and ‘Moviebuff Appreciation’ for the best WIP project at 2019 Film Bazaar’s Work-In-Progress Lab. It was also part of NFDC Screenwriters Lab 2018-19 and Marche Du Film 2020’s, Goes to Cannes Section.
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